Last week at QuakeCon 2016, Arkane Co-creative Director Harvey Smith showed off new Dishonored 2 gameplay to a packed audience behind closed doors. Smith demonstrated Corvo’s newly enhanced powers while displaying the game’s thematic level design and Dishonored 2’s exciting new setting.
At E3 2016, Emily Kaldwin was the center of attention when Smith publically revealed Dishonored 2 gameplay for the first time. At QuakeCon 2016, Smith demonstrated an alternate approach to handle a mission using the Royal Protector turned assassin, Corvo Attano, the protagonist of the first Dishonored. During the demo, Smith has Corvo side with the Howler gang. With a highly chaotic playthrough, Smith made it clear that Corvo was out for blood and playing for all the marbles.
During the Dishonored 2 demo at QuakeCon 2016, Smith revealed that Corvo’s original powers were back and that they were stronger than before. With the new tools and stronger abilities at Corvo’s disposal, the Dust District is just one area that Corvo wreaks havoc upon his foes. Smith starts with the power blink, Corvo’s signature traversal power. Smith has Corvo teleport from the ground to a balcony and ducks into a sealed building to conceal his presence; next Corvo instantly transports himself from a second-story window to some exposed ductwork across an alleyway. During the demo, the audience learns that Blink is not just for movement anymore. From the demo, the world learned that Corvo can use blink in newly aggressive ways. The first is when Corvo blinks into a foe and immediately stabs him in the neck, and then later Corvo uses it to slam into an enemy, shoving him back with deadly force. Corvo’s Blink still holds onto the “stop time and redirect” improvement from the Dishonored DLC The Knife of Dunwall, which gives Corvo more flexibility in traversal and stealth.
The next power demonstrated was the Bend Time ability. The Bend Time ability has been upgraded to allow for powerful new uses. Early in the demo, Corvo uses Bend Time in order to slow time to face off against a Nest Keeper. While time is at a near-standstill, Corvo shoots both arms off of the Nest Keeper with his pistol, then pulls out his crossbow to fire an Incendiary Bolt at a nearby nest. When time resumes, the disarmed Nest Keeper shakes and screams in agony and the nest bursts into flames; the Keeper’s body then rips in half at the torso, releasing a fresh swarm of Bloodflies. Corvo proceeds to escape the dangerous infestation, transferring himself into a Bloodfly with Possession. Although the audience cannot see it, the audience discovers that Corvo can now upgrade his Possession ability in order to transfer from one host to another.
Bend Time can also be upgraded so that Corvo can not only fully stop time, but also slowly advance time in order to set up a sequence of events. Later in the demo, while carrying the incapacitated Howler leader Paolo, Corvo spots a hostile Howler gang member from the balcony above the street. Using Bend Time, Corvo stops time, tosses Paolo into the air, in which he hovers in suspension, and leaps down to deliver death from above to the Howler. Corvo then speeds up time so Paolo’s body moves into reach and returns to carrying his unconscious target. During the demo, Smith has Corvo Bend Time to strategically clear a courtyard of foes, with Corvo peppering the crowd with Sleep Darts and an Incendiary Bolt before cleaning up the remaining enemies in real time.
Windblast returns as a highly effective way to blast back enemies. Corvo uses a Spring Razor to eviscerate a gang of Howlers. Corvo’s sword and pistol come in handy as he slices, stabs, and shoots his way through several other members of the gang in the blink of an eye. While the focus was primarily on Corvo’s deadly new moves, he also has an arsenal of new nonlethal attacks, including combat choke, a nonlethal drop attack. Combat Choke is the prefect way for the player who prefers a stealthier journey through Karnaca.
Dishonored 2 will feature a similar mission design as Dishonored allowing for multiple ways to find and eliminate a target, the ability to tackle any obstacle using non-lethal stealth, deadly combat, or any combination of the two; however, in Dishonored 2 each of the missions has an additional thematic layer. In the case of the Dust District Demo, Corvo has a choice of targets: Either Vice Overseer Byrne, the local leader of a militant religious faction or the head of the Howler gang, Paolo.
The environment and atmosphere of Karnaca is striking with with towering buildings closing in on all sides. But beyond the dizzying heights, the buildings themselves had a much warmer, with a southern feel. Even in the condemned areas of the Crone’s Hand Saloon, the wrought iron bannisters and plantation-style doors stand out. The buildings of Dishonored 2 features clay-tile rooftops, interior facing balconies, and lush vegetation climbing up the columns and cascading down from the elegant railings.
Dishonored 2 is scheduled to release on Nov 11, 2016 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. From the E3 2016 and QuakeCon 2016, Dishonored 2 looks amazing from all the work that Arkane Studios has done and has the potential to be game of the year.