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Dishonored 2

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"It's happened again. Someone's pulled the rug out from under you. An empire at your feet, and you've lost it all. Be honest, did you really deserve any of it? More important, what would you do to get it back?"
—The Outsider

Dishonored 2 is a first-person stealth and action video game, developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was released on November 11, 2016, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It was first announced at Bethesda Softworks' first E3 showcase, on June 14, 2015. The project is headed by creative director Harvey Smith, lead designer of Deus Ex and lead of Deus Ex: Invisible War. Sébastien Mitton has returned as the Art Director of Dishonored 2.[1]

Story

"Take Back What's Yours."
—Marketing tagline

After an "otherworldly usurper" steals the throne from the Empress, she and Corvo Attano must travel to the city of Karnaca in search of the key that will restore her to power.[2] Set 15 years after the original Dishonored, on the island of Serkonos, the game will feature two playable characters: Corvo Attano, the original protagonist of Dishonored, and Emily Kaldwin, Empress of the Empire of the Isles. Each holds their own unique design and powers. Also returning is the mysterious black-eyed deity known as The Outsider, who plays a pivotal role in conveying the story and progressing the plot in the game through dialogue and cutscenes.

Travel beyond the legendary streets of Dunwall to Karnaca – a once-dazzling coastal city that holds the key to restoring Emily to power.[3]

Harvey Smith has stated that more than two endings will be available at the end of the game,[4] and several different states of those endings depending on whether the player achieved a high, low, or very high chaos playthrough.[5]

Cast


Gameplay

Dishonored 2 borrows many of the gameplay elements from the original Dishonored. Players define their own playstyle by blending immersive first-person action, assassination, stealth, mobility, and the game’s combat system. Combining tools at their disposal, players are allowed options to eliminate enemies, whether they choose to pursue them unseen or ruthlessly attack head on with weapons drawn.[7] The player can also eliminate key targets by arranging an "accident" for them to fall into, veering on the edges of poetic justice.[8]

Dishonored 2 will feature the same campaign style as its predecessor in which the protagonist must advance through a series of missions, using a creative blend of powers and weapons.[9] Emily will have her own set of unique abilities while Corvo retains his now deepened and expanded abilities from the original game. The game features branching upgrade paths for its powers[8] but also offers the option to play entirely without supernatural abilities.[10] These abilities feature a lethal and non-lethal upgrade path.[11]

After playing the opening prologue of the game as Emily Kaldwin, the player will be faced with a permanent choice to play as either Emily or Corvo for the remainder of the game. Each character retains their own, unique abilities, with Corvo's "Blink" being substituted with Emily's "Far Reach", along with several other original powers.[12] The game can be completed entirely without taking a single life in the process.[13] Dishonored 2 also features system for crafting bone charms.[14]

Each level in Dishonored 2 has a unique theme, whether in "fiction" or "mechanic." For example, in one mission, players can extrapolate tensions between two rival factions to further their own ends, aid one in its fight against the other, or neither. Occasional dust storms hinder the AI's sight and visibility, allowing the player to move by stealthily. Throughout missions, the player can come across random encounters with the citizens of Karnaca. For example, one instance involves a gang member threatening to expose a black-market dealer, and the player is offered the option to diffuse the situation. In-between levels, the player will take refuge on the Dreadful Wale, a ship where a player can rest and upgrade their gear.[15]

The majority of the game occurs on the tropical Isle of Serkonos, in the city of Karnaca. There, insects called "bloodflies" hatch in dead corpses, and act as a substitute for the Rat Plague present in the original Dishonored. Players are encouraged to hide bodies from these flies to prevent them from attacking him/her, but can also use them to harass enemy guards.[16] Players who kill more characters will notice an increased bloodfly count in future missions.[15]

Development

"It all started for us with thinking about Emily. We just imagined: what would Emily be like down the road, as an empress. What would she be like as a character to inhabit?"
—Harvey Smith[[src]]

When development on Dishonored 2 began, co-director Harvey Smith admitted that creating a game that topped Dishonored and its hordes of accolades was a daunting challenge.[5] A number of ideas were bounced around on how to improve on the original while at the same time remaining true to it. The core idea was to introduce Emily as a playable character.[17] Corvo was intended to be voiced in the original Dishonored, but the idea came too late in the development process.[5] To this end, both Emily and Corvo were voiced in the sequel in order to bring greater emotional depth to the characters.[18] Depending on the player's chaos level, the voiced protagonists react differently to the environment around them.[5]

As the developers began work on Dishonored 2, a complete re-work of the chaos system of the first game was envisioned. Realizing that some players killed based solely on what The Heart said, the team decided to make it a gameplay element. Different guards elicit different personality traits, ranging from sympathetic, guilty, or murderous. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Smith provided an example of the mechanic. "You approach a guard, and it can say he works double shifts to feed the family down the street." Thus, killing that guard would give the player a higher chaos rating than killing a corrupt or immoral one.[5]

To address concerns that the first game was too easy, the developers increased the game's difficulty dramatically. A number of settings are available to the player to toggle how hard it is for the AI to detect them. For example, whether or not guards can spot them leaning around corners.[12]

The development team was inspired by southern Europe when choosing the aesthetic style of the game.[8] The designers sought to make Dishonored 2 look like a "painting in motion," and chose the game's color palette and artistic look accordingly. To create a believable world, the developers used a "layered design process" to enhance world-building. Food, song, architecture, and climate are all based on the people living in the city, with special attention catered towards how people would organically inhabit the gamespace. Furthermore, development focused on the history of locales the player can visit, designing locations based on what a building had been used for before the player arrived, or by showing watermarks on the walls from past floods.[19]

Special Editions

Limited Edition

The standard edition of Dishonored 2 for pre-orders is the Limited Edition. It contains the game as well as a digital copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition.

Collector's Edition

Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition reveal and content.

Dishonored 2: Collector's Edition was announced on June 12th, 2016 for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. It contains the game as well as several other bonuses:

  • A replica of Corvo's mask on a stand (13.5" x 6" x 5.5").
  • A replica of Emily's ring with a display box.
  • A full size propaganda poster of the new Empress.
  • A metal case for the game with the portraits of Emily on the front side and Corvo on the rear.
  • The Imperial Assassin's Pack, including exclusive Bone Charms, lore books, a musical instrument in-game and 500 coins.
  • A digital copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition.

Trivia

  • The working title for Dishonored 2 at the beginning of its development was "Black Sparrow". The developers eventually dropped the subtitle when they considered how long the title of eventual DLC would sound with it.[20]
  • Development on Dishonored 2 started while the developers were working on the DLC of the first game. The developers used them to experiment playing with a different character, giving him voice lines and introducing new characters and gameplay elements.[21]
  • The song in the gameplay trailer released during E3 2016 is a cover of Gold Dust Woman by COPILOT (originally by Fleetwood Mac).[22][23]
  • The song used in the live-action trailer is Take It All by Ruelle.[24] It was filmed in the streets of Žatec, in Czech Republic,[25] where developers from Arkane Studios spent 8 days with the filming crew.[26]
  • The music used in the launch trailer is a cut version of Diabolical Clockwork, composed by Thomas Bergersen under the music label Two Steps from Hell.[27]
  • Similarly to the original Dishonored, the game has a longer title for the German version: Dishonored 2: Das Vermächtnis der Maske (meaning 'The Legacy of the Mask').

Videos

Main article: Dishonored 2 Videos

Pre-Release Images

Main article: Dishonored 2 Pre-Release Images

References

  1. Developer Commentary: Art Director
  2. Bethesda Blog - "Dishonored 2 Makes Its Mark"
  3. Press release info from Bethesda at E3 2015
  4. Harvey Smith Answers Your Dishonored 2 Questions
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Game Informer - Dishonored 2 Taps Vocal Talent From Game Of Thrones, Daredevil, And The Wire
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Game Informer - Dishonored 2 Taps Vocal Talent From Game Of Thrones, Daredevil, And The Wire
  7. Press release info from Bethesda at E3 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 DISHONORED 2: A MAD GAME MADE BY MAD MINDS
  9. Dishonored 2 - Bethesda Showcase Interview
  10. Pete Hines Dishonored 2 Interview
  11. [1]
  12. 12.0 12.1 [2]
  13. [3]
  14. Dishonored 2 Harvey Smith interview
  15. 15.0 15.1 [4]
  16. [5]
  17. DISHONORED 2: A MAD GAME MADE BY MAD MINDS
  18. Developer Commentary - Emily and Corvo Voiced
  19. Bethesda Showcase (2016) - Dishonored Gameplay World Premiere
  20. Stepping into the Empire -Dishonored 2, and my conversation with Harvey Smith on Phos's blog.
  21. Watch: We chat Dishonored 2 with director Harvey Smith on eurogamer.net
  22. Gold Dust Woman on Wikipedia
  23. Dishonored 2 E3 Gameplay Trailer on copilotmusic.com
  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQlYXdhN9iU
  25. Twitter post by Harvey Smith
  26. Twitter post by Harvey Smith
  27. Two Steps From Hell - Diabolic Clockwork (Halloween) on youtube.com


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