“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?”
Bethesda Softworks and Arkane Studios have announced the sequel to the 2012 stealth-action game Dishonored. Accidentally slightly leaked a day prior to the event, Bethesda officially announced the game within their showcase last night at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
The game will be set in the city of Serkonos on the island of Karnaca, a subtropical, southern part of The Empire of the Isles. It will take place 15 years after the events of the first game. This may provide a welcome, sunny contrast to the often grey city of Dunwall.
Players will be able to play as either Corvo, the protagonist from Dishonored, or as Emily Kaldwin, the princess which Corvo served to protect in the previous instalment. Emily will yield the same missions, but with different details, dialogue and gameplay featured within. However, there will also be no option to change character mid-game, and no co-op gameplay. Much like the first game, although the levels are individually very open, the whole world isn’t, with the narrative following a linear mission path. This, for me, is both a positive and a negative – the vast nature of each level allowed for incredible replay value and play-style variety, however an open-world game would be a natural progression for the series, as the city does begin to feel limited after having to traverse one section three separate times.
According to Arkane Studios’ Harvey Smith, the throne of the empire has been taken by an “otherworldly usurper”, possibly known as The Duke. Players can utilise an action-based or stealth-based approach when playing, and, like in the first game, one can choose to either not kill anyone at all, or to fight their way through the entirety of Serkonos. The supernatural gameplay mechanics that gave Dishonored such a memorable style are still prevalent, with Emily bearing the mark of the Outsider. The trailer below showcases some of these, like her shape-shifting alternative to Corvo’s Blink ability. These look very exciting, and will act as a great way to entice players to play as Emily, whilst holding back on feature bloat.
The game is expected to be released in the spring of 2016, following a remastered version of the first game that utilises a new game engine for PlayStation 4, Xbox One (and probably PC) this autumn.