Bethesda’s E3 2016 Conference was a highlight for everyone this year. Not only was it Bethesda’s second ever E3 conference, it was one of the company’s best.
We learned of Quake Champions, an Overwatch-like reboot of the incredible Arena Shooter; Elder Scrolls: Legends, a card game based on the incredibly massive lore of The Elder Scrolls; Skyrim’s upcoming remaster called Skyrim Special Edition; and Prey, a reimagining of the cult classic hit.
The best part, however, is that we finally got more information about Dishonored 2!
Karnaca – Capital of Serkonos & The Jewel of the South
Along with a brand new gameplay trailer featuring the beautiful voice of Julia Holter, we also got a great recap post from Bethesda Global Content Lead, Gary Steinman. The post opens with some talk on Dishonored 2’s new setting, Karnaca. While the game will start and conclude in Dunwall from the first game, the majority of the game will be spent traversing the “Jewel of the South”. According to Steinman, Karnaca is a Mediterranean-Inspired metropolis with a distinct difference in culture and style to the British-Inspired Whaling city of Dunwall.
Karnaca is filled with small details that allow it to feel incredibly immersive. “Our approach to world creation is layered”, Smith said. He continued by saying how “Our art and design teams work together to create a strong sense of place, with a well-realised culture based on the factions living there, the architecture, the economy, climate, plant and animal life, and even the food and songs”.
Powering it all is Dishonored 2’s new engine. The Void Engine is custom built by the guys and girls at Arkane Studios. It supports the studio’s signature art direction and level design and allows for atmospheric and exploration-rich spaces.
Dishonored 2 will also feature multiple paths to explore and will allow for creative approaches to reach targets. The game is designed in such a way to encourage experimentation with the powers that players are given.
Arkane Studios put extra emphasis on getting bigger and better themes right this time around. Smith said that all missions will be designed to be interesting from either a gameplay or a fiction standpoint. This makes each mission wildly unique in their own right. Three examples mentioned in the post include the Dust District, A Crack in the Slab, and The Clockwork Mansion.
The Dust District includes two targets. Here players will be able to kill only one, whereby they will in effect “support” the other, or eliminate both. The Dust District showcases the immense verticality of Dishonored 2. The demo at E3 showcased Emily climbing the buildings and taking out her targets with ease thanks to a random dust storm that cropped up.
A Crack in the Slab and The Clockwork Mansion are both heavily focused on exploration. It emphasises getting around while showcasing the beautiful prowess of the Void Engine. A Crack in the Slab is a themed mission where players will go into a ruined manor and traverse both the present and the past. Players can step back and forth through time to bypass guards and blocked off areas. The Clockwork Mansion, on the other hand, showcases how the level design can alter your playstyle and not the other way around.
The Clockwork Mansion was the very first area shown back in 2015.
Emily, Empress to the throne & Corvo, Royal Protector, Spymaster and Father of the Empress
The fact that both Corvo and Emily would be playable was perhaps the biggest surprise about Dishonored 2’s announcement. Corvo Attano returns in Dishonored 2, but so does Emily Kaldwin. What was only rumoured to be a fact in the first game is now confirmed as true: Corvo is Emily’s father.
Dishonored 2 starts off on the anniversary of the death of Emily’s mother and Corvo’s lover, Jessamine Kaldwin. As an “otherworldly usurper” seizes the throne, you will choose between Corvo and Emily to play as through the remainder of the game.
Emily is now fifteen years older and a lot more capable than in the first game. She was trained by Corvo in case her enemies would ever return. Emily is voiced by Erica Luttrell who voiced the female Warden in Dragon Age: Origins. Corvo, on the other hand, is older and wiser. The mark on his hand, given to him by the Outsider, is wrapped up in an attempt to lead a more humble life. Corvo is voiced by Stephen Russel, perhaps most well known for his portrayal of Garret in the original Thief.
Both Emily and Corvo will have their own set of unique powers, granted by The Outsider. While Emily will get a brand new set of yet-unseen powers, Corvo will retain his from the first game. Personally, I think this is an excellent move. Too many sequels try to go overboard with skills from previous games. With that said, it is confirmed that Corvo’s powers will have extra steps added to them. Each has been extended and enhanced to allow smoother progression.
As such, the post mentions Corvo’s Possession Power gained an extra step that allows him to chain the power from host to host. Or, an additional upgrade will allow Corvo to hide inside the bodies of sleeping enemies or corpses of dead ones.
Emily, however, will have similar, but also widely different powers. In particular, the post mentions three: Domino, which links together human targets that will make them share the same fate; Shadow Walk, which allows Emily to sneak toward and incapacitate targets; and Mesmerize, which enthrals enemies and makes them unaware of her presence. It just keep sounding better and better.
Dishonored 2 arrived in November, 2016, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.