Dishonored 2 got more details released from GameSpot through an interview.
Some details include:
– 3 to 5 upgrades for each power
– Some new details about the upgrades (Like Corvo’s rat swarm can be upgraded to follow Corvo around)
– Expanded chaos system
– More nuanced endgame where the decisions you make (Who you killed/didn’t kill, who you supported/didn’t support) change the endings (Basically, there are more than 2 ending branches for Dishonored 2)
Interesting to hear about this and the game is coming out soon.
GameSpot: I wanted to start by talking about your new protagonist, Emily Kaldwin–empress of the Isles and daughter of returning protagonist Corvo Attano. In a way, you could have simply added new abilities for Corvo, but instead you chose to introduce an entirely new character…
Smith: Those two decisions were separate, though. We knew we wanted to make Emily no matter what, and then we were like, “God, we really feel nostalgic about Corvo. Let’s do both of them.” At first, we were thinking, “Let’s just throw all the powers into one big pool.” Then it became more and more interesting to us to say, “No, the powers reflect their lives or their time in the world.” Corvo has Rat Swarm because he got his powers during the Rat Plague. You can look at Emily: she’s a ruler, so of course she has Mesmerize.
So do the two characters share any supernatural powers, or are their ability sets entirely separate?
Corvo has exactly the same powers as last time but with all these upgrades–three to five upgrades for each power. Emily has all-new powers. Then we have enhancements, which are the passive powers–your jump distance or your agility. There are some interesting ones, like Shadow Kill, where people turn to ash when they die. Corvo and Emily share those.
Can you talk a bit more about how Corvo’s new upgrades work? What kinds of upgrades can players expect?
In Dishonored, you took the power, and there was one upgrade for it. Usually, that upgrade was: It works for a little bit longer, or it works a little faster. This time, we really wanted to do something more interesting than that, so we took the power, we gave you a good basic package of the power, and then we said, “How many different ways can we upgrade it?” We tried not to have symmetrical trees. We don’t care about, “Each [power] has three [upgrades],” or whatever. We say, “Whatever tree is under that power, based on what we can come up with, fine.”
Corvo’s Devouring Swarm in the first game, the upgrade was: The rats are more vicious, they destroy bodies faster, and they kill people faster. That was it–one power, one upgrade. Now you can do that, but you also have an upgrade that allows you to make two swarms. You can be attacking two different groups of people with rats. You can also upgrade it to have large swarms. You can upgrade it so that your swarms follow you, so when you take off running or Blinking across the ground, there’s a trail of rats behind you, Pied Piper-style. That’s a light dive into how we break up the upgrades.
Obviously, the game supports both lethal and non-lethal approaches. How did that impact these ability trees?
Not at all. Usually, their powers can be used lethally or non-lethally. One of the four or five critiques that people gave of the first game, even the people who loved it, was that they wanted more non-lethals. It was confusing, because people would say things like, “You gave us all the lethal powers, like Bend Time.” We were like, “You can stop time and walk through the room, and nobody is ever aware that you were there.” That power can be used lethally or non-lethally.
Most of the powers are still like that. You can Domino four guys together and sleep dart one of them, and you’ve only spent one sleep dart to take down four guys. Or you can set one on fire, and they all burn to death. It’s up to you. We have added a lot more non-lethal [options], like a non-lethal drop attack–when you fall on people, you knock them out instead of stabbing them, if you want.
Most of the powers can still be used lethally or non-lethally. You can Domino four guys together and sleep dart one of them, and you’ve only spent one sleep dart to take down four guys. Or you can set one on fire, and they all burn to death. It’s up to you.
Harvey Smith, Creative Director
Can you expand on Emily’s new powers at all? Did having to account for her new abilities change the way you designed certain areas or scenarios?
Just to give you a couple of examples: Let’s say there are three super difficult guys to fight in one room, and then there’s a servant cleaning a tray in the other room. I link these three super-difficult-to-fight guys with the servant [using Domino], and I just walk over to the servant, hit and choke him out. He can’t even fight. He goes down instantly, and they go down. That’s a good example of an emergent effect for Domino that we didn’t anticipate, but people have started doing that.
I wanted to ask specifically about the time-travel mechanic we saw during the E3 demo…
That’s a good point for clarification, because it’s not one of the supernatural powers–it’s a function of one of the missions. We took all the missions [and] said, “What if they had some epic theme, either fictionally or game mechanically?” Each one does something a little different. You’ve seen the Dust District, with randomized dust storms that affect visibility and stealth. You’ve seen the Clockwork Mansion, where the walls, floor, and ceiling of the house can be reconfigured with levers. Similarly, there’s a mission called A Crack in the Slab, where time itself is broken.