E3 trailers can perform dramatically different functions. At one end, unbeknownst to viewers, they’re pipe dreams designed to motivate and inspire their dev teams – a risk which worked wonders for BioShock but backfired, arguably, for Watch Dogs. At the other, they can be truly representative insights into a game’s feature set.
The breathless showing from Dishonored 2 this year falls into the latter category. As it turns out, its environments, enemies and moveset are pulled directly from the Serkonos we’ll visit in the finished slaughter/stealth sim.
“One of our values last time, that [co-creative director Raphael Colantonio] and I just fought and fought for, was everything you see in that trailer you can do in the game,” says Arkane’s Harvey Smith. “All of the moves that Corvo has in [Dishonored 1], the powers and all that, the way it works – the same.”
“This time, everything Emily [Kaldwin, princess-turned-assassin] does in this trailer you can do in the game.”
We’ll meet the people that popped up at E3 too. The moustachioed figure behind the desk works as grand inventor for Serkonos’ duke, and was a student of Anton Sokolov – whose portrait is visible behind him.
The inventor’s clockwork soldiers, which have view cones extending out the back of their heads, run on imported whale oil. Though ceramic in the trailer, later models in the game are made of much sturdier stuff – wood.
“Karnaca has these huge trees – they’re like sequoias or redwoods,” Smith elaborates. “So a lot of the things in the game are made of wood.”
That’s a distinctly Thief-like element – as is the grand old house with the moving walls, sourced from a Dishonored 2 mission named Clockwork Mansion. No doubt it’ll be an open environment built from many interlocking paths. Have you ever played a game with stronger level design than that of Dishonored?