As we approach the November 11 release of Dishonored 2, Arkane Studios are slowly slicing the lid off the assassination-based immersive sim sequel. The latest blood offering reveals whispers about the game's two protagonists, Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin, straight from the lips of the Outsider.
Which of our upcoming PC games list will you be grabbing?
Corvo is returning for Dishonored 2, but this time he's found his voice. That much we knew already. You might even know he's voiced by the guy behind the original Garrett from Thief. You know, Detective Valentine from Fallout 4?
Anyway, it'll be pretty much business as usual for Corvo, but with words. His whole host of powers will be available, but you'll be able to add tweaks to them. One example in the past was that you could add an effect to Blink so it freezes time when activated, just like Daud's Blink in Dishonored's DLC. I'll be getting that, because it just allows for so much more precision.
Most of the new information is focused on Emily, the Empress Assassin, with a lot of thought going into her history, and how that's shaped her as a person. She's been raised in luxury, apart from that one blip where her mum was killed in front of her and she was taken hostage in a rat-ridden city. What impact would an upbringing like that have on someone? What about the responsibilities that followed?
“Except for this one tragic moment during the rat plague in the first Dishonored, Emily’s had a pretty good upbringing,” says co-creative director Harvey Smith. “Corvo assumed that some day Emily’s enemies would come for her with knives out. So she has the potential in Dishonored 2 to become an assassin.”
Emily's clothes reflect her upbringing, as do her finely crafted weapons. “Emily doesn’t wear rags,” Smith says. “She wears an asymmetrical-cut jacket with gold embroidery befitting someone who grew up in a palace. She has taste and she has the finest tailors working for her. When she’s carrying a pistol or a crossbow, they need to look like they were made by the finest craftsmen in the Empire of the Isles."
But more importantly, these traits of hers are reflected in her powers. “In a way you can say the Outsider marks people according to their personalities,” adds lead designer Dinga Bakaba. “She’s an Empress. She’s younger. She has a different personality. So her powers reflect that. She has a lot of powers that allow her to subdue the will of others.”
Like her attention-grabbing finery, Emily can enthral with a power called Mesmerize, which opens a void that enemies stare into while you quietly slip by or plunge a dagger into their spine. Being someone who's familiar with court politics and spinning plates, her Domino power allows her to link enemies together and bind their fates - whatever you do to one will topple the others. She'll be able to clear a room quicker than her dad, Corvo, that's for sure.
Of course, it comes back to choice again. Both have powers so distinct that playing through with both will completely change the feel of missions. Even the way they move through the environment will be different, with Corvo teleporting with Blink and Emily pulling herself around with Far Reach. Add in the fact that you can play lethal or non-lethal with each character, and there's plenty of reason to revisit Karnaca, Corvo's sun-soaked birthplace and setting for the sequel.
That's right, Corvo fans - “You can literally visit his home neighbourhood when you play Dishonored 2,” according to Harvey Smith. Even more reason to play both characters.