Nicholas DeBlasio ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The sun is shining on a tropical island in the world of Dishonored, but the off-tone harpsichord music lets us know immediately that all is not right. On the squalid streets appear muscle-headed soldiers executing civilians, and diseased bodies suggest a new plague of insects. Above it all stands a darkly-clothed assassin, moving about the rooftops with what looks like a magic grappling hook. Dishonored is coming back, all right, and it’s bringing few new tricks with it.
The aforementioned assassin isn’t Corvo Attano from the first game, though Bethesda says he’ll be a character option. Rather, princess-in-distress Emily Kaldwin is all grown up, and has taken up the assassin’s mantle. She looks to be at least in her mid-twenties now, meaning the setting of Dishonored 2 should be about ten years after the events of the first game. That would put Corvo in about his forties.
As said in narration by The Outsider, the mysterious demigod of great occult power, Emily has been granted powers just as Corvo was… only these seem a little different. Rather than the blink spell that Corvo used, Emily appears to have a kind of blue, tentacle-like grappling hook instead. She also demonstrated the previous game’s time-stopping ability as she fought the robotic guards of her foe (who’s a mustachioed engineer of some kind). As she closes in on him though, she uses some strange new power unseen in the last game or its DLC, as her limbs become wreathed in shadow and she moves like a panther, with menacing claws poised on her prey.
Did I mention there were robots? The brief appearance of Anton Sokolov’s portrait is appropriate here, as his gothic, steampunk inventions appear to have been improved upon over the last decade or so, and the new setting features more advanced technology both in its buildings, its new robotic enemies, and some new electrical weapons in Emily’s arsenal.
Perhaps more importantly, the robots might solve a problem that some players had in the first game. While the inclusion of the chaos system influenced player choice and the ending of the game, if a player just went a little bit off the handle, chaos level could get out of control and result in a bad ending no matter what. There were certain parts where players may have wanted to face the challenge of taking on many enemies at once, but having to leave them alive made those blazes of glory difficult. But if robots, not being alive, do not affect chaos levels when they are eliminated, then perhaps players can have those climactic fights without worrying about ruining the ending (and it does indeed seem evident that the chaos system is back, given that Emily’s mark tries to dissuade her by reminding her of the reputational hazards of her actions).
Plot-wise, things look exceedingly similar to the first game: there’s a plague, corrupt government officials, and a dishonored hero looking for retribution. The first words spoken in the trailer, those of The Outsider, lampshade as much: “It’s happened again. Someone’s pulled the rug out from under you… how will you make your mark on this wretched world?” Seems like The Outsider is getting a bit fed up with things. But it’s early, and there’s a lot of different directions the game can still go, so players need not yet share his sentiments.
Dishonored is coming back, and though it’s a dark game, things are looking bright. Watch the trailer below!