There were a lot of new game announcements at this year’s E3 conference that piqued my interest but one of the games I paid extra attention to was Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2. I enjoyed the original Dishonored immensely not only for its fun blend of first-person melee/magic combat but also for its unique Victorian Steampunk world of Dunwall, its captivating story of betrayal and vengeance, and its well-balanced mixture of action and stealth gameplay. Dishonored 2 looks like it’s going to up the stakes in every possible way by allowing players to play as both original Dishonored protagonist Corvo Attano and newcomer Emily Kaldwin (each with their own unique powers and weapons) as they venture into the brand new setting of Karnaca. While we already know a fair amount about the sequel, below are five features which haven’t yet been confirmed but which I hope will make it into the final game.
Non-lethal combat finishers
While the original Dishonored did technically allow players to choose between lethal and non-lethal methods for dealing with enemy guards, the non-lethal methods were a bit more restrictive. When in stealth, players could either dispatch an unaware guard by stabbing them (lethal) or choking them out (non-lethal). Unlike the lethal stealth takedown, choking a guard out took a few seconds to complete, leaving the player exposed to discovery from other enemies and the only way to non-lethally dispatch a guard that was aware of the player was by using the crossbow’s sleep darts. While the game did have melee combat finishers that could instantly vanquish a guard, they all resulted in the guard’s death, meaning they were virtually useless to players aiming for a non-lethal playthrough.
It would be nice if Dishonored 2 gave players more options for keeping the body count low. More non-lethal gadgets would be a good start but non-lethal melee finishers that involved Corvo or Emily knocking an enemy out with a physical strike instead of simply stabbing them would be a welcome addition as well. I’m sure players who wanted to go for a non-lethal playthrough would appreciate being able to deal with any guards they accidently ran into instead of having to constantly reload their last save every time a guard detected them after they had run out of non-lethal gadgets.
A home base that can be upgraded/customized
The Hound Pits Pub in Dishonored was an interesting little locale that served as a between-missions interlude in which players could chat with their compatriots and buy/upgrade tools and equipment. While the pub acted as a home base of sorts, there wasn’t really much players could do with it other than roam around and find any hidden items stashed away in its nooks and crannies. If there is a similar between-missions rest spot in Dishonored 2, it would be cool if players could add a few personal (and practical) touches.
These personalization options could range from purely cosmetic (different motifs and/or design layouts) to helpful boons that could aid the player in subsequent missions (a lab that granted a limited supply of free health potions, an armory that granted bonus damage to melee attacks, etc.). Earning the necessary amount of money to buy these upgrades would further incentivize players to explore each mission’s environment and expanding the home base could also open up the potential for new side quests that could grant additional upgrades upon completion.
Branching mission campaign paths
While there were often several different methods for achieving a goal in a given Dishonored mission, the missions themselves followed the same narrative path regardless of the choices the player made. For Dishonored 2, it would be cool if individual player choices directly affected which missions they undertook next. Even if the mission order itself never changed, it would also be pretty cool if the choices a player made affected specific elements of an upcoming mission such as where in the mission’s level the player started or what the mission’s ultimate objectives was.
Arkane explored this dynamic mission progression to a degree with Dishonored’s high chaos/low chaos system (acting aggressively in early missions caused more enemies and obstacles to appear in later missions). For the sequel, I think the studio could take it a bit further with individual missions that could play out in a number of different ways based on not only the player’s actions in that particular mission but also the choices they made in previous missions.
Spoken dialogue for Corvo and Emily
The gloomy yet intriguing world of Dunwall was a big part of what made Dishonored such a hit and it was in no small part thanks to the many colorful characters that inhabited the city’s streets. However, as fun as it was to explore Dunwall and rout out its more nefarious denizens, the fact that playable protagonist Corvo never spoke did sap some of the emotional weight out of the game’s story-focused moments. Now that we’ll be working with two playable protagonists (one of whom actually did speak in the first game), I feel it would be even more odd if they ended up being completely mute throughout the game’s entirety.
I’m not saying Corvo and Emily have to be constantly remarking on their mission and/or their surroundings but a few snippets of dialogue here and there could help to flesh them out and add substance to their character arcs. Since we’ll be venturing to Corvo’s homeland of Karnaca, Dishonored 2 seems like an even more appropriate time for the master assassin to finally find his voice.
More missions like Lady Boyle’s Last Party
Anyone who has played through Dishonored likely remembers the late-game mission Lady Boyle’s Last Party. Unlike many of the game’s other missions that tasked players with breaking into a location filled with hostile enemies, Lady Boyle’s Last Party instead had them infiltrating a different sort of stronghold, one in which the best hiding place was out in the open. Players had to make their way into a masked ball being thrown by the three Boyle sisters, one of whom was privy to sensitive information, identify which of the three sisters was their target (a task that required some legwork since all of the sisters were wearing masks), and eliminate her before escaping.
Of course more impatient players could simply slaughter all three sisters, deal with the inevitable rush of guards, and/or flee the scene but the real fun of playing through the mission was being methodical and patient; taking your time to wander around the Boyle estate’s decadent halls, eavesdrop on fellow attendees, find out who your target was, and then eliminate her quietly and discreetly. I hope Arkane makes the effort to include more missions like Lady Boyle’s Last Party in Dishonored 2, missions that switch things up and allow players to take a break from all the skulking and killing and instead have them approach the situation from a new angle that they did not expect.
What new features do you hope will show up in Dishonored 2? Sound off in the comments below and stay tuned for more Dishonored 2 coverage in the future!