As expected in a sequel, Arkane Studios will expand upon what they already built in the first Dishonored game. Now there are two protagonists instead of one. There are two steampunk cities to explore. Corvo will get a few new abilities, and Emily Kaldwin will have a whole new set of abilities. Even the ending will have more variations than the two of the first game. Creative Director Harvey Smith spoke with Gamespot regarding what his team has planned for Corvo and Emily in Dishonored 2, including how the assassin ability upgrades have vastly changed from the first game.
For starters, Corvo has the same abilities he possessed last game, but now he has more upgrades per ability.
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.”
As an example, Smith said that Corvo’s Devouring Swarm ability can be upgraded to increase the size of the swarms, to command the swarm to follow him wherever he goes, and to two swarms of rats, allowing him to send the rats to two places at once.
Emily, however, has her own set of abilities that will be completely new to the player, such as her Mesmerize ability. Both characters will share some abilities, and all of the passive abilities, such as jumping higher or Blinking farther will also be available to both assassins as well.
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.
We won’t have much longer to wait for Dishonored 2 to see for ourselves how Corvo and Emily’s new abilities and upgrades translate to killing or not killing everyone in sight. Dishonored 2 will release on November 11, 2016.