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Dishonored 2 Hands-On Preview – Chaos Society

PlayStation LifeStyle was recently invited to attend a hands-on event for Bethesda Softworks’ and Arkane Studios’ upcoming action-adventure game Dishonored 2. We got to play for over an hour inside the Clockwork Mansion level, and it’s definitely something fans should look out for. We were also able to ask Co-Creative Director Harvey Smith a few questions during a Q&A after our time with the game. In the interest of full disclosure I need to clarify that the game was installed on a behemoth of a PC running Windows 10 that was stacked with an i7 processor with 32GB of memory and a graphics card with 4GB of memory.

Before we were allowed to play, I was told that the level that was being demoed was toned down in difficulty (nerfed, so to speak), so that we could explore more freely without too many interruptions. Enemies were easier to kill and their numbers were diminished, so don’t be too surprised at the low number of enemies in the gameplay videos below. We were also given a fully upgraded character so we could try out their special abilities and weapons. Of course, given that we only had an hour and not that many enemies to attack, we didn’t get to fully explore all of Corvo’s abilities and weapons.

Chaos Design

The Clockwork Mansion level was very intricately designed, and with the pull of a lever, the design changes dramatically. Basically, the entire mansion is one huge puzzle that requires trial and error in order to get around in. Coming across some enemies, I had the choice of how to deal with them differently. From my playthrough, players could knock them out with sleeping darts from a crossbow, try to sneak up on them and choke them out and either kill them or just render them unconscious, or  attack them openly using your weapons. These decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly, as they may have repercussions felt throughout the game world.

During the Q&A, Harvey explained how the chaos system works and how gameplay decisions can affect the overall quality of life in the city of Karnaca. Each character you encounter, whether it be a main character or just an ordinary in-game minion (like guards), has a backstory and what happens to them matters in more ways than just the immediate outcome. As an example, you can equip the “Heart” tool to see that a guard may have two young children at home and helps out weekly at a local orphanage. Killing him would be bad for those in his life as well as society, and he would be worth more chaos points than a guy that is mean to everyone under him, and is an all-around asshole who only cares about himself.

Coming in Fresh

For those of you that haven’t played the first Dishonored, Harvey assured that it isn’t a necessary prerequisite to play Dishonored 2, but knowing all of the backstory from the previous title and the subsequent DLC can add to the depth of your overall experience. However, not knowing any of it won’t leave you with an incomplete story. They did use feedback from the previous title to address areas that players felt they were lacking in such as the storyline and how the first one played out.

Dishonored 2 has multiple endings based on your in-game choices, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this cause-and-effect in action. He also said they have added a “Flesh & Steel” option for those that want nothing but standard weaponry, with no special abilities, which means the replayability factor shouldn’t be an issue.

With Dishonored 2  set to release this November 11, and with so many other titles falling in the same fall release window, I had to ask Harvey if he or Bethesda Softworks were worried that these other titles might steal their thunder. He assured me that Dishonored 2 is a unique experience, and its sales shouldn’t be affected by the release of games in other genres, and is confident that this game will be just as successful as the previous title. Those wondering if there’s anything that will benefit PlayStation VR and/or PS4 Pro owners, all Harvey could say  was, “We haven’t made any announcements in regards to that yet.”

Hitting the PS4, Xbox One and PC in just a little over a month, Dishonored 2 is shaping up to be an incredible sequel that should please fans, and welcome in new ones into the fray.