Hands-on preview: Dishonored 2
Whilst at the recent EB Expo in Sydney, Netguide's Darren Price was treated to an extended hands-on preview of Dishonored 2.
At the show, Bethesda had a huge area demoing the new Dishonored title that's out next month. I got to try out the rather amazing Clockwork Mansion mission as both of the game's protagonists, Corvo Attano and Emily Kedwin.
Dishonored 2 is set some year's after the events of the first game. The now grown-up daughter of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, Emily Kaldwin, has been deposed from the throne of Isles after fourteen years of prosperous reign.
The Clockwork Mansion is the forth level in the game and playable as either Corvo from the original game or our new protagonist, Emily. Your job is to rescue Anton Sokolov from the mansion of Kirin Jindosh, the Grand Inventor to Luca Abele, Duke of Serkono; a figure complicit in Emily's overthrow. Your secondary mission is to kill Jindosh, himself.
After a brief journey by elevated rail I was confronted with the imposing mansion. Dishonored 2 invites players to tackle the game as they see fit. Not wanting to die early on, I opted for the stealthy approach.
The house is laid out like a maze, switches flip floors and move walls, reconfiguring the house. You can even get under the floors and into the wall, Portal-style. It is here that you will find whale-oil tanks that you can remove to sabotage Jindosh's plans.
I found the puzzles pretty easy. It was remaining stealthy, and keeping that all-important chaos low, that I had difficulty with. Yep, whilst Dishonored 2 is happy for you to go in guns blazing, but you will negatively influence the outcome of the game if you mercilessly slaughter everyone.
The mansion is protected by guards that are easily taken down with sleep darts. But the huge Clockwork Soldiers require a bit more firepower.
It is also easy to get lost in the house, itself. Whilst I had no difficulty negotiating it during the first play-though as Corvo, it was a bit frustrating the second time as Emily. I spent a good ten minutes just retracing my steps, trying to find that illusive way forward.
Despite the two characters having different abilities, I managed to play both in a very similar way during the one-and-a-half-hour demo. Over time, I'd probably be able to utilise some of the more diverse ability options to better effect.
I found Corvo's trusty Blink a great way to get around, as before, and a nice way to get up close and personal with bad guy to quickly dispatch them. Emily's Far Reach achieves the same result, although you do get spotted as you move past enemies. For stealth, Emily's Shadow Walk does the job. Domino proved very useful in crowded situations, with Emily able to link enemies together so that if you kill one they all drop down dead.
Dishonored 2 looks amazing, with that beautifully unique painterly design-style. From my relatively brief experience with the game it seems that Arkane Studios have managed to recapture the amazing look and feel of the original. Definitely one to look out for when it comes out on 11th November for Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.