- Dishonored 2 release date: November 11, 2016
- Developer: Arkane Studios
- Price: $59.99 / £49.99
Like a shadowy figure glanced out of the corner of your eye, Dishonored 2 keeps getting closer. Players will once again be drawn into a world of corruption, conspiracies, and eldritch secrets as they stab and/or choke their way through the much sunnier (but no less diseased) city of Karnaca. Dishonored 2 retains all of the stealth and combat focused fundamentals of the first game while refining them to an even keener edge for use across ambitious new stages. Read on to learn about how it's all coming together.
Dishonored 2 is set 15 years after Dishonored
Corvo still has all of his powerful assassin abilities, but now he has company. Emily has grown into her role as Empress and also become Corvo's secret assassin protege (when half the world wants you dead, self-defense lessons are a must). But Dishonored 2 isn't a kingdom management sim: Emily is quickly displaced from the throne by a familiar villain, and that's where your adventure begins.
Emily and Corvo travel to the seaside city of Karnaca to evade capture by their usurpers and start clawing their way back. Once again, you'll need to, ahem, depose certain powerful figures while collecting favors from others if you want to clear your name and return home.
Dishonored 2 lets you play as two protagonists
With Emily being a legitimate badass, it only makes sense to have her be a new, controllable hero in the Dishonored series. But fans of Corvo need not worry: you'll be able to play as either of the two sneaky killers. However, you won't be able to freely swap between the two once you've made your choice. Emily and Corvo see the world from different perspectives even though their journeys largely mirror each other in terms of levels.
As for abilities, Corvo uses tweaked versions of his blink teleport, rat swarm, possession, and time-stopping powers from the first game. Emily, on the other hand, has a new set of mystical skills granted to her by the mysterious Outsider. For example, her Far Reach power allows her to grapple to the tops of buildings, grab enemies from afar, or pull objects from a distance. She can also distract enemies with an enchanting presence, or chain their fates together and kill one to kill them all. You can customize your approach for both heroes with significantly expanded ability upgrade paths, as well.
Dishonored 2 has a new city: Karnaca
As mentioned before, Dunwall is out of the picture for Dishonored 2. Instead of the Victorian London aesthetic, Karnaca takes on a warmer setting in a Mediterranean-inspired country. Karnaca is the capital city of Serkonos, which happens to be Corvo's birthplace. This part of the world is still divided into discrete levels like Dunwall, but there's a lot more open air. Vertical spaces give Emily and Corvo more hiding spaces as well as unexpected means of entry for their many intrusions.
And if you thought Dunwall was home to some odd places, just wait until you see the shifting halls of the Clockwork Mansion.
Dishonored 2 won't import your old save
Given all the choices the first Dishonored asks you to make in the course of its campaign, you might expect its sequel to let you carry them over, BioWare-style. Nope! Dishonored 2 chooses a canonical order of events to build a story from. Arkane hasn't explicitly said which of Corvo and Daud's choices are now part of Dunwall history and you'll probably find that out in the course of play. Emily's still alive, so that should tell you something.
Dishonored 2 will take 16-20 hours to play
Arkane's play test data indicates that most initial playthroughs last 16 to 20 hours, depending on what kind of approach you take. But that's just for one side of the tale - if you want to see how the story unfolds for both playable characters, expect to spend quite a bit more time with Dishonored 2. It's just as easy for a game to overstay its welcome as it is for it to be over too soon, but given the care and cleverness that went into crafting the first Dishonored, its sequel should be worth every minute.
It ties into the DLC for the original Dishonored
Emily's usurper to the throne of Dunwall is none other than Delilah. That name should sound familiar if you played through the two pieces of story DLC for the original DLC, since she was the main villain of that campaign as well. While DLC protagonist Daud managed to foil Delilah's plot to possess the young Emily and take over as empress, she has returned with a much simpler scheme: pretend she was the true heir all along.
But even if you're not a lore hound, there's good reason to check out The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches before Dishonored 2 comes out. Daud uses tweaked versions of Corvo's abilities, and Arkane took a bunch of those refinements (like stopping time when you're lining up a blink) and fed them back into Corvo's move set. Think of the two episodes a training run for your Karnacan adventures.
Dishonored 2 DLC may be thinner this time around
The only confirmed DLC for Dishonored 2 so far is the Imperial Assassin's Pack, a bonus included for buying the Collector's Edition or for pre-ordering from select retailers. It unlocks a few items and gives you some extra cash, but it doesn't add any new missions. We'll have to wait and see if there are any plans for bigger expansions like the Daud duology or even the challenge-mission style Dunwall City Trials from the first game. I wouldn't expect anything too big since no season pass has been announced, but that could always change.
Its release date is November 11, 2016 but you can play before that
Corvo and Emily's new adventure will begin on November 11, 2016 - unless you pre-order Dishonored 2. Bethesda has confirmed that everybody who pre-orders the game will be able to start playing a day early. So keep that in mind if you just can't wait to get back to the blinky blinky, stabby stabby.