At Gamescom 2016 we talked with Arkane's Harvey Smith about Dishonored 2 and more specifically about the abilities and the ability tree, not to mention the very intriguing time-skip mechanic that the game is offering.
"Dishonored is a game about an assassin where you don't have to kill anyone," Smith made clear, "and it's a bit of an oddball - there's stealth, there's combat. The supernatural powers are really key. Corvo's powers from the first game are back [...] the difference is this time we've added detailed trees under each of his powers". In doing this "there are many different ways, generally five, sometimes six, ways to upgrade the power. With Devouring Swarm you can be the guy to summon two swarms or you can have larger swarms or you can have swarms follow you [...] and then on top of that you can combine the powers."
Emily, however, "has her own supernatural powers. You might have seen in the demo material that we've released, the gameplay trailers and stuff, but her powers are maybe more befitting of an empress who maybe had a moment of darkness in her life. She's got Mesmerise which can crowd control" as well as other powers like Domino, Shadow Walk and Far Reach. "Both characters can now craft bone charms now as well so there's something like 400,000 combinations of bone charms. We haven't even looked at all the combinations, it's a procedural thing. So a lot of Emily's powers are new and they can be upgraded with trees under them the same way that Corvo's powers can, and the two characters share enhancements, the paths of powers we have, and we've added to the enhancements as well."
We also asked about the time skipping mechanic we saw demonstrated. "We tried to revisit all the things we loved in Dishonored and make them bigger and better. One of our core values is level design [...] this time we wanted to make our levels a little bit bigger, they're all about 20% larger, they have an urban area attached to them generally so there's side areas, streets to explore. But then on top of that each mission has a major theme attached to it, either through fiction or mechanics." Time skip occurs in "a Crack in the Slab where time itself is broken and when you get there the Outsider tells you your powers won't work here [...] and instead he gives you this thing called the Time Piece and it allows you to look through time, through two different periods, and also move back and forwards."
Dishonored 2 is due to be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on November 11.
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