Anton Sokolov is alive! Today at The Edison in Downtown LA, I was able to get some hands-on experience with the mission “Clockwork Mansion” in Dishonored 2.
After not so patiently waiting to go down the stairs and play I was able to look around and embrace what they had done. The Edison was turned into a lounge you would see right out of the game; everything down to posters lining the alley leading to the front door which read “All hail the Empress”.
“Clockwork Mansion” takes place around the middle of the story and features a massive puzzle- like mission with two main objectives, the first being to rescue Anton Sokolov who is being held prisoner by Kirin Jingoish. The second objective was naturally to locate the antagonist Kirin and handle him in whatever way we saw fit. Much like the original Dishonored, the game has beautifully designed architecture, specifically within this mission and how levers where spread throughout the house. Each lever would completely transform the room and reveal new pathways; gears shifted, floors dropped down and new ones came up, and walls spun turning a bedroom into a workshop.
To start off we were all given access to Emily with a few of her powers already unlocked for us. Her powers worked flawlessly, “domino” allowed me to link two enemies together before assassinating one while killing both. Emily’s abilities seem to be more aimed at stealth approaches due to her ability to teleport behind enemies, this made stealth kills that much more satisfying. Not to say Corvo doesn’t take a masterful stealth approach. He features the same abilities as the previous installment with a little added upgradability through the new and improved upgrade system.
A big change from Dishonored is the fact that powers now have a new upgrading tree system. Powers are upgraded and allow you to focus on what you want as opposed to just upgrading Far Reach to go farther. Harvey gave an example that players wishing to use Swarm Flies can upgrade from one swarm to two, then the swarms can be changed to be larger, or even a swarm that follows you. For a full list of abilities click here.
Following the adventure through “Clockwork Mansion” I was able to have a sit down with Co- Creative Director Harvey Smith and talk about the changes to the game, features, and Emily and Corvo’s powers.
During this time Harvey talked about how the team would watch live streams and how it allowed them to see what players liked and utilized more of and what could be left out. Instead of focusing on just one type of player, the development team sat down and really talked about what kind of game Dishonored 2 would be. Giving a little bit of everything to appeal to all different types of gamers.
The story won’t change if you decide to play as one character over another, the same missions apply to both Emily and Corvo. The only real difference between them, other than voice lines, are their powers and fighting animations, with all assassination animations being Corvo or Emily specific. In the interview Harvey stated that in any given play through, even if you play Emily twice, you can’t upgrade all the powers completely. So if you take Mezmorize and Shadow Walk, and you play with those mechanics, then play with Domino and Far Reach you will end up with an entirely different play through.
When asked about whether the game was linear Harvey made it clear that it is indeed “pretty non linear”. For the playable mission “Clockwork Mansion” there is two different urban areas before you get to the actual mission start. Each one will be like a mini open world allowing players the option to explore before each mission. Harvey noted that the missions will have to be played in order, but players will have the option to go back and re play missions whenever they feel like it.
In most of these urban areas there will be a new feature called black market shops. Players will have to follow hidden signs on the walls in order to reveal their locations, however, once there you’ll be able to buy new gear. Each Black Market shop will even have its own robbery mission for players to complete, Harvey did not go into detail as to any benefits that would provide the player.
Overall the experience was fulfilling and its going to be an exciting few months before the game officially hits the market. Until then, we’ll all have to keep calm and wait for its release date.