Dishonored the sequel Dishonored 2, Arkane Studios and Bethesda

Dishonored
2

Figure
1: Dishonored 2 Wallpaper by Bethesda. Retrieved from
https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/dishonored-2-review/1900-6416571/

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Selima Heister

444833

EGD1e

Saxion University
of Applied Sciences

Tutor: Dominique
Paquaij

Date of Submission:
January 26, 2018

Summary

The report will answer
the question why the stealth action adventure game Dishonored 2
enables a unique gameplay experience.

Dishonored 2 is the
predecessor of Dishonored. Dishonored was a really successful game
and with the sequel Dishonored 2, Arkane Studios and Bethesda
Softworks wanted to revive the franchise. Dishonored 2 has a similar
structure to its precursor and yet they managed to make it slightly
different.

In the following, there
will be a close look on what exactly makes the game that unique with
focusing on the narrative, the game world and the remarkable
gameplay.

Figure
2: Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin. Bethesda Softworks.
Retrieved from

Dishonored 2 Platinum Trophy Requires Completing the Game Twice, No Kills, and Not Being Spotted

Table of Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

Narrative…………………………………………………………………………………………………………5

Characters…………………………………………………………………………………………………5

Story…………………………………………………………………………………………………………7

Gameworld……………………………………………………………………………………………………..9

Environment……………………………………………………………………………………………….9

Gameplay
experience………………………………………………………………………………….11

Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………13References………………………………………………………………………………………………………14

Introduction

Dishonored
2 is an action-adventure stealth game, that was developed by
Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks on 11 November
2016. It is the sequel to Arkane’s precursor Dishonored
(2012).

Dishonored
2 has a similar story and gameplay to it’s predecessor: In
Dishonored the player takes the role of Lord Protector Corvo Attano
who witnesses the assassination of empress Jessamine Kaldwin and
abduction of her daughter Emily Kaldwin. He is blamed for the crime
Full of vengeance, he starts his journey through Dunwall in order to
save the Princess and clean his name. In Dishonored 2, a similar
plot is found – on the anniversary of Jessamine Kaldwin’s death,
empress Emily Kaldwin gets overthrown by Jessamine’s sister Delilah
who wants to take the throne. This is the crossroad, where the Game
let’s you choose between two playable Characters: Corvo Attano or
Emily Kaldwin – each Character will enable another aspect of the
Story.

In this report, it is
discussed how far the narrative as well as the Gameworld and its
mechanics enable a unique gameplay experience and thus, a high
replayability value. In order to point this out, there will be a
closer look on the plot and playable characters. Furthermore, the
importance of the game mechanics and gameplay itself will be looked
at.

1.
Narrative

1.2 Playable
Characters

In 2015, in
response to Bethesda’s E3 press conference Arkane Studios revealed
that Dishonored 2 will enable the player to choose Gamespot
(2015) writes, one of the protagonists will be the known character
from the first game, Corvo Attano, whereas the other protagonist was
revealed to be Emily Kaldwin, who is revealed as Corvo’s daughter.

Figure
4: InGame Footage . Dishonored 2 (2016) by Bethesda
Softworks

Figure
3: InGame Footage. Dishonored 2 (2016) by Bethesda
Softworks

Furthermore Gamespot
(2015) states that the chosen character will affect powers and
abilities that can be used to tackle each assassination.

To have a close look at
both characters, Bethesda
states in their Emily Kaldwin Spotlight (2016) that Emily Kaldwin was
more than just a new playable character, especially for the team at
Arkane Studios. Creative Director Harvey Smith (2016) underlines
that they wanted to “treat her the right way “, since she has
grown into a 25-year-old, elaborating that she is not only the heir
to the throne ruling over the Empire of the Isles, but also been
trained to fight by her father, Lord Protector Corvo Attano.

Furthermore,
Bethesda (2016) argues that Emily is not only her own character with
her own story but also “has unique powers to tackle the threats
ahead.” (Bethesda, Emily Kaldwin Spotlight, para.4). In addition,
Lead Designer Dinga Bakaba (2016) said that Emily’s powers had to be
as interesting and exciting as Corvo’s.

In
2016, Bethesda also released a Corvo Attano Spotlight, stating that
the players who played Dishonored will probably feel more secure if
they choose Corvo for their first in Dishonored 2. Even though they
describe him as an old man, who is not only more experienced but also
wiser.Creative Director Harvey Smith (2016) also points out that
even thought, he is still the supernatural assassin they wanted him
to be.

However,
Lead Designer Dinga Bakaba (2016) argues that even though they have
kept Corvo’s old powers and abilites, they made them more active and
appealing through their new engine Void Engine. Therefore, it
is clear, that even though the players might know Corvo Attano from
the previous Dishonored game, they will still find something new and
exciting once they choose to take his role in Dishonored 2. Whereas
choosing Emily will enable the player completely new game play.

As
a result and depending on what character is chosen the story will
evolve in different aspects, which makes the game’s replayabilty very
attractive to the players.

1.3 PlotThe
events of Dishonored
2 take place fifteen
years after its precursor Dishonored.

In Behind the Mask:
Inside Dishonored 2’s Development (2016) Harvey Smith states that
they immediately were certain that they wanted to do something with
Emily Kaldwin as well as establishing a high-level narrative that
includes visiting a new location and adding voice to the characters”

As summed up on
Wikipedia (2016), the story begins in Dunwall, the main location of
the first Dishonored, on the anniversary of Jessamine Kaldwin’s
death. Empress Emily Kaldwin, along with her father – Lord
Protector and assassin Corvo Attano – are facing a rough time as a
serial killer called “the Crown Killer” is murdering the empress’
enemies and state critics. Therefore many assume that either Emily or
Corvo are behind that.

Thus, “when the mad
witch Delilah seizes the throne, the fate of Emily’s Empire is left
hanging in the balance”. ( Bethesda 2016, Dishonored 2 Free Tiral,
para. 3)

This is the key moment,
where the player is able to choose Emily or Corvo as a main
protagonist. The one that isn’t chosen gets turned into stone by
Delilah. Wikipedia (2016) elaborates, that now, the player has to
escape Dunwall via the Dunwall docks, because someone is waiting for
them – send by Anton Sokolov, to warn Corvo and Emily from
Delilah’s coup. Wanting to find out more, the player starts the
journey to Karnaca – the beginnings of Delilah’s power and the home
country of Corvo Attano.

During the journey from
Dunwall to Karnaca, the Outsider visits the player, a creature that
is neither good nor evil. Here it is to decide whether to take the
mark of the Outsider, that will grant supernatural powers or not and
continue without any special abilities.Arriving in Karnaca, the
Coup is taking more depth and the player finds out more about
Delilah’s motivation and her origin as well as how to defeat her.

Once this happened, the
player returns to Dunwall in order to defeat Delilah. In the
final showdown, they have the possibility to either kill her or spare
her life by trapping her in one of her own paintings. Depending
on how the player played during the game, either by using stealth,
wit and causing few chaos or being obvious, killing a lot of enemies
and causing high chaos the game will provide various different
endings. This alone reflects a unique aspect of the game, as it
adds more replayability to the game as the player might be encouraged
to find out what consequences await him if he makes other choices and
plays the game in another way.

2. Game World

2.1 Environment

The environment in
Dishonored 2 highly differs from the environment in the previous
Dishonored game.

In Bethesda’s Article
Creating Karnaca, Art director Sebastien Mitton (2016) said that he
wanted a different scenery, wishing to go to the edge of the world –
implying a place where the sun cuts through in a way that it rarely
did in the gloomy skies of dunwall, establishing a mood differing
from the first game as well as a “distinct vibe” (Bethesda 2016,
Creating Karnaca, para 3) based on factors like the history and
continental location. This is how Karnaca came to life.

In the eponymous video
Creating Karnaca (2016) , the developers state that exactly this
atmosphere enables a lot of freedom to the original experience.

Figure
5: Dishonored 2 Karanca Concept Art, retrieved from
http://dishonored.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Dishonored_2_Concept_Art
Furthermore
the Developers (2016) describe Karnaca as a city with the industrial
flavor from the first Dishonored that kept the city unique.

Having
a close look at how much detail is put into creating Karnaca, it gets
clear that Arkane Studios worked “on building that city from the
ground up” (Bethesda 2016, Creating Karnaca, para. 3) in a way
where they, as stated in Bethesda’s Creating Karnaca (2016), created
architecture and history that goes back two decades in order to make
the city more lively and believable.

Their goal was to
“build a more vertical city” (Bethesda 2016, Creating Karnaca,
para.3). They did not only want to enable a different location but
also an open world, where they wanted to give the player the
possibility to “navigate through the game’s open-ended levels in
wholly new ways” (Bethesda 2016, Creating Karnaca, para. 3).

Another aspects that
reflects the uniqueness of this World is stated in the eponymous
video Creating Karnaca (2016), where the developers elaborate on how
they focus a lot on the really small details in the world. For
example that every type writer the player finds, will move and make
sounds as soon as he taps it.

In the end, they really
succeeded, because Karnaca has a captivating atmosphere that draws
the player in and makes him forget the real world. There is a lot to
discover and something new to find in each level area.

As Art Director
Sebastien Mitton (2016) concludes, he is certain that returning fans
and new players will be captivated the richness and detail of this
city and Dishonored’s world 15 years later.

2.2 Gameplay

In
Bethesda’s Video Dishonored 2 – Creating Karnaca (2016),
Lead Designer Dinga Bakaba (2016) makes clear that even though, some
people might have labeled Dishonored 2 as a action stealth game it is
more than just that. He says that it shows elements of an exploration
game. Furthermore Dinga Bakaba (2016) elaborates that the is about
fighting the sneaking. It is also about discovering the space and
orienting yourself in the city as well as understanding how it works,
how the people there live .

That
being said, it is right to assume that the player has freedom to
explore city on his own at his own pace.

Moreover, Lead Level
Designer Christopher Carrier (2016) states that “there are neutral
fractions . . . that allow the player to explore without fearing to
be attacked.” As elaborated by him, the fact that the player has
more space to play in enlarges the overall gameplay experience.

To highlight a very
interesting aspect, Polygon (2016) published an article illustrating
that “Dishonored 2 will allow player to complete the game without
using any special powers”(Allegra Frank, Polygon 2016, You can play
Dishonored 2 …, para. 1). This increases difficulty but also
gives the player more options to play as they can be “killing
everyone or using stealth to avoid fighting enemies directly”
(Polygon 2016, You can play Dishonored 2 …, para. 1).

But what is really
interesting in Dishonored, as phrased by Lead Gameplay Programmer
Sylvain Praloix in the Dishonored Developer Documentary (2012), is
the possibility for the player to invent his own
history.Furthermore, Harvey Smith (2012) argues that they wanted
to give the player decisions to make and give the player freedom of
choices

Additionally, Sylvain
Praloix (2012) says that in Dishonored there is always the
possibility of playing in different ways and that the player can use
a variety of of combinations, which means that the player can play in
the best way possible and live out his creativity – that gives the
gameplay not only one, but a lot of shades.

Taking this into
consideration, it underlines Co-Creative Director Raphael
Colantonio’s (2012) statement that “it feels like the player has
full ownership of the experience”. (Bethesda, 2012, Dishonored
Developers Documentary)

Conclusion

All things considered,
this question can be tackled now: What makes Dishonored 2 so
incredibly unique?

First of all, the
creators enabled a high replayability value by giving the player a
character to choose. The story shifts depending on which characters
is played and how the player plays – if he is stealthy or goes
through the levels like a wild beast. This gives the player a freedom
to choose on how to go through the game world.

By adding neutral zones
all over Karnaca, that allow the player to discover the area without
being attacked, the game really invites to explore. Moreover, by
creating the captivating city of Karnaca, the player is drawn in and
immerses into a world different from his own.

The most remarkable
thing about Dishonored 2’s gameplay experience is the way it offers
the player to play in an individual way and combine different powers
in order to defeat enemies or get over obstacles. That way, it
triggers the player’s creativity.

Dishonored 2 did well
in many ways – especially enabling how the player is able to
actively participate as if he is right there in the game, owning the
experience.

References

Allegra Frank. Polygon.
You can play Dishonored 2 without using any powers at all. Retrieved
January 5, 2018, from
https://www.polygon.com/e3/2016/6/13/11924172/dishonored-2-no-powers-mode-e3-2016

Arkane Studios
(November 11, 2016). Dishonored 2

Bethesda (2016). Corvo
Attano Spotlight. Retrieved from

https://bethesda.net/en/article/23QQBBamf2Q4uIIEeEQqIy/dishonored-2-corvo-attano-spotlight

Bethesda (September 13,
2012). Dishonored Developer Documentary Part 3 – Experience. Video
File. Retrieved January 11, 2018, from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj9dMpsIaXk=1

Bethesda (October 5,
2016). Dishonored 2 – Creating Karnacaca. Retrieved from

https://bethesda.net/en/article/4MvCKCMHmUQqQygOsKSUuo/dishonored-2-creating-karnaca

Bethesda (October 5,
2016). Dishonored 2 – Creating Karnaca. Video File. Retrieved
from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3=R2Ycc4EzE58

Bethesda (April 3,
2017). Dishonored 2 Free Trial Now Available. Retrieved January 5,
2018, from
https://bethesda.net/en/article/5w7Esw8j5KmWq8o0oie6ck/dishonored-2-free-trial

Bethesda (2016). Emily
Kaldwin Spotlight. Retrieved from
https://bethesda.net/en/article/2qdLzViVvKCqq6ayaYK2Cs/dishonored-2-emily-kaldwin-spotlight

Dishonored
2 – Karanca Concept Art (n.d.). Illustration. In Dishonored
Wikia. Retrieved January 5, 2018
from
http://dishonored.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Dishonored_2_Concept_Art

Dishonored 2 (n.d.). In
Wikipedia. Retrieved January 5, 2018, from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonored_200

Dualshockers (2016).
Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin. Illustration. Retrieved January 23,
2018, from

Dishonored 2 Platinum Trophy Requires Completing the Game Twice, No Kills, and Not Being Spotted

Game Informer (May 20,
2016). Behind the Mask: Inside Dishonored 2’s Development. Video
File. Retrieved January 5, 2018

Gamespot (June 13,
2015). Bethesda Press Conference 2015. Retrieved from
https://www.gamespot.com/e3/bethesda-press-conference-2015/

Gamespot (June 14,
2015). Dishonored 2 Let’s You Choose Between Two Playable Characters.
Retrieved from
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/dishonored-2-lets-you-choose-between-two-playable-/1100-6428091/

Gamespot (n.d).
Dishonored 2 Wallpaper. Illustration. Reprinted by Gamespot.
Retrieved December 20, 2018 from
https://www.gamespot.com/reviews/dishonored-2-review/1900-6416571/