Corvo and Emily Kaldwin proved to be the central stars of Dishonored 2‘s E3 demonstration, as Bethesda and developer Arkane Studios drew attention to the sequel’s dual protagonist system.
For the first in the stealth series, both lead characters will be fully voiced which, according to Dishonored 2 Creative Director Harvey Smith, adds an immediacy and sense of “warmness” that was perhaps missing from the 2012 original.
Considering that Arkane’s follow-up will feature the voices of Sam Rockwell, Rosario Dawson and Vincent D’Onofrio in supporting roles, there’s no question that the studio has gone all-in with its plans to flesh out the world of Dunwall.
Speaking with GameSpot, here’s what Smith had to share about the new additions:
“We did no voice for Dishonored 1; it was OK, you can do it. But then we experimented with the DLC, giving Daud a voice. It was crazy how useful it was as a developer. You often get players to a certain point and you really want them to look at this thing, but they just don’t see it. And so sometimes you can have the character go, ‘Wow, look at that!’ [laughs]. That’s a goofy example, but it works.”
Voiced protagonists also have a bearing on the gameplay of Dishonored 2, with Corvo and Emily responding to the situation around them.
“When something happens [in the game], and [Corvo or Emily] respond in a dialogue, you get a sense of the emotional reaction of the character. There’s a small percentage of players who always said, ‘Please don’t give the characters a voice, let me project myself’ But there’s many, many more people who said, ‘Corvo seemed like a mute machine and I really wanted to feel warmer about him.’ And so, when we started playing with Emily as a character, it was powerful.”
Dishonored 2 has been penciled in for release across PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 11, 2016.