It was a welcome trend seen across numerous games during E3; that of the playable female protagonist. From Horizon Zero Dawn to Keiji Inafune’s intriguing Xbox One exclusive ReCore, developers are finally beginning to open up the playing field to create a more balanced, gender-neutral industry – even if there are some big steps still to take.
Nevertheless, it’s interesting to track, and one studio aiming to shake up its own storytelling formula is Arkane, who has promoted Emily Kaldwin from a typical damsel in distress from the first game into a bona fide lead for Dishonored 2. Taking place a full 15 years after its acclaimed predecessor, Arkane’s sequel will have players choose between Emily and Corvo quite early on.
Talking in an interview with Mashable, here’s what Co-Director Harvey Smith had to offer about the branching narrative.
He’s the one who recommended, maybe you play as Emily for like half an hour and then you get to this pivotal moment where a dramatic thing happens, and you choose at that point whether to continue with Emily or switch to Corvo. And then you’re locked in.
While it isn’t necessarily a branching narrative – Dishonored 2’s story will pan out in the same way regardless of how you side with – both Corvo and Emily’s approach to combat vary significantly. According to Smith, the latter protagonist is lighter on her feet than her older counterpart, fighting with “more finesse” as a result. Not only that, but Emily’s arc as a character and indeed her fighting style will change and evolve throughout the course of the plot.
You can stick to walls, you can yank somebody toward you and assassinate them in mid-air, so you have these synced assassinations in mid-air. It begins to feel different, and it adds momentum. You can run and jump and it has rope physics to it.
Bethesda is yet to detail a firm launch date for Dishonored 2 beyond slating the sequel for a release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2016. The Dishonored Definitive Edition, on the other hand, lands on August 25.