Dishonored 2 powers revealed, Arkane promises more focus on non-lethal options

Dishonored 2 will feature two separate and distinct protagonists—Corvo Attano, the hero of the original, and Emily Kaldwin, the now-grown daughter of the slain Empress—each with his or her own unique set of special powers. And this time around, Lead Designer Dinga Bakaba told Game Informer, the studio has embraced non-lethal play options to a much greater extent than it did with the original.

Corvo's powers are basically variations of those he had in Dishonored, although for reasons that weren't revealed (but that can probably be summed up by “because it's a videogame”) he'll have to re-learn them over the course of the game. Blink, for instance, will have elements of the more powerful manifestation of the ability that Daud wielded in The Knife of Dunwall, while Possession can be chained together, or even used on a dead body. 

Emily's abilities, on the other hand, are all brand-new. Far Reach is similar to Blink, but moves her physically rather than teleporting her; that means she can be seen while moving, but she can also use it to pull objects, or even people, toward her. Mesmerize is a sort of instant, distracting hypnosis, while Shadow Walk transforms her into a “much smaller, shadow-like entity” that's much more difficult for enemies to detect. Domino is perhaps the strangest of them all, but also sounds potentially very powerful: It lets her “link the fates of multiple characters,” so that what happens to one—being murdered, say—affects them all. 

Dishonored 2 will also be more flexible than its predecessor in terms of upgrading abilities. “After talking to thousands of Dishonored players over the past few years, one of the things we really wanted to do was branch out all of the powers into a tree so if you are a non-lethal player you can take the power and express in the direction of non-lethal or stealth,” Arkane Creative Director Harvey Smith said. “Every tree is different. Some go in a straight line and then branch. Some fan out wide.” 

Dishonored 2 comes out on November 11.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.