Harvey Smith says you'll need to play Dishonored 2 twice to understand it

The open-ish design of Dishonored makes it very replayable, and Dishonored 2 doubles down on that, literally, with the inclusion of two distinct protagonists, Emily and Corvo, each with unique abilities and style of play. But Arkane co-creative director Harvey Smith says replays of the new game will be about more than simply playing with different powers, telling Finder that players will need to go through it twice simply to “understand” it. 

Dishonored 2 will begin from Emily's perspective, but eventually come to a “branching moment” where the player will choose to either stick with her or become Corvo for the rest of the game. “Every time you play Dishonored 2 it is different as you find different paths, buy different powers, go high or low chaos and play as Corvo or Emily. Also, when The Outsider offers you his mark, you may say no,” Smith said. 

“Previously some people played [the original Dishonored] once, some people played many times, but in Dishonored 2 there is even more reason to play it again,” he explained. “And I think players won’t understand Dishonored 2 till they play it twice, because there is so much overt conversation that you can miss, and lore to read and even just understanding the environment’s impact on the storytelling. Plus, there are all these powers and you don’t get enough runes to buy all of them; you can’t even buy half of the powers in one playthrough.” 

My hope is that “understand” in this case is shorthand for developing a firm and deep grasp on the minutiae of the Dishonored game world, rather than, you know, “understanding” what's going on. I'm reasonably confident that it is—Smith and his cohorts at Arkane have a pretty good idea of what they're doing, after all—but I'm not a replayer, and so the idea of having to go through a game multiple times to catch crucial information or plot-points is a little off-putting.

Dishonored 2 comes out on November 11. Thanks, VG247.   

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.