It was possible—not easy, but possible—to complete the original Dishonored without killing a single soul. There's even an achievement for doing so, “Clean Hands.” And in an interview with PlayStation Access at QuakeCon, Dishonored 2 Creative Director Harvey Smith confirmed that the sequel will offer the same option.
Smith said Arkane designs each level in Dishonored 2 like a "mini-open world," self-contained and entirely separate from one another, that players will complete and then leave behind. “But while you're in it, it's very open and non-linear. You can play high chaos or low chaos. Even as Corvo, you can invest in one set of powers or another set of powers, you can play very violently or very stealthy. You can literally play without killing a single person.”
Ghosting the game will dovetail nicely with the option to play without any of the powers offered by the Outsider, an aspect of Dishonored 2 that Smith revealed in June. “Some subset of gamers felt the game was too easy. They wanted a bigger challenge,” he said. “And so this time, if you play without killing a single person, or even alerting a single person, and you play with no powers mode, on the highest difficulty setting, it is quite a challenge. We don't recommend that for everybody.”
Smith also talks the impact of voice acting in the game, how powers (should you choose to use them) will evolve differently than they did in Dishonored, and the things Arkane is doing to ensure a less “binary” endgame for the sequel. Between this and our in-depth preview from last month, Dishonored 2 is sounding very promising indeed. It's set to come out on November 11.