Will anything in Dishonored 2 be as unforgettable as the "Lady Boyle’s Last Party" level from the original Dishonored?
Developer Arkane Studios certainly hopes so. In a new developer diary, Dishonored 2’s designers discussed their efforts to make the game’s missions memorable. Ideally, the game mechanics and story at play are important parts of the experience, but they combine with a level’s open (yet not open-world) layout to create something special.
"We wanted to do classic Dishonored missions where it’s a highly defended location, it has its own character, it has its own nature, and you’re going after a high-value target," said creative director Harvey Smith. "But we also wanted to give them some sort of epic theming, either fictionally or game-mechanically, so that it created a completely memorable space to move around in."
Two of the missions that Arkane discussed are levels the studio showed at E3. In the Dust District, random dust storms will cloud your vision (and that of your enemies) as you track down your choice of two targets. In the "Crack in the Slab" mission, the player can travel through time whenever they want between two versions of the same place, three years apart.
"If there’s one thing I want the player to feel about Dishonored 2, it’s that our missions, our levels, whereas they’re not open-world, they feel like open-world," said lead level designer Christophe Carrier.
Another promising level is the puzzling Clockwork Mansion, where the only way forward is to repeatedly reconfigure the layout of the rooms "like a Rubik’s cube," said Smith. And then there’s the Royal Conservatory, a massive Victorian-era natural history museum that’s full of taxidermy.
Check out the developer diary above for gameplay footage of the levels in question. Dishonored 2 launches Nov. 11 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One; for more video of the game, watch Emily Kaldwin engage in a nonlethal playthrough.