What can you really say about a pre-rendered trailer for a game over a year away that's being shown off at E3? Not much sadly. Trailers and completed games are such disparate products, it's like me saying I'll build you a house, before baking a cake to give you an idea of what it's like. Luckily enough for fans of Dishonored, the game has one of the richest designs both in narrative and visuals, that there is already so much to chew on!
No more Dunwall!
I've already spoken about the switch in location for Dishonored 2. So far, moving the story to Serkonos provides many interesting opportunities. It's Corvo's homeland for one, and with an entirely different climate to Gristol, it provides a strange sense of colonialism which naturally follows on from the imperialist stylings of the first game. All this does however mean that we could be getting a game without Dunwall.
No more of those beautiful rooftops to traverse over rat-infested alleyways. I'm not too disappointed about the exclusion of Dunwall, as the entire schtick of reinterpreting a Victorian London aesthetic has been done-wall. I'm sorry. What Dishonored does have is a rich and diverse geography that we haven't even seen yet. With Corvo and Emily split up throughout the game, perhaps we could see places on the other end of the world like Tyvia. Perhaps a level could even be set on a boat on the way over! Moving characters around instantly provides more content!
No more whales?
Talking of traveling the seas, Dishonored 2 seems to be departing from that nautical mysticism that drew fans to the first game. Sure the concept of whale oil probably plays the same role in Serkonos as it did in Dunwall, but that very specific mystery surrounding the whales, and the sickening feeling of imminent punishment for mankind's pillaging of the natural world might not be there. It seems a plague of some sorts is still present in Dishonored 2, only this time spread by bugs. If this means I'm now expected to fight flying versions of the rats from the first game, then officially count me as dreading Dishonored 2!
This is only a rumor at this stage, but the potential for Corvo speaking is an interesting one. I'm rarely a fan of silent protagonists suddenly getting all vocal. The amount of personality I could imbue onto my character in Fable 3 dropped rapidly as soon as they spoke with a voice that wasn't mine. Then again, the silent stylings of Corvo in the first Dishonored never blew my mind. It was hard to project yourself on to him Gordon Freeman style, for every character was already inserting their opinions of him in-game. We can expect Emily Kaldwin to express herself in Dishonored 2, but the prospect of a talking Corvo is still iffy, especially as he will be older, and could veer into the cliche grim gruff territory.
An otherworldly usurper
What little we can determine of the story to Dishonored 2 depends greatly on hints given by Bethesda, and by what's given away in the trailer. It's made clear that Emily Kaldwin has somehow been deposed as Empress, and according to Bethesda, it's by an "otherworldly usurper". Who could this be? I'm inclined to guess it's the Outsider, but given that he narrates the trailer, and is generally benevolent towards our protagonists, I'm guessing this Usurper could be a new and more malicious force entirely! I would personally quite enjoy seeing Emily forgo her position as Empress completely, and simply become an assassin who travels the isles. Still, Dishonored 2 is a long way off, so we can only wait to see what Bethesda and Arkane Studios bring us in 2016!