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Dishonored 2 Dev Not Afraid of Bucking Industry Trends

"If you make all your decisions based on what you think is selling well, you end up with this kind of indistinct mess."


Arkane Studios, the team behind this November's Dishonored 2, is not afraid of trying things that might not fit the mold of a standard AAA game. Creative director Harvey Smith said in the latest issue of Game Informer that he sees Arkane as being similar to Demon's Souls developer From Software when it comes to bucking industry trends--and enjoying success along the way.

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Unlike the first Dishonored, the sequel lets you play as either Corvo or Emily Kaldwin. Each character has unique assassinations and abilities, and they react differently to the story. This is to say, Arkane basically created two different versions of the same game. Game Informer mentions a stat that says most people only play a game once. Considering this, building a game in this way sounds like an expensive, and potentially risky, move.

It might be, Smith said, but it's exactly that risk that makes it worth doing.

"If you make all your decisions based on what you think is selling well, you end up with this kind of indistinct mess," Smith said. "Whereas if you go with what is in your heart as a gamer, that's kind of how we think. It doesn't make financial sense, but counter-intuitively, that's how you get rewarded financially.

"When [From Software] made Demon's Souls, it broke every rule that a AAA publisher would tell you was smart thinking at that moment, and it launched this franchise and this team," he added. "We think similarly. There is a lot of our game that nobody sees. We're throwing away huge amounts of work from that perspective. But from our perspective, that's what makes it special--the fact that as you proceed through the game, you constantly have this sense that it's much bigger than what you're doing."

Also in the feature, Smith confirms that there is no co-op--and for good reason.

"Our game is about observation, stealth, taking your time, and playing at your own pace," Smith said. "Co-op would destroy it. Maybe there is a way somebody could do it, but this is not that experience."

The Game Informer story on Dishonored 2 also confirms that the game will introduce quick saves and quick loads, as well as a checkpoint system. The magazine also quizzed Smith about the potential for official mod support, but he didn't give anything away. "We can't talk about our plans in that area just yet," the developer said.

Game Informer's cover story on Dishonored 2 is full of other interesting details about the game. You can pick up it up today.

In other news about Dishonored 2, the game's voice cast has been announced. Protagonist Corvo, who was silent in the first game, will be voiced by Stephen Russell, who's known as the voice of Thief's Garrett and Fallout 4's Nick Valentine. Fallout 4 voice actor Erica Luttrell plays the second protagonist, Emily Kaldwin.

Other cast members include Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths), Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham), and Jamie Hector (The Wire). You can see a full list of the cast revealed so far here.

Dishonored 2 is set for a November 11 release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Bethesda is expected to reveal the first gameplay at its E3 event in June.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Emily Kaldwin was a new character. GameSpot regrets the error.

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