Dishonored 2’s New Chaos System & Ending Implications Explained by Game Director

Alessio Palumbo
Posted May 30, 2016
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Arkane Studios plans to take gamers back to the Empire of the Isles with Dishonored 2, four years after the first game garnered acclaim from fans and critics alike.

So far, we know precious little about the changes introduced in this sequel. Luckily, the latest Game Informer Show hosted Game Director Harvey Smith, who answered many questions submitted by fans.

Something of particular interest is his explanation of the new chaos system implemented in Dishonored 2, which ties all the way to the endings.

We have more endgames that are based on branches based on your actions in the world, like who you supported or didn’t support, or killed or didn’t kill, and then we have optimistic or cynical versions of each of those depending on chaos.

So chaos factors in that way. It also factors in how many blood flies infestations there are across the city, how thick the Grand Guard is in some places, some voice lines here and there. Also the tonal reaction of the protagonists, Corvo (Steven Russell) and Emily ( – their lines sometimes change based on that. We track three different states of chaos: low chaos, high chaos and very high chaos. We dynamically allocate, at the start of each mission, a morality to the characters around you; most of them are what you would call guilty and they’re worth a certain amount of chaos.

A smaller set are sympathetic and they’re worth more chaos. Another small set aremurderous and they’re worth less chaos – some people just need killing. It’s a more nuanced approach, in response to players feedback, and yet at the same time we hold on to our values just saying “if you don’t murder everyone in the streets, you’re less disruptive to the world”.

The ending uses a permutation system, so there are several different pieces of the ending that play and each one of those have, like, in some cases two states, in some cases five states, in others maybe a couple more than that. And then all of them have high/low chaos permutations, and in a couple of spots very high chaos permutations.

Those who played Dishonored will probably remember the Heart, a gift from the Outsider which provided contextual information on targets. It’s back and even improved for this sequel, according to Smith.

Early on, we said “let’s make sure the Heart is better supported this time, because people really liked it”. We had people on the first game playing the entire thing and deciding who to kill based on what the Heart said about them. This time it can be more literally true, you can gather information about the characters in terms of morality and worthiness as a human being by pointing the Heart at them and listening.

Dishonored 2, which runs on the Void Engine (a modified version of idTech), will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 11. The first gameplay trailer will be showcased at Bethesda’s E3 conference on June 12, starting at 7PM PST.

[UPDATE - PC/PS4/X1 Comparison] Dishonored 2 Performance Issues Are Under Investigation; Day One Patch Is Already Built In

 

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