After playing as Empress Emily Kaldwin during the prologue of Dishonored 2, players can decide to play either as Emily or as Corvo Attano (the protagonist from the previous game).
Players can choose whether to play stealthily or not, and can finish the game without taking a life.
Dishonored 2 introduces non-lethal combat moves, and features the “chaos” system used in the first game. The player gains chaos by killing characters, representative of the player destabilizing the world. The game adds a new element to the system where, at the start of a mission, random non-player characters are procedurally assigned one of three states: sympathetic, guilty and murderous. Killing a “sympathetic” person will give the player more chaos than killing others, while in contrast killing a “murderous” character will give the player a lesser amount. The amount of chaos accrued affects the dialogue used by Emily and Corvo, as well as the world itself. Insects called “bloodflies” make nests in corpses, leading to an increase in bloodflies the more people are killed and encouraging the player to hide bodies from them while on a mission.
Each level in the game is intended to have a unique “theme”, in either “fiction or mechanic”. In one level, the player is confronted with two factions each with their own assassination target, and may use the level’s reoccurring dust storms for cover. In another, time distortion is introduced as the player traverses an abandoned mansion in ruins. The player is given a device that lets them glimpse into the past, where guards roam, and at-will shift into it. The player will be detected by guards if they peer out from behind a wall for too long.
The sequel to 2012’s Dishonored, the game is scheduled to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 11, 2016.