We know that one of the two things that Arkane Studios has been boasting more of lately are the Dishonored 2 powers as well as the increased emphasis on gameplay elements like stealth. While this time they were not discussing stealthing, some of the abilities of Emily Kaldwin were discussed, revealing how unpredictable they have been even for the developers.
Lead designer Dinga Bakaba and game director Harvey Smith were recently interviewed by the Official Xbox Magazine in which they have mentioned at least a couple of instances when they were surprised by what testers could do with the abilities and powers given to them.
For instance, Bakaba recalls an incident where Emily’s ability to link with a doppelganger was mixed up with her ability to plant mines resulting in something rather spectacular. The ability relating with doppelgangers is called Domino, and in a special case, the doppelgangers can also act like a moving, living and breathing mine.
Someone at Arkane came to me a while back with a question: ‘Should spring razormines be triggered by your doppelganger?’ […] he said ‘I summoned my doppelganger and I tried to place a mine nearby because I wanted to do a trap,but I actually put the mine on the doppelganger.’ So when the enemy arrives they run after her and – bam! When they catch up, they explode in gibs.
That is something really interesting since it is not a feature Arkane Studios set out to include in the Dishonored 2 powers. Even Harvey Smith pitched in saying that the powers have “flexible utility,” something we hardly see in other games.
Smith says that the developers “already have some startling ways that people (testers) have combined them that have shocked us,” before explaining how linking a doppelganger to multiple enemies using Domino and killing it also kills the enemies in one go, another thing that surprised them:
She just assassinates it. And all three of the other guys drop. We had no idea this was possible, we never planned this. It’s just one of those systemic game mechanic interactions that clever creative players figure out as they start to experiment.
Check back with us later for more on Dishonored 2 powers later, or read up on either why developers were terrified of disappointing you or how the new setting in Carnaca is a significant leap forward for them.