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‘Dishonored 2’ emergent gameplay surprising developers even before its release

If you’ve been worried that Dishonored 2 won’t feature the same crazy, system-based gameplay that made the original feel special, you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Game director Harvey Smith told OXM its playtesters are already using the game’s new abilities in ways that hadn’t been predicted. It’s a sign, he claimed, that the sequel will support the same creative problem-solving — and inspire the same level of adoration from fans — as the original.

“We already have some startling ways that people have combined them that have shocked us,” Smith said, according to GamesRadar. “This is the emergent gameplay thing that we all love.”

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The first Dishonored offered players access to large environments and provided a set of supernatural abilities that allowed them to infiltrate and assassinate their targets in many different ways. In an early level of the original, for example, players could infiltrate a brothel by teleporting up to an open window, or possessing a fish and swimming through a sewer grate to access the basement. Long after the game’s release, players were still playing with the systems related to protagonist Corvo’s powers, finding new and increasingly inventive ways to stalk and dispatch enemies.

What took players weeks and months with the original is already happening with Dishonored 2 before the game has seen the light of day. Smith explained that, for example, one tester playing as new protagonist Emily Keldwin combined the “Domino” skill, which allows players to link and kill a group of enemies by assassinating any one of them, and a Doppelganger ability, which creates a clone intended to be used as a distraction. Rather than distracting, then killing the guards, the tester linked the enemies to her clone, then assassinated it.

“We had no idea this was possible, we never planned this,”Smith said. “It’s just one of those systemic game mechanic interactions that clever, creative players figure out as they start to experiment.”

Dishonored 2 is on track to launch November 11. In the meantime, you can expect to hear a lot more about the game at E3 later this month.