Dishonored 2 Dev Explains Morality System And Multiple Endings


Four years after Dishonored took gamers everywhere by surprise, developer Arkane Studios plans to recapture that lightning with a stealthy return visit to Dunwall in Dishonored 2. 

We don’t know a huge deal about the game just yet, aside from the fact that you can play as either Corvo Attano from the first game, or the Empress Emily Kaldwin.

Both characters have unique abilities and branching stories, and now, thanks the latest Game Informer Show, Game Director Harvey Smith has explained a little bit about Dishonored 2’s morality system and multiple endings.

Smith refers to this feature as the “Chaos System”, which threads throughout the game and plays into each possible ending. Factors such as who you supported/didn’t support, or killed/didn’t kill will play a role here.

Smith elaborates:

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.


So to summarize – Dishonored 2’s system isn’t measured by an arbitrary body count, but also by the character’s actions beyond killing (or lack thereof). Players will gain chaos according to the character they’ve slain, with each awarding a certain amount based on their role in the game.

Of course, this makes reaching certain endings a little more flexible:

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.


Anyone who played the first Dishonored probably remembers the Heart, an item that provides background info on targets. Smith confirmed this item will be returning, with a couple of adjustments and improvements.

This time round, you’ll be able to 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 comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC November 11. The first official gameplay trailer will be shown during Bethesda’s E3 conference on June 12.