The endings of Dishonored are derived by how violently - how murderously - you rip through the campaign, Arkane Studios has revealed.
You may charge, like a butcher on steroids, through the campaign in 12-14 hours. But there are "consequences" to this approach.
"Obviously, playing this way has consequences," said co-creative director Raphael Colantonio during a "violent" video walkthrough that you can watch below.
"Some of them are that we track the number of deaths and innocents that the player kills, and this derives the ending - and also derives some of the little story bits all along the [way].
"And besides, playing this way is actually very consuming in terms of resource," he said, referencing mana potions and health potions, which are needed far more often in direct combat.
Playing violently does drastically reduce the time a level takes to complete. The demonstrated level, which involves whacking two politicians in a brothel, took 14 minutes stealthily and under four minutes violently.
The violent demonstration saw the main character, the supernatural assassin, stabbing, shooting crossbow bolts and using powers - like plagues of rats and stop time abilities - to achieve his ends. And very entertaining it was.
But the stealthy playthrough was more interesting. The supernatural assassin infiltrated the brothel by possessing none other than a fish, for goodness sake! He swum in through the drains! Possession transfers your entire body/being into whatever your possessing, you see. And you can possess absolutely anything, including the targets you're supposed to eliminate.
Once inside the Golden Cat brothel, the assassin eavesdropped for information and carefully set about strangling (to unconsciousness) guards and putting their limp bodies out of the way. The teleportation power Blink was liberally used, as was Possession and Dark Vision - the see-through-walls ability.
The two main targets were eventually eliminated, and both murders were made to look like accidents. But we won't spoil the 'how' of it all.
However, you don't have to kill anyone - even the targets. You can complete the entire game and "literally kill no one".
As Harvey Smith, the other co-creative director, explained: "Custis and Morgan Pendleton [the two targets] are slave owners who run a mine, and so by doing a side-quest for a crime boss called Slackjaw, he will take them for you, shave their heads, obscure their identities and put them to work for years in their own mines."
"Across the game," he said, "all of the targets can be dealt with this way, for the very thorough player who doesn't want to kill them."
The two contrasting play styles can be watched below. There's extra footage of a different level - a ruined and dark town - at the end of the violent playthrough clip. This showed the Tall Boy machines that patrol border and stop plague-infected Weepers getting out of their containment zones. You can possess the Tall Boys, too, as you'll see.
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