At this weekends EB Expo in Australia I was given a chance to play the Clockwork Mansion mission within Dishonored 2. After a short wait (gotta love that express line) we were given 30 minutes in order to attempt to complete two main objectives – Find Anton Sokolov and to hunt down Kirin Jindosh, the creator of the Clockwork Soldier.
Playing as Emily Kaldwin I descended into the madhouse that is the Clockwork Mansion, with its constantly changing architecture and hidden enemies. With switches in plain sight and hidden in the walls and floors, you can make your way through the mansion by any number of routes. However at many times I was faced with the dreaded Clockwork Soldiers rising up out of the floor whenever I flicked a switch, which allowed me to test some of Emily’s new abilities, markedly her Shadow Walk, which allows you to enter a shadowy bestial phase to sneak past your enemies for around 10 seconds. It is also good for dealing massive damage to a single enemy (tearing and rending them apart) but that will result in you returning to your human form. I also got the opportunity to play around with her Domino ability and I must say it is quite enjoyable. By linking an alive yet sleeping guard and an aware one, from above I was able to kill the sleeping one and watch as the other one simply toppled to the ground headless.
The design of the mansion is similar to the buildings that we roamed through within Dishonored 1 albeit with a lot brighter elements, complete with collectibles, little snippets of lore about the house, Jindosh’s work and any other interesting factoids about the world. While moving throughout the mansion you are given views to bright and shiny metal parts, bits and pieces of the Clockwork Soldiers that Jindosh built his fortune on. It is alien and yet at the same time quite aesthetically pleasing, a bright environment that still feels imminently hostile and unfriendly. This is further accentuated on discovering the laboratory with its alternating sections and the partly dissected dead bodies. Jindosh must be fun at parties.
What is different about it is of course the changing layout of the building which, not only provides a massive boost of replayability, also caters to every single playstyle and chaos level you can think of. On top of this you have Jindosh in your ear incessantly providing you with narration as if he is watching your every move on a giant screen in his attic. This serves to help with identifying the elements of the mansion as well as to assist you in staying on track with your objectives.
While we were given 30 minutes to attempt to complete two objectives I was only able to complete one as I was too busy exploring the mansion and its secrets to actually hunt down Kirin Jindosh. But rest assured, when Dishonored 2 is released on Novemeber 11th 2016, the Clockwork Mansion will be a worthy puzzle, full of lore, tricks and enemies for you to tackle.