ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

The first came as a glorious surprise back in 2012, when we stealthed, blinked and crept our way around a wonderfully realized and plague-ridden Dunwall, and ended enemies in the harshest ways we saw fit.

This year sees the release of the second instalment of the thrilling series, , and gives us an extra protagonist to torture guards and the animals of Karnaca with: The Empress Emily Kaldwin, a rather pissed looking lady who's just had her throne stolen from her.

But with two characters comes the age old question: who the heck to play as? Well the easy way to figure that out is to consider their respective skillsets. Who works the best for you? The nightmarish abilities of Emily or Corvo's world bending tricks.

Let's have a look shall we?

Who Should I Play As In Dishonored 2?

More Dishonored 2 content:

Empress Emily Kaldwin

Emily's skillset in some way reflects her mindset going into the game. The Empress wants to punish those she feels have wronged her, and her rather disconcerting skillset will do just that admirably.

Far Reach

Similar to Corvo's 'Blink' ability, Far Reach allows Emily to traverse long distances with a supernatural grappling hook, of sorts. This isn't a method of teleportation, Em has to grab onto something in order to clamber up it.


  • Pull Objects

The ability to grab and pull things in mid-air. Yes, this includes bodies.

  • Decelerate

Time slows as you fall whilst using Far Reach

  • Pull Enemies

This fairly self-explanatory ability allows you to kill enemies mid-air, but is pretty noisey.

Dark Vision

Dark Vision has seen some changes since emerging in Dishonored 1. Now it emits three pulses which display the direction an enemy is facing, their cone of vision and a visualization of the noise you're making whilst moving around.


  • Greater Dark Vision

Able to locate objects through walls and even security systems.

  • Premonition

You can see the routes sentries will take and where their current destinations will lead.


This ingenious technique conjures up a vision so great, it distracts enemies and hounds, leaving them open to attack or moving them from areas that are necessary for you to sneak through.


  • Mezmerize Three

You now have the ability to distract three enemies or hounds with dreams.

  • Lasting Mesmerize

Increases the amount of time Mesmerize lasts.

  • Mesmerize Four

And you can guess what this upgrade does!


Emily's techniques just keep on getting better. Domino gives you the ability to link enemies together and share the same fate. So if you were to throw a goon off of a bridge, the other linked enemies would go flying too!


  • Link Three

You can link three enemies.

  • Link Four

Allows you to link four enemies!

Shadow Walk

Similar to Corvo's ability to possess rats, but way cooler, Emily transforms into a wispy, dark shadow form that makes her to much harder to spot, letting you slip through tight spaces. You can also kill or incapacitate enemies in this form.


  • Rat Shadow

Assume a rat-like shadow and zip through unseen tunnels.

  • Improved Shadow Attack

Allows you to kill or incapacitate two enemies.

  • Shadow Run

Move faster in Shadow form.

  • Greater Shadow Attack

You can ruin the day of up to three goons!


This ability allows Emily to make a double of herself in order to distract enemies or set off security systems. It can also be linked with Domino, meaning you can trap 2/3 guards with your double and end them all however you like.


  • Baffling Shade

When bested, your Doppleganger will render enemies confused for a short period of time.

  • Deadly Shade

Your double can now fight at your side and even stealth kill.

  • Transposition

You can swap positions with your double.

  • Twin Shades

You can summon two doubles and they fight and think independently from each other!

Here's Dishonored 2's trailer if you fancy a breather from planning flashy kills:

Corvo Attano

He's the guy.
He's the guy.

You'll more than likely be fully up to speed with this badass' abilities, but if you're Blinking in fresh to the world of Dishonored, or coming back, you can now upgrade Corvo's abilities in completely different ways.


This move allows Corvo to teleport somewhere at the blink of an eye. It allows you to traverse areas at great speed, and even reach great heights. When combined with assassinations, you can literally pull off the smoothest and coolest looking kills seen in video games.


  • Greater Blink

Elongates the length Blink can travel.

  • Redirective Blink

Time stops moving if you are still whilst using Blink.

  • Blink Assault

Upend enemies by attacking them just as Blink comes to an end.

Bend Time

This ability allows you to slow and even stop time, which is insanely useful in combat situations, or moments that require a stealthy touch.


  • Stop Time

You gain the ability to stop the movement of time.

  • Relativity

Move faster, relative to the speed of time. Get it?

  • Lasting Time Bend

Bend Time lasts longer.

Dark Vision

Corvo's Dark Vision is exactly the same as Emily's iteration.

Devouring Swarm

This allows Corvo to summon a swarm of rats to do his bidding, whether that is devouring an unwanted body, finding a rodent to possess or overwhelming enemies.


  • Greater Swarm

Increases the amount of rats that come to Corvo's aid.

  • Rat Piper

Rats actually follow you around after summoning them!

  • Twin Swarms

Forces two small packs of rats to appear and work independently of each other.


Possession has seen some amazing, and suitably grim, new upgrades come its way, but this powerful ability still allows you to slip into the bodies of rats and (eventually) enemies to get around as you please.


  • Chain Hosts

Allows you to jump between different hosts at will.

  • Corpse Possession

This allows you to jump into a recently vacated cadaver and carry on about your day.

  • Lasting Possession

Extends the time Possession lasts.

  • Human Possession

Now you can possess a human.


Fairly self-explanatory, with this ability Corvo can conjure up a huge gust of wind that can blow enemies off precipices, or even shatter doors.


  • Greater Windblast

Create a bigger gust that does monumentally more damage.

  • Shockwave

Creates a radius of wind around you after summoning a gust.

So there we have it, two different skill sets and a million ways to play. So tell us...

Stealth or aggression: how do you play Dishonored?


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