It's been almost two years since the release of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the most recent major title in the Dishonored franchise. While there have been no announcements regarding a potential Dishonored 3 or any other spinoff games, that hasn't stopped fans from hoping for a continuation of the popular stealth series.
Quite a few things changed in the series from the transition from Dishonored to Dishonored 2. We got to choose which protagonist we wanted to play as, a new game plus mode was introduced, and for the first time, we had the choice to play the game truly without any of the supernatural powers available. This, in addition to the fresh new locale and level design, made Dishonored 2 an excellent sequel. Keeping that in mind, let's now take a look at five things we would want from a hypothetical third Dishonored game - and five things we wouldn't.
10 Don't Want: Overly Complicated Bone Charms
The bone charms of the first Dishonored were small trinkets that added additional effects to the gameplay, whether it was more health or mana from potions or faster attacks with the sword. The DLC The Knife of Dunwall expanded on this concept, introducing corrupted bone charms that had powerful effects, but also came with a significant drawback. Dishonored 2 introduced a crafting system whereby players could dismantle bone charms to learn their properties, then create new charms with a variety of different effects.
Given the jumps in complexity from the first game to its DLC to the second game, the logical progression would be to add even more to bone charm crafting in a third installment. However, this would likely just add an unnecessary layer of difficulty for players to pierce. What would be preferable is if new bone charm effects were introduced alongside the ones from earlier games.
9 Want: Another Clockwork Mansion
The standout mission of Dishonored 2 was absolutely "The Clockwork Mansion," a massive, sprawling estate with rooms and corridors that moved and shifted at the press of a button or pull of a lever. Navigating its intricate design and avoiding the various enemies - both mechanical and mortal - proved a fascinating challenge that made it easy to believe other intruders had lost their way in the ever-changing landscape.
While we don't expect another Dishonored game to revisit a level exactly like the Clockwork Mansion, we do want to see one where the scenery shifts and changes according to player actions. One that takes place in the Void, or somewhere Void-adjacent, would be able to borrow the same untethered design, perhaps, or some other place where everything around you can change in an instant.
8 Don't Want: Identical Chaos System
The chaos system of the Dishonored games has served it pretty well thus far. It's generally a straightforward equation - killing more people and being more aggressive will earn you high chaos, while sparing lives and being sneaky will get you low chaos. The second game also expanded on this, introducing different endings that change based on the player's actions throughout the story.
However, the system is still relatively easy to predict - murder bad, sparing people good. It would be interesting to see a game where sparing a particular individual actually led to a worse overall outcome or one that had different effects on the game world depending on how aggressive you were vs how lethal you were. Either way, it would be nice to see the chaos of the Dishonored games evolve.
7 Want: Better Story
The stories of the Dishonored game have always been alright - not really high literature, but certainly some of the better tales spun in the genre. The story of Dishonored 2 fell a little on the lower end of the scale, unfortunately. The plot beats were largely predictable, the twists were expected, and there was nothing that really threw the player character for a loop in the same way that the betrayal of the Loyalist Conspiracy did in the first game.
A third game in the series would have the opportunity to weave a wholly new story. It could expand on the world we already know, introducing new characters and new conflicts. While there has been some of that already in the books and graphic novels related to the games, it would take another title to really reinvigorate the series's storytelling.
6 Don't Want: Same Protagonists
The Dishonored games have thus far featured four different protagonists: Corvo Attano, Emily Kaldwin, the assassin Daud, and Billie Lurk. Each of these characters brings their own unique voice and personality to their appearances, with Corvo's weathered, rough attitude being distinct from the grim and grisly presence Daud carries with him.
Moving forward, however, it would be best for the series to focus on a new set of characters. The most recent game, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, wrapped up the stories of all four characters nicely and revisiting them would begin to wear thin. Brand new characters would bring the ability to tell new stories as well, regarding whatever intrigue or plots they're involved with.
5 Want: Cameos
While we wouldn't appreciate another game with these characters as protagonists, that isn't to say we don't want to see more of them. Billie Lurk appearing in Dishonored 2 and Daud showing up in Death of the Outsider were both wonderful to see, and it would be nice to do something similar for future games.
Imagine a story where a new player character, as part of whatever mission they're undertaking to restore their honor, must face the legendary Corvo Attano to achieve their goal. Or perhaps they're tasked with assassinating Empress Emily Kaldwin and must choose between carrying out the mission or finding the nonlethal approach. Regardless, having these characters show up again in future titles, even if they aren't the star of the show, would be incredible.
4 Don't Want: More Complicated Equipment
In the same way that the bone charms were expanded and developed from Dishonored to Dishonored 2, so too were the options available for the player's gear and equipment. The second game introduced new tools like the howling bolt and new upgrades for the player's crossbow, sword, and other devices.
Again, just as we wouldn't want the bone charm crafting system to become so complex as to become impenetrable, we don't want the equipment upgrades or tools to grow to varied that they're impossible to navigate. A few new bolt types or other weapons, combined with new Masterwork blueprints or upgrade paths would be enough to make a third game feel new.
3 Want: New Powers
Perhaps the most obvious thing we would want from a new Dishonored game is a new set of supernatural powers to play with. Dishonored 2 kept most of Corvo's abilities the same when playing through as him, but it created a whole new set of skills for Emily. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider also introduced three new powers for Billie Lurk.
It would, admittedly, be interesting toy around with the powers we have already in a new setting, but we would still ultimately prefer new and varied abilities for a new character. Perhaps some of Emily, Corvo, and Billie's powers could return in a third installment akin to how the original game plus mode in Death of the Outsider gives Billie access to some of Emily and Corvo's powers.
2 Don't Want: Copied Final Level
While Dishonored 2 was an excellent game, full of stunning levels, exciting locations, and a wide variety of nooks and crannies to explore, its final level was a bit of a letdown. It makes sense from a story perspective that the player needs to infiltrate Dunwall Tower in order to stop Delilah, but that doesn't exactly lend itself to an exciting gameplay experience as the bones of the level were copied entirely from other levels in the series.
We would much prefer something like Kingsparrow Lighthouse from the original Dishonored game, a level that was fully distinct from the others in the game and that changed its layout depending on the player's chaos level. A third game would do well to follow suit, as opposed to simply copying old designs.
1 Want: New Isle To Explore
Finally, we would like to see more of the Empire of the Isles. The first game and its DLC took us through the dark streets of Dunwall, capitol of Gristol and the Empire. The second game and the standalone spinoff Death of the Outsider explored Karnaca, capitol of Serkonos. For a third game, we would love to see one of the other isles - Morley or Tyvia.
Neither of these settings have been touched on in the series as of yet, although we have gleaned some information from them regarding their climates, societies, and cultures. Little bits and pieces of lore from the games refer to the Morley Insurrection and the Tribunal that rules Tyvia. We would love to get a closer look at these exciting areas, and to learn more about the world of Dishonored.