|Developed by: Arkane Studios
Published by: Bethesda Softworks
Production year: 2011-2012
Original release: October 09, 2012
Announced: July 2011
Misc: Wikipedia | Steam
After returning from a foreign voyage to seek aid with the deadly plague ravaging the city, Corvo Attano travels to the tower of Dunwall and meets with the Empress. After delivering a message, they are attacked by teleporting assassins led by Daud; they magically restrain Corvo, kill the Empress, and kidnap her daughter Emily. The Empress’ Spymaster arrives and has Corvo imprisoned for her murder and Emily’s abduction. Six months later, the Spymaster has seized control of Dunwall as Lord Regent. Interrogating Corvo, the Lord Regent confesses that he masterminded the assassination and framed Corvo. The following day, Corvo is due to be executed. In his cell, a letter from Empire Loyalists is smuggled to Corvo, and he is given the means to escape. After escaping, Samuel ferries Corvo to the Hound Pits Pub to meet the Loyalists, led by Admiral Havelock.
While resting at the pub, Corvo is taken to a dream world where he meets the Outsider, who brands Corvo with his mark. Corvo is sent by the Loyalists to eliminate the conspirators behind the Lord Regent’s plot, and the player is given the option to kill or otherwise neutralize Corvo’s targets, the first of which is High Overseer Campbell. During the mission, Corvo meets Granny Rags and Slackjaw. Corvo removes the High Overseer and discovers that Emily is being held in a brothel called the Golden Cat under the supervision of twins Custis and Morgan Pendleton. Corvo rescues Emily and eliminates the brothers. After returning to the pub, Emily is taken into the care of Callista to prepare her for becoming Empress, while Corvo is sent to abduct the genius scientist Sokolov, who is responsible for the Lord Regent’s powerful technologies. Sokolov is taken to the pub for interrogation, under which he divulges the identity of the Lord Regent’s financier, Lady Boyle. Corvo infiltrates Boyle’s masquerade ball, deduces which of the three sisters is the Lord Regent’s mistress, and disposes of her.
After returning to the pub, Havelock confirms they have done enough damage to move on to the Lord Regent. Corvo infiltrates the tower of Dunwall and removes the Lord Regent from power and, in the process, learns that the Lord Regent intentionally imported the plague to decimate the lower classes of society, though things quickly got out of hand. Corvo returns to the Hound Pits Pub, where the Loyalists celebrate their success. After sharing a drink, Corvo goes to his room and collapses. Upon waking, he learns that Samuel poisoned his drink at the behest of Havelock and his Loyalist allies Treavor Pendleton and Teague Martin, to prevent him from interfering in their plan to install Emily as Empress and rule through her. Samuel remained loyal to Corvo and had given him a non-lethal dose of poison. Samuel sets Corvo adrift on the river and flees. When Corvo wakes, he is taken prisoner by the assassin Daud and his men, who killed the Empress and intend to claim the bounty placed on Corvo’s head by the now Lord Regent Havelock.
Corvo defeats Daud and his assassins before traveling through Daud’s territory and into the sewers, where he finds Granny Rags attempting to cook Slackjaw. Corvo can eliminate either Slackjaw or Granny Rags, who is revealed to be a witch called Vera Moray. Corvo returns to the pub to find it overrun with guards and that Havelock has killed many of the Loyalists. He discovers where Havelock has taken Emily and can save Piero, Sokolov, and Callista. Corvo signals to Samuel, who ferries him to the former Lord Regent’s lighthouse. He infiltrates the lighthouse and either subdues Pendleton and Martin or finds that Havelock has already killed them, ensuring the Loyalists’ actions are never known. Once finished with Havelock, Corvo may or may not rescue Emily. Havelock’s journal reveals that the Lord Regent suspects that Emily is Corvo’s daughter.
The ending varies depending upon the level of chaos the player has caused throughout the game. If Corvo saves Emily, she ascends the throne as Empress with Corvo at her side. If only a small amount of chaos has been caused, a golden age dawns, and the plague is finally overcome. After many decades, Corvo dies of natural causes, and Empress Emily Kaldwin I the Wise buries him beside Empress Jessamine. If much chaos is caused, the city remains in turmoil and is overrun with the plague. If Corvo fails to save Emily, Dunwall crumbles, and Corvo flees the city by ship.