Dishonored is regrettably a rather forgettable franchise. I don’t mean that necessarily in a bad way, because, personally, I love the series since the first game came out back in 2012, but what I mean is that it slips my mind until a new entry is released and I play it and remember just why I love these games.
After playing the original, I never did a second run through, nor did I play any of the DLC featuring the assassin Daud (played by Michael Madsen) as the protagonist. That means I didn’t play another Dishonored game until 2017 when I finally got my hands on Dishonored 2. Immediately I felt at home once again with the stealth action FPS fantasy/steampunk adventure. I really enjoyed Dishonored 2 and you can take a look back at my review for it from the summer of 2017.
However, I did notice that a lot of the original game’s DLC played a massive part in the sequel. Some characters were only in the DLC and everyone acted like we have always known them, so I did feel as if I had missed out another game in the series entirely. It was not a massive deal, but normally if someone suggests a game to me (say God of War 3), then I feel the need to play the original ones that came before, as I don’t really want to miss out.
With that in mind the developers released a standalone DLC to Dishonored 2 titled; Dishonored – Death of the Outsider, and would feature Daud once again in some form, despite the fact he could have been killed in the original game (however you can play the entire game non-lethally, so perhaps this is the canon ending of the game).
Personally the Outsider and Daud are both really interesting characters and a game solely focusing on some vendetta against the God of the Void sounded amazing, and something important in the Dishonored franchises, story-wise, that I feel I would need to know if there was ever to be a third Dishonored game.
For those of you who don’t know, the Outside is the mysterious figure from a dark dimension who grants people in the world of Dishonored special abilities. He takes something from them and often leaves his mark on the people he has gifted. It is a dark and mysterious exchange that feels a little more of a curse than a gift. The Outsider does appear before the protagonist offering advice and choices to them, or maybe just guiding them on their journey to kill either of their enemies.
The idea that this DLC would bring about the end of the Outsider sparked a grand interest in myself.
I must admit that I didn’t rush out and by it, which I would have done if I was not already preoccupied with some of the big releases in the October – December period, so I picked it up for a cool £9.99 near the beginning of December and played it until Christmas.
For £9.99 alone, the game is totally worth it, regardless of the length. In fact I think that for the original price of £24.99, Dishonored – Death of the Outsider, is completely worth it! I loved it! But you need to go for the 80%+ in order to get your money’s worth. Having said that, there has been DLCs for more that have been completely not worth it, but this one is a true representation of GOOD downloadable content.
So in each Dishonored game you have played as a new character (at least a new playable character) and every time they have had a completely new set of abilities, thankfully Dishonored – Death of the Outsider is no different! In this game you play as Billie Lurk (played by Daredevil’s; Rosario Dawson), who was originally introduced in one of the first Dishonored’s DLCs, but played a primary role in Dishonored 2 as a former member of Daud’s hunter and then his former student (or visa-versa, as I did not play those DLCs) who learns that her assassin mentor is alive and being held by a gang. She must rescue him and in doing so, Daud gives her his final mission; Kill the Outsider. Billy must venture on a quest of vengeance to find the only weapon capable of killing him, as well as how to actually enter the Void and do the deed.
As I was saying, Billy is granted by the Outsider with her own set of abilities (why? I hear you ask. Surely he doesn’t want to help her kill him, but there is more to the story than I am willing to divulge). While she does not have as many abilities as the other characters from the previous games, I feel as if she has just the right amount, as previously I felt as if the protagonists had too many tools for the same job. In this Billy’s abilities are streamlined and each one offers enough for whatever play style you like (as Dishonored games are either about playing in Stealthy/non-lethally, going all in assault, or maybe a mixture of both).
One ability is the classic Dishonored teleport one. Each protagonist has had one of these in some form. Billy’s one allows her to put a marker down and teleport to it whenever she lives. So if you are about to go into battle, you can place a maker to allow for a quick escape. Or you can just use it to reach a high vantage point. I will say that this ability does not have much reach, and at times I found myself having to get to a higher vantage point in order to be able to leave a maker on the ledge I was originally trying to get to. If this reach was further then it would have sped up the gameplay, as at times I did feel it coming to a sudden halt. Other than that the ability is solid, especially when you leave a maker right where a guard is about step and teleport into him, causing him to explore in a cloud of gore. When you manage to do this quickly, it feels amazing. In fact that is one of the things that I love about this game series; mastering. If you look online, you can see people playing this game amazingly where they have mastered all the abilities and tools available to them and utilising them perfectly.
Another ability allows you to take the identity of an unconscious or asleep enemy/NPC and using this to get past guards. Every step you take drains more of your mana bar (Void energy). This is good for the stealthy playthrough of getting past a guarded checkpoint.
Another power you have is the ability to pause time/out of body recon ability. With this you can mark enemies and set up a teleport marker (so long as you have line of sight with the marker). You can also use this to mark items and collectables in other rooms behind walls and on different floors.
One final ability is one that is already available to you from the get go and that is the power to speak to Rats. Any cluster of rats found in the game, you can go up to and select, this will cause them to stand on their hind legs and speak in riddles (in a rather spooky child-like voice). This information can lead to clues as to how to get past an area, or maybe the location of a secret item. But then again it can just turn out to be gibberish, or something hauntingly eerie, but thankfully the game informs you if you have gained an important clue for the mission.
You also have a load of tools available to you, most of which are revamped versions of ones from previous Dishonored games, such as hook mines and bolt shots.
The DLC is only 5 missions, which might sound like not a lot, but then again compare it with the price tag. And while YES, you can smash through all 5 levels rather quickly if you stick to the main objective, and two of them take place in the same sort of location, and the first mission you have no abilities, and the last mission is quite linear compared to the others, the fact is that all of the missions have a lot of side quests and contacts to complete, some of which are much more fun than the actual main objective of that level. Some of these are incredibly challenging, but at the same time feel rewarding and do not seem as if they are just pointless tasks to bulk out the game, but actually do add to the story of the level, as well as continue to build the world in which the game is set in.
One level took me about 3 hours to complete, and I still did not 100% it (as I didn’t do all the collectables and what not).
But if you do play each level doing the main mission, doing all the contracts, and maybe doing a few of the level specific achievements, then you will surely get your money’s worth out of this DLC. And not to mention that it just felt fun. I really love these games and the flow of gameplay, and this DLC offers you the chance to do more of the same, but with nice new twists.
One achievement in Dishonored is to complete the game without killing anyone. In fact it actually makes the game quite harder and makes you look about for an alternative way of taking out your mark. It is quite clever as it makes you explore the level thoroughly, and does sometimes come back to either bite you in the arse or help you later on in life. The achievement is classic for all Dishonored games, but by playing it this way, you miss out on all the awesome killing weapons at your disposal, as well as the sweet kill animations and fighting moves that the game has to offer. So you do miss out, and a second runthrough is always needed; one non-lethally, and one going gung-ho. Although going gung-ho is actually quite hard at times.
With Dishonored – Death of the Outsider, there is only an achievement for completing 1 level without killing anyone, so that meant that this was the first proper time that the gloves came off and I didn’t worry about choke-holding people, instead heads got cut off and bodies were left in my wake.
Of course in true Dishonored fashion, when you revisit an area, killing people does cause an effect on the area, which is always a nice touch to see your actions affect the game.
I have just recently found out that if you complete the game, you unlock a New Game Plus, which is nothing new in the gaming industry, usually this teams that you can replay the game with all your abilities and unlocks that you had at the end of the game, however, with this DLC, you can play through the 5 levels once again only this time you have all the abilities that were available to you in Dishonored 2. Which is really quite a good few abilities for you to really mix up the game on a second run through. This has actually inspired me to replay it, as some of the abilities in that game were wicked and were missed this time around (although I did enjoy using Billy’s abilities regardless).
Overall I loved Dishonored – Death of the Outsider. I personally have put it in my top 5 games of 2017, maybe even more than Dishonored 2, which I think came out the same year and I played earlier this year, but only because this DLC was a tighter and intense streamlined version of the game. The lack of levels is made up with the extra content featured on them, and this really does make Dishonored – Death of the Outsider one of my favourite standalone DLCs ever made.
If you are a fan of the series, then you will be silly to miss out of this smaller, but important part of the franchise.