By: Imran Chaudhry
Dishonored 2 was released almost a year ago to critical acclaim, making the Dishonored franchise one of the most successful stealth IPs of the decade. With the impressive supply of DLC for the first game, it’s no surprise Dishonored 2 would get some DLC. However, instead of traditional DLC within the game, we’ve gotten a standalone adventure for Meagan Foster, captain of the second’s game safe house The Dreadful Whale. Meagan Foster is no more, and Billie Lurk, her real name, wakes up after the events of Dishonored 2 to embark on her own adventure and has her own encounters with the infamous outsider, the black eyed one who bestows his powers on whom he chooses.
I highly recommend playing Dishonored & Dishonored 2 before playing this game, especially Dishonored 2, otherwise many spoilers ahead, you have been warned!
A Story For The Fans
This is definitely a story for the fans, bringing together the trials and tribulations of the Dishonored franchise to an outstanding climax, and bringing much more depth to a beloved character from Dishonored 2, Meagan Foster/Billie Lurk. Back on The Dreadful Whale and taking in the engrossing environment that Dishonored 2 created, you are thrown back into a nostalgia filled adventure. Additionally, this game takes a deep dive into the origins of the Outsider, how he came to be and how the void intersected with their world.
Whilst this game hits all the nostalgic sweet spots, it is clearly a short, standalone game. Lacking the incredible variety of Dishonored 2’s level design, with major reference to the outstanding clockwork mansion, Death of the Outsider feels less innovate in design relying much more on the narrative and story to carry you through the levels. This is not to say the levels are boring, I was still able to have plenty of fun going through each level deciding how I wanted to approach a certain objective, using quick load more than I’d like to admit.
If you like collectibles, there are plenty for you here in such a small game, but there is less choice and puzzles than Dishonored 2. There are no runes, but there are bonecharms, which can add abilities to Billie such as stronger slash or better agility when equipped. Due to the shorter nature of this game, there may be less incentive to go for collectibles and gather lots of coin, however doing so can help you and provides some exploration fun for the completionists out there.
On top of the main campaign, there are contracts, which act as side quests within the game. You can pick these up at the black market, where you can also upgrade Billie and buy consumables, however Billie’s upgrades are limited.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a very fun game to play if you love intense, gory action. Similar to the previous two games, Billie wields her sword against various enemies slicing and dicing the unfortunate men and women who get in her way. Many features from Dishonored 2’s combat system are back in this standalone adventure, from types of mines, slow-motion kills and the ability to approach a combat situation from any angle. Oh, and the clockwork soldiers make a returning appearance, which I both enjoyed and thoroughly hated.
Without giving away too much, Billie Lurk does have supernatural powers in this game, however she is limited to only 3, all of which you cannot upgrade any further. With a mix of powers and weapons, mines and bombs, stealth and all-out attack, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider provides a very replay-able game, even if it is less so than Dishonored 2.
A Work of Art
Whilst this game is a lot shorter than the two main titles in the franchise, it must be one of the most beautiful. The shorter campaign and fewer levels may be reason for the outstanding amount of detail in the environments, increasing the immersion and making you want to explore more and more of each level. Occasionally, you will have to return to the same area for another level, however, at a different time of day the lighting of a sunset transforms the environment into a completely new world to take in.
Mechanically & Technically Sound
Again, due to the smaller scale of the game, and the chance to polish any problems Dishonored 2 may have posed, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider has very few problems with performance. Even with everything set on ultra, a smooth frame-rate was consistent and textures looked incredible. The movement and combat felt fluid, maybe even more so than Dishonored 2, allowing for a really fun and engrossing game with no jankyness.
Overall, Arkane Studios have done the Dishonored series justice with this standalone instalment of Dishonored. Whilst some areas like level design are clearly lacking, the well written narrative and nostalgia drive the story to create an engrossing game that can be hard to put down, pulling on Dishonored fans heartstrings.