With the story of Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin coming to a close in Dishonored 2, the series is moving on to explore different people and places around the Empire of the Isles. However, before we can close the chapter on Dunwall and Karnaca, there’s still one more loose thread to deal with – the Outsider.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider casts us in the role of Billie Lurk, another supernatural assassin who aims to do exactly that – bring an end of the Outsider’s meddling in the mortal world.
We’ve met Billie Lurk, aka Meagan Foster, in previous Dishonored games. She is Daud’s right-hand woman turned fugitive and boat captain. Death of the Outsider picks up a few months after the events of Dishonord 2, as Billie returns to Karnaca in search of Daud. From that point on, the game moves in an incredible speed. New powers are introduced, more secret orders are discovered, and we learn even more about the Outsider’s past.
It all moves really fast. Too fast. The Outsider is a really intriguing character, and one that hold great influence over the events of the series. Wrapping up his story in a handful of missions doesn’t really do him justice. The story ends up feeling rushed, and I think it would have benefited from a few more hours of gameplay.
Speaking of which, the gameplay is as good as ever. It’s basically the same as Dishonored 2, but with new powers to experiment with. Billie only has 3 powers at her disposal, but they completely change the way you can play. Displace works as a combination of Emily’s Doppelganger and Corvo’s Blink, basically allowing Billie to teleport a short distance and leave behind a decoy (if you choose). Foresight is a useful tool that lets you explore your immediate surrounding in peace, and highlight enemies or important objects.
But the most interesting and game-changing power is Semblance. Think of it as an upgraded version of Corvo’s Possession ability. Semblance lets you take the appearance of any character on the map for a short while. You can use it to gain entry to restricted areas, fool guards, and even talk to other people to learn valuable information. As with most other gameplay elements in Dishonored – you are only limited by your imagination and ingenuity.
You’re given all these powers almost at the beginning of the game, and you never need to upgrade them or unlock new abilities. While it is fun to be able to kick ass right from the start, it also stalls any sense of character progression. Powers can be augmented using bone charms, and some of them do change the way the the powers work, but it feels more like customization than progression. You’ll be a powerful assassin right from the start, and there’s not a lot of room to grow from there.
Apart from her new powers, Billie has a few new tools in her pockets. My favorite is the hook mine. I rarely laid traps in previous games, but the hook mine is so fun to use, I couldn’t stop. Once triggered, the mine pulls its victim towards it, and either kills or renders them unconscious. Seeing enemies tossed and thrown around as they trigger the mine is always a joy, and you’re bound to create some very funny moments if you use it often. Another useful tool is a new stun grenade, but it’s not nearly as fun to use as the hook mine.
The entire game takes place in Karnaca, and you’ll visit much of the same areas as in Dishonored 2. However, in Death of the Outsider, these environments are slightly different. You get to see the repercussions of your actions in the previous game, and that’s pretty cool.
There are a couple of completely new environments, with one of them being a high-security bank. The mission in the bank was my favorite, as it highlighted the freedom of play the series is known for. Just like in Dishonored 2, if you explore each level and listen, read and talk to people, you can uncover more ways of approaching each situation. Billie can even talk to rats and learn cryptic new information that way.
Another nice addition of the game’s world are contracts. These are essentially side-missions that help emphasize Billie’s past as a hired assassin. Each level has its own contracts, and they are pretty diverse. You’ll be asked to steal, kill, and even kidnap (or free) certain characters. You can choose whether to accept them or not, but completing them will net you rewards in the form of coin or a new bone charm.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider toes the line between an expansion and a standalone game. The story is completely new, and serves to wrap up the arc that started with the assassination of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Billie’s new powers are enough to make the gameplay feel fresh, yet very familiar. Everything else, however, carries over from Dishonored 2. It’s the same mix of stealth and combat, and apart from the new hook mine, all the weapons are almost identical to does we already know.
Death of the Outsider is, simply put, more Dishonored. If you’re a fan, that’s good news. This standalone expansion brings enough new ideas to the formula to justify another short adventure in the streets of Karnaca, and promises an interesting future for the series.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.