Dishonored: Death of the Outsider launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC via Steam this week and we got stuck into it as soon as Bethesda sent out the review code on launch day. In Dishonored: Death of the Outsider you play as Billie Lurk, one of Dunwall’s most infamous killers. Using some new abilities that we’ll get in to later and a special knife, Billie is tasked with killing a god.
Typically in games like this, an explanation is required as to why you have no powers or abilities given your somewhat heroic past. In Dishonored: Death of the Outsider it is explained that protagonist Billie Lurk returns to Karnaca after years of hiding to find her mentor Daud. After finding and freeing Daud and gaining some powers, you are set off to kill The Outsider.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is full of bone charms which you’ll find scattered around the world in each of the five missions. Normal bone charms will improve basically every part of your gameplay, while corrupted bone charms improve a certain aspect more while giving you a weakness. As you work through the game and unlock all the bone charm slots, you become a lot more powerful and can choose bone charms that gear you more towards stealth or combat depending on how you want to play.
The great thing about the Dishonored “Play Your Way” system is that at any stage during the game you can very quickly change your skills and play the game in an entirely different way. There’s no leveling or talent trees here, just a unique and adjustable skill set.
Billie is given three main powers early in the game: Displace allows Billie to teleport within a few meters of herself, Foresight allows her to freeze time and look around the area using a vision, and Semblance which is a Hitman-esque skill whereby Billie literally drains someone’s face off and uses it as a temporary disguise.
All three of her abilities have their own perfect uses throughout the game, including some very sneaky assassinations. They use Billie’s three bars of mana which in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider are replenished automatically directly by the Void instead of having to search for mana vials. Health on the other hand works the same as the previous titles, where eating food will replenish a little bit while the health vials scattered around the world provide a much larger boost.
Billie can also listen to rats. While in other Dishonored titles you’ve been able to control rats and use them to your advantage, in Death to the Outsider you listen to the whispers of the rats. Often they can be a little hard to understand given their ghostly voices, but they provide useful tips for the surrounding areas.
Each mission has a shop location where you can stock up on your various items, as well as find contracts for what are essentially side missions. The side missions add a fair bit of replayability to the game (or at least loading your last save when you screw up), and the store always has some bone charms that you can’t find elsewhere so it’s imperative to head there in each mission. You can also purchase weapon upgrades for your grenades, mines and other tools and some stealth upgrades using coins that you gather as you progress.
Towards the end of the game there are no shortage of coins, but if you’re a truly skillful Dishonored player you probably won’t need much. Dishonored tends to be a game where you’re more rewarded for sneaking around and causing less deaths, so all the upgrades via the store and bone charms definitely aren’t necessary to finish the game. Even the various weapons you’re provided with in Dishonored are fairly redundant and merely an optional extra.
Dishonored: Death to the Outsider uses the same engine as Dishonored 2 and therefore looks just as beautiful as that game. The attention to detail in Dishonored games has always been amazing, and while there are plenty of objects to interact with it would always be nice if there were more. Interacting with certain objects to create distractions became quite fun, particularly in one of the missions where you put everyone in an area to sleep. Nothing beats waking up your enemy from a slumber before stabbing them in the face. After all, killers never change.
This game is everything you expect it to be. If you’ve played the other Dishonored games you’ll love the extra story and new powers, however with just five missions the game stops short of being what we would call a full stand-alone title. When you have expansions like The Witcher’s Blood and Wine which includes 30+ hours of story for what was the same price at launch, it’s hard to justify scoring a 4 hour campaign any higher than what we did. One massive redeeming feature of Death to the Outsider is that once you finish the game you can replay it using some of the signature powers from Dishonored 2, so at least there’s a very good reason to come back to it at a later point for another playthrough.
We used an EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW card which ran Dishonored: Death of the Outsider perfectly, and with a newly installed CPU cooler, temperatures were also at an all time low consistently throughout the game.
- A fantastic new story elevating the Dishonored lore
- More of the iconic Play Your Way gameplay
- Plenty of side content
- Not enough main content
- Stand-alone DLC almost being touted as a full Dishonored game