Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review

When the Outsider first visited Corvo in Dishonored, he was shrouded in a cloak of mystery. Now, in the franchises standalone expansion, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, that cloak is ripped off and exposed. Arkane Studios has developed a great standalone story that anyone can pick up and enjoy. The classic mechanics are there with new abilities and beautifully crafted gadgets assisting protagonist, Billie Lurk in her hunt for the Outsider. All of these aspects makes this a must have game of this year.

A Standalone Story

Death of the Outsider’s story starts off fresh and new. It lays the perfect groundwork for those returning to the series and anyone new picking it up for the first time. In this standalone Dishonored title, Billie Lurk tracks down her old mentor Daud. They both work together to hunt down the “black eyed bastard” that has caused chaos and death across Karnaca.

For those who have not played the first game’s DLC, Billie is introduced as Daud’s best apprentice in the Knife of Dunwall story. In that story line Billie is not explored much, which makes way for this installment to do just that. Arkane Studios make the player feel for this character. They introduce her in a time of difficulty which really makes her have depth. This is explored more when her and Daud interact.

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Daud, The Knife of Dunwall

Daud is the reason Billie is where she is now, so it only makes sense for him to make it into the game. His interactions with Billie give her more character, but doesn’t really add anything new for him. What bothers me the most about Daud’s part in the game is the way he exits. Warning! A minor spoiler follows. He is killed off screen giving the player no sense of intimacy with his parting. Yes, he was an assassin which should make me hate the guy, but to kill him off screen the way they did gave me no emotional response. If Arkane Studios would have made his death dramatic and heartfelt, I would have had a better emotional response, but having it not shown and only mentioned in context made his death feel like an afterthought for the developers.  

Overall, the story is short and sweet. I was able to beat the game twice in one day running about four hours each. During each playthrough, I took different routes and approached situations differently. Like the previous installments, you have the ability to kill the Outsider or find another way to get rid of him. There is always a non-lethal option in Dishonored. Both endings were satisfying although I preferred the non-lethal option due to Billie’s attitude at the end.

What Death of the Outsider does best is giving the motivation to find out who the Outsider really is. This “God” like figure is shrouded in mystery throughout two entire games. This installment brings him forward into the spotlight. His backstory is revealed and he is humanized. His “God” like status is revoked at the end when you find out what he is. I won’t spoil it for you, but I was truly shocked to find out the truth behind the Outsider.

Classic Dishonored Gameplay

Missions in the game were similar to past game’s mission, but were no less fun. Level design was superb with the art design being similar to past games. The Victorian vibe translates well into the new gadgets Billie has at her disposal. I was able to use each one to my advantage as I traversed the level.  

Along with each mission came contracts. These are new to the franchise which you can pick up at the blackmarket shops scattered about in each mission. Some include challenging tasks such as kidnapping a bartender in the middle of crowded room or simply cremating a missing wolfhound. Every contract was unique and different from the last.

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Contracts

Most of the time I found myself going out of my way to complete these contracts which proved to be somewhat tedious and cost me a lot of time and resources. Granted, most cover similar tracks as the main mission, but they didn’t reward me enough for me to want to complete them. All they ever gave me was money which I could use to buy more resources. I would have had more motivation to follow through with them if they gave me more valuable incentives such as allowing me to upgrade my abilities in some way.

Speaking of abilities, Billie gets her own new set gifted by the Outsider himself. She has three abilities that are fun to use and experiment with. All three are required to maneuver around enemies and stay hidden. My biggest let down with the powers is no ability to improve them. Previous games had access to upgrades for each ability, but that is lacking here. Other than that each ability was fresh and enjoyable.

The last ability is granted to you when you retrieve the twin bladed knife. It grants you void strike which is a powerful blast of energy from the blade. Some pretty sick kills can occur as the enemy can fly up into the air and you kill them before they hit the ground. This method of attack is not so quiet which may be better with a lethal approach.

Void Strike

Verdict

Over all, this standalone game adds many new aspects to the universe such as abilities, gadgets, and level design. What really makes this game great is the game’s story. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is an amazing adventure that wraps up the story of Billie Lurk and the Outsider. It will be a satisfying end to the Dishonored universe for fans and a brilliant new adventure for those wanting to pick up the franchise for the first time.

THE GOOD
New Abilities
Outsider’s Origin
Standalone Story
THE BAD
Contracts
Daud’s Exit
No Ability Upgrades
9
Superb

Review Summary

Death of the Outsider is a satisfying end to the Dishonored universe for fans and a brilliant new adventure for those wanting to pick up the franchise for the first time.

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