Dishonored’s exciting final chapter
One year after Arkane Studios’ stellar Dishonored 2 the studio is back for one last big hurrah. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider marks the thrilling, final chapter of the franchise’s current story arc.
In the game you play as the assassin Billie Lurk, a returning character from Dishonored‘s first DLC, as well as Dishonored 2. She teams up with her former mentor Daud to take on one last unthinkable mission: kill the mysterious, all-powerful Outsider. The Outsider, as Dishonored fans will know, is the supernatural being behind all the magical occurrences since the series began. How does Billie’s mission stack up against the previous games? Let’s take a closer look!
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC
Before diving into the specifics of the game, I want to point out what versions are available. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a full standalone game available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Digital Download for Xbox One version is also available if you prefer to download your games.
Another option is the Deluxe Digital Download for Xbox One. This edition packs two games-in-one: Dishonored 2 and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. It also includes The Imperial Assassins Pack, DLC that gives you bonus in-game items. I highly recommend this for those who never played Dishonored 2—as the story connects to Death of the Outsider.
A final option is the Dishonored Complete Collection: Digital Download for Xbox One. This is the ultimate edition for newcomers to the Dishonored franchise. The Complete Collection includes Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Dishonored 2, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, and The Imperial Assassins Pack. With this you’ll have the entire 5-year history of Dishonored, meaning every entry in the current story arc.
Yield supernatural powers
Looking at the gameplay, Death of the Outsider has many differences compared to Dishonored 2. First and foremost, Billie has three different supernatural powers that remix the ones from the previous game. This time they’re called Void powers and are actually given to you by the game’s antagonist, the Outsider.
Displace is the first power, and it allows you to set a marker in the world then later teleport to it. That makes it similar to the last game’s Blink, only this time the teleportation isn’t instantaneous. Because of this, a lot of interesting scenarios suddenly become possible. For instance, you can set a rooftop marker, jump down and kill some enemies, then teleport back on up. Or, you can place a marker around a corner, pickpocket a few civilians, then quietly teleport away. These are just a couple of the dozens of potential uses.
The second supernatural power you possess is Foresight and it’s this game’s version of Dark Vision. Foresight completely stops time around you and allows you to explore the area in spirit form. As well, you’re able to tag civilian and hostiles then see their silhouettes through walls. You can also pass through small holes like grates to view areas you’d normally not be able to. The game gets really interesting when you start combining supernatural powers. For example, you can use Foresight to travel through an open window, set a Displace marker, and then teleport to the other side.
Your last power is called Semblance and it’s perhaps the most interesting of them all. This lets you steal the faces of living NPCs and use them as a temporary disguise. See a guard checkpoint ahead? Nab the face of a patrolling guard and then you’ll be able to walk straight through like you’re one of them. There’s one catch to this power though: you can only use it once per person. As a result, you’ll need to think through scenarios carefully knowing you only get a single chance. For those of you who prefer stealth gameplay, Semblance is an absolute must.
No more consequences
Death of the Outsider makes other changes to the core gameplay as well. The morality system from Dishonored 2, known as Chaos, is entirely absent from this game. This system would take your actions into account (like murdering innocents) and character dialogue can change as a result. The game would also get harder the eviler your choices were.
By removing Chaos, you’re now able to handle situations any way you desire with no consequences. So if you want to rush in and hack everyone to pieces that’s your prerogative. On the flip side, if want to go entirely stealth with no kills that’s possible too. In fact, your three supernatural powers—Semblance, Foresight, Displace—all support the stealthy approach. I think it’s a step in the right direction but I can see fans of Chaos being disappointed here.
Another big change in Death of the Outsider is your Void Energy now auto-replenishes within seconds. Previously you needed to consume Elixirs to refill your energy gauge, and this also meant carefully managing your energy use. Now that your energy recharges on its own you can be much more liberal using your Void powers. This again is another great decision as it quickens the game’s overall pace and lets you attack all-out. Even when you completely deplete your energy, a few short seconds later and you’re back to maximum power. It really does make a huge difference in a good way.
Take on assignments
The last new addition comes in the form of contracts you can take on from the black market. Some of these contracts are even more adventurous than you main objectives so I highly recommend taking them on. In one scenario I had to retrieve the contents of a safe that was inside a house filled with tripwires. Another tasked me with killing a mime but making the whole thing look like an accident. My favourite though involved kidnapping a bartender, carrying him across town, and then stuffing him in a box. Most missions stipulate that you can’t be detected in the act, which makes them challenging and tense.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a worthy standalone entry in the series that provides a thrilling conclusion to the current story arc. It’s a shorter than the previous game—about half the length—but packs plenty of excitement into its roughly 8 hours. Death of the Outsider practically begs multiple playthroughs though with its numerous contracts and play styles. There’s even a New Game+ mode that gives Billie all the supernatural powers from Dishonored 2. Fans of the Dishonored series or stealth genre definitely shouldn’t miss out on this one.
+ Interesting characters
+ Useful new supernatural powers
+ Satisfying combat
+ Lots of neat side quests
– Plays it pretty safe
– Story elements are limited
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5