Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review: Drunken Whaler

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Dishonored Death of the Outsider

The Dishonored series may be one of the best single player franchises to come out in recent years thanks to its open-ended gameplay, unique world, unique powers, and focus around choice. This helped create a rich tapestry of options and scenarios that players could conjure up and experiment with. Yet, despite being limited in some areas, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a bloody good time that closes the book on many of the series’ loose ends.

Acting as a standalone game, Death of the Outsider is set after the events of Dishonored 2 and follows the Dreadful Whale’s captain, Billie Lurk. A former assassin, Billie goes on a hunt for her friend and mentor Daud who has been captured by a local gang called the Eyeless. Once freed, the duo aims to take down the mysterious being known as the Outsider, who is seen as the center of all the world’s chaos. Unlike previous entries, the stakes for Death of the Outsider feel slightly disconnected. Billie’s lack of understanding of who or what the Outsider doesn’t make the conflict feel personal. That’s not to say Billie is a poorly written character, but her relationship (or lack of) with this being doesn’t feel developed enough.

Thankfully, some of this is remedied as you progress through the roughly 8-hour long campaign, however, one has to wonder if a character like Emily Kaldwin would have been suited this title better. Voice acting is strong once again with Robin Lord Taylor stealing the show with his cryptic and almost sympathetic take of the Outsider. The story culminates in a challenging, but satisfying conclusion for those who have stuck with this series since the beginning.

Dishonored Death of the Outsider

Returning is the familiar, open gameplay that allows players to experiment with various ways to complete objectives. Players this time around will have the four powers, two of which are takes on the traditional skills from the past two Dishonored games. Foresight is a modified version of Dark Vision that allows players to scout locations and targets by entering an astral form. It’s a great tool for those looking to go the stealth route and take less risky approaches. However, when combined with the teleportation spell, Displace, users can actually pull off some truly flashy moves. Being able to enter Foresight, move behind a locked door, place a Displace marker, and then warp to that point is incredibly satisfying.

The final two powers are flashy but ultimately lack any significant or game-changing punch. Semblance allows Billie to assume the identity of any person she has killed or knocked out, while the other just allows her to launch a sword slash at a distance. Both have very limited use in and out of combat, which is disappointing given that Semblance is such a cool idea. What’s surprising is the sheer lack of offensive powers in Death of the Outsider. While you can think up some cool combos with the four you have, Death of the Outsider really only caters to stealth players.

This becomes even more confusing since Death of the Outsider removes the Chaos system that the previous games are known for. The outcome of the world and story will never change regardless of how many bodies you pile up in the streets. Having the Chaos system removed is both liberating and disappointing at the same time. Even though I am free to experiment and not panic if things go sideways, the lack of any changes for those trying no kill runs is a letdown. There’s no doubt this mechanic was removed due to the new Contracts system, which acts as a way for players to obtain side missions – most of which involve killing someone.

Dishonored Death of the Outsider

Death of the Outsider’s moment to moment gameplay is still incredibly fun and satisfying, even on repeat playthroughs. Levels are big and open, allowing for smart players to take advantage of the world’s geography. There’s a ton of books and notes you can read, while Black Markets make a welcomed return for purchasing hard to find consumables. Sword fighting is a bit iffy at times, but landing a cinematic kill is still visceral and enjoyable. Many familiar foes make their return, with the Clockwork Soldiers still standing as the most imposing threat.

Levels are varied and interesting, with only one location being reused for Death of the Outsider. The standout is by far the Bank, which consists of a multilayered security system that will test your skills. Despite none of them having that wow factor such as the Clockwork Manor from Dishonored 2, they are all fun to explore and play in. Players can even come back to these areas via a New Game+ mode to try out other routes or side quests they might have missed.

Dishonored Death of the Outsider

Bottom Line

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is not a perfect game, but it does serve has a fantastic ending for this storyline. Despite the lack of combat focused powers and odd removal of the Chaos system, there is still a lot of fun to be had for new and returning fans. While your powers may lack the variety of options found in Dishonored 2, there are enough cool abilities to keep exploration and engagements from growing stale. Even though the game suffers a few wounds during its journey, Death of the Outsider serves as a must play for fans of Arkane Studios beloved series.


Score: 8/10

Pros:

  • Great level design
  • Displace and Foresight
  • Robin Lord Taylor’s Outsider
  • Fun stealth gameplay

Cons:

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  • Lack of combat focused powers
  • Removal of Chaos System