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Dishonored: Death of the Outsider [2017 -- Arkane Studios]

Started by Starfox, May 22, 2023, 08:36 PM

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Originally published on December 26, 2017

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider follows the adventure of Billie Lurk (AKA Meagan Foster), a while after the end of Dishonored 2, in her search for her old mentor Daud, the same Daud who assassinated Jessamine Kaldwin about 15 years earlier. She doesn't want to kill him, mind you (although she did try to kill him 15 years before), just to get some closure with her past and the guy that in many ways is like a father figure to her. But then when she finally manages to track him down, she discovers that Daud has a big plan in the work, one last contract that he thinks could repay every bad things that happened through the years every bad deeds that he and Billie did. The mark for this last contract is... the Outsider. But can you even manage to kill what most people in the Isles see as a God?

I should put a disclaimer in there. If you haven't played at least the story DLC The Knife Of Dunwall for the original Dishonored (in which the relations between Daud and Billie are explained) and of course Dishonored 2 (in which Billie Lurk figures prominently under the assumed identity of Meagan Foster) chances are that you won't understand a lot of  the background of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. (hereafter DDO -- God I hate long titles) However, Bethesda and Arkane decided to release this game as a standalone instead of a DLC for Dishonored 2. In a way this is nice, in another way, if you know nothing of the series and decide on a whim to play only this last game, good luck to understand the story and characters involved. Furthermore for your understanding to be complete you must have left Billie live in The Knife Of Dunwall and you must have completed a certain mission of Dishonored 2 in a certain way (can't be very specific because of spoilers but if you never tried to complete this mission in the "canon" way you won't really understand why Billie is how she is at the beginning of DDO as well as a few other things).

Yeah, the Dishonored series unlike say... Mass Effect, is not very good in the "let's take player decisions in the previous game and go from there" department. Arkane just assumes that your story evolved in the best way possible and continue their story based on this.

Disclaimer aside, let's see what the game has in store for us.

There are a few gameplay changes between DDO and the rest of the series. First of all, say good bye to the so-called "chaos system". Your actions within a mission (whether you are stealthy and don't kill anyone or a bloodthirsty psychopath) are still being pointed out at the end of the mission via the same graphic displayed in Dishonored 2 but it doesn't really affect anything else in the game aside from a few cosmetics here and there. The only chaos-like decision the player makes that really has an impact on the ending of DDO is the very last decision. This very last decision orients the game toward a good or a relatively grim ending. In short the end of the game is not decided anymore by the orientation you give to the gameplay since the very beginning of the game. In the first and second Dishonored game it was very difficult if not impossible to get out from a high chaos situation once it was established -- although it was very easy to get into a high chaos situation even at half game. Whether this change is a good a bad thing, I let you judge. I guess it's mainly a matter of taste.

Another significant change is the way the powers system works. At one point Billie is given three active powers to work with, two of them being very different from anything Corvo, Emily or even Daud could use, the third one being Billie's version of Emily's Far Reach, with a little twist. She's also granted a passive power at the very beginning of the game (the ability to understand rats -- which depending on the situation may or may not be useful) and later after reaching a certain point in the story she's granted two additional passive powers one of them being bonecrafting which works in the exact same way as Dishonored 2. Unlike the previous games however, these powers both active and passive don't need to be acquired with runes and they cannot be upgraded (although they can be altered or enhanced if you find some relevant bonecharms). Also unlike Dishonored 2 you cannot refuse them because those powers are not gratuitous and are linked to events from the previous game (once again, if you played it the "canon" way).

Billie's equipment can still be upgraded using the black market dealers. The difference here with the previous games is just that there are no upgrade plans to be found anymore during missions. Everything is available from the start, one just has to get the money to afford the upgrades (that's possibly the hardest part)

DDO is supposed to put an end to what some people refer to as the Kaldwyn cycle... while I would rather myself talk about an Outsider Cycle. As of the writing of this review nobody knows if there will be another Dishonored game, which form it will take or even if it will be called "Dishonored"; it is implied however that no matter how you end up this last game, the entire world of Dishonored itself will be significantly altered by Billie's actions.

Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider is a nice game that ties up the series nicely. You can expect an average of 15 hours playtime -- around 3 hours per mission, your mileage of course may vary widely depending on the kind of playthrough you perform (stealthy and thorough searching or bloody and right to the point).

Guess what it means!