Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider feels less like a true standalone video game, and more like an extension of Dishonored 2, which was released last year, like with this release, had you exploring the streets and hubs of Karnaca. Despite feeling like an extension, Death of the Outsider is very much its own game, with characters you’ll care about and a story that will push you through.
While the city of Karnaca isn’t one you likely want to find yourself in…ever…there is still something appealing about the location. The various areas you will explore are done really well, conveying a sense of devastation and corruption, even before you ever speak to NPC or progress the story. You’ll feel like you know Karanca before you experience it, which is high praise in my opinion.
Everything seems to have a purpose and a place, and unlike other titles with open environments like this, the collectibles and items you will find never feel forced. They fit in with the area you are exploring, making everything look very natural. For example, you won’t find a stack of bottles in a corner with no apparent purpose, but rather, you’ll find them stored in crates near what appears to be shipping areas, or on tables or (obviously) at a bar. The items are not forced into the environment, and again, I see that as very high praise.
Controlling Billie Lurk
2017’s trend of having bad ass female character leads continues with Death of the Outsider, and unraveling the story of Billie Lurk and using her numerous abilities is phenomenal. In your first mission, you will save long time mentor Daud, and create a plan to destroy the cause of all the worlds supernatural faults: The Outsider.
If you’ve played Dishonored titles before – most importantly, Dishonored 2 – then the combat will feel very familiar, with melee attacks mapped to your right hand, and projectiles and abilities to your left. You can again use the D-pad to quickly swap between weapons and abilities, making combat – when you have to engage in it – a fun, rewarding experience.
Going stealth, however, is definitely the way to go; although you won’t instantly fail if you move out of stealth into open combat, you likely will still die, so working on stealthily moving around environments may be paramount to your success in the game. The easier the difficulty you choose, the less likely slipping out of stealth mode will result in your death.
Like previous protagonists, Billie can quickly ‘blink’ around the environment, but this time around, players are given control. By placing ‘waypoints’ Billie can move to specific areas of the map, within her range. In past titles, you were not always sure how far your character would move when quickly going from one spot to the next, but in Death of the Outsider, you know exactly where you will end up. This allows for way more control over the environment, and makes playing in stealth much easier, and frankly, more enjoyable.
Billie has at her disposal two other moves. Foresight will freeze time, allowing Billie to scout ahead and mark specific points of interest and enemies. Billie’s more interesting second ability allows her to remove the faces of dying NPC’s to take on their characteristics and body form. This Arya Stark type move really makes playing certain areas of Karnaca both exhilarating, and more doable without constant failure.
Side Content to Dig Into
There are side contracts you can grab in and around Karnaca, and these will often net you good amounts of coin which you can use to upgrade your arsenal. Unfortunately, they do get a bit repetitive the farther you get into the game, and when you hit the final chapter, they are removed completely from the game. Doing them early is a great way to earn coin quickly, and allows you to become more familiar with the environments you will be exploring as your progress the main story. It really is a win-win situation!
There are also bonecharms hidden all around Karnaca for you to find and utilize; finding these charms can take time, but don’t get too discouraged. The work is generally always worth the long term rewards.
Not Entirely New
The reality is, that for those who have played Dishonored 2 and were mediocre on the experience, not a lot has changed here. You are roaming around environments that look much the same, and although the abilities are new and pretty interesting, it’s probably not enough to make you more excited for this over it’s predecessor. This really is my only major caution. Don’t expect something different, because largely, it isn’t.
If you played through Dishonored 2 and enjoyed your experience, look at Death of the Outsider as an extension of that experience. From top to bottom, the game is polished, making for an incredibly enjoyable experience throughout. Those new to Dishonored might be a bit lost trying to peace together the current political climate of Karnaca and the characters involved, but should still find lots of enjoyment in the satisfying exploration and outstanding stealth game play. In our opinion, Death of the Outsider is a must own for all stealth fans!