An honour to play?
‘Death of the Outsider‘ has been released as a standalone finale to the current Dishonored storyline. Is it worth coming back to, to see Billie Lurk try to kill a god?
Billie hasn’t been marked by the Outsider, so it able to move about free of his gaze in her attempt to take him out. Billie first needs to find her old mentor Daud to hatch her plan, which mainly seems to revolve around killing (or at least finding and interrogating) lots of targets to get to her final objective.
Even though it’s not a lengthy game, Death of the Outsider’s plot feels a little stretched out and padded, like a producer suddenly realised one or two additional levels were required to justify this being a standalone expansion rather than DLC.
Right out of the gate, there’s some noticeable changes between this standalone game and the core Dishonored 2. There’s no outsider powers to pick up and learn, and Billie is significantly more limited in her repertoire of abilities. In fact, there’s only three main skills, which use a system of recharging mana, and a side ability which allows you to talk to rats. This is an interesting system, because it’s almost entirely optional, but does often reveal interesting secrets, mission information or flavour text about the storyline.
There’s also no chaos system in play, so there’s no consequence to bludgeoning your way through the five main missions. This is a real shame, because so much of the replay value comes from taking different approaches. There’s obviously nothing stopping you from a stealth-based approach, but with no story or gameplay consequences it would make me significantly less likely to go for the New Game + mode, even if that does replace Billie’s powers with the ones from the main game.
Like its predecessor, Death of the Outsider isn’t an easy game, with tough AI who will be more than capable of hounding you out and overcoming you with force and overwhelming odds, but with a little bit of planning, foresight and quick thinking, a playthrough will be in the region of 5-8 hours depending on skill.
Arkane have always had some of the best artists in the industry, and that’s still true here. The dirty, mechanical world of Dishonored is always a joy to return to, and the city blocks and buildings look just as good as ever.
Death of the outsider is a bit more of a quiet game. Without the central ship area, there isn’t the option to talk with so many NPCs between missions, and the ambient dialogue doesn’t really make up for this entirely.
“Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider” is a short, but relatively sweet finale to the current Dishonored storyline. Will we see Corvo or Emily again? Who knows, but at least there is some closure. However, this is not a game without some reasonably significant shortcomings. Re-purposing old levels, the lack of any moral judgement to the plot and little consequence to your gameplay choices make for a title that has little replay value, and will be all over within 5-8 hours. If that’s a price you’re willing to pay, then Death of the Outsider is still a neat game with plenty to recommend it.