I can actually get along with this one.
Anyone who knows me knows I disliked Dishonored. I really gave that game a shot, and turned out I didn’t like it due to its overly strong difficulty mixed with stealth that I really couldn’t get along with turned me off on that game really fast. I skipped Dishonored 2 due to this issue, and from what I hear, I missed a very good game in the series. Maybe one day I will go back to it and try it out because Dishonored: Death of the Outsider has turned me around on the series.
Players take on the role of Billie Lurk. She is a hunted and very well known assassin for hire that has returned to find her old mentor, Daud, who is being held captive by the “Eyeless.” After rescuing Daud, he and Billie begin a final mission to find and kill The Outsider.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC
Price I’d pay: $29.99
From the very beginning, this feels like a revenge tale. Because of this, Billie has no reason to not kill anyone. Which is what was so annoying about the first game; I was constantly being reminded that killing enemies in Dishonored 1 was frowned upon and could result in a “bad” ending. That never stood well with me, and since I couldn’t get along with the stealth, I ended up getting overly frustrated with the overall experience. In Death of the Outsider, Billie is an assassin. While she doesn’t have to kill anyone, there is no dire need to not do so. That means anyone that got in my way was going to be skewered in some form or fashion. Making most difficult stealth spots a nonissue due to me just murdering anything in my way. That’s what has always made the Dishonored games so loved – the options.
I could easily choose not to kill a soul. I could attempt to sneak by enemies or use some of my void magic tricks to mask myself from enemies or simply displace myself above them on a ledge. I could scout out an area using an out of body experience ability and mark items and points of interest as well as enemy placements. Or, I could bust in, sword drawn, and start slashing my way through guards using both void abilities as well as traps and weapons like electrical shocks and (my personal favorite) the hook mine that grabs enemies in both lethal and non-lethal forms.
The options are here to do whatever the player wishes, not only from the items and abilities, but the situations and level structure. Sticking to the shadows and usually above enemies rewards players with not being in combat all the time. On top of that, there are multiple ways to both get to certain places as well as accomplish mission goals that cater to all kinds of play styles, which is great because I will begin an area sneaking, but it usually ends up in a fight, which I’m totally fine with and am fully equipped to take it on.
It’s not all easy, though. The difficulty is still stacked pretty high on normal. One really interesting thing is the difficulty sliders that allow me to customize how difficult the game will be, and this can all be changed at any time. Still, Billie can only take around three hits before dying, and dying can result in some major progression lost if players aren’t saving often. The load times can get a little long for my tastes too, and since this is very much a trial and error game, it can get tedious at times.
The visuals have always been pretty great in the series, and this one is no exception. The art style is a strange one, but looks really nice. The animations, particularly the kill animations, are really unique and brutal in their own right. This makes every action feel like an epic movie scene.
Each mission is spread throughout a large area level. It’s nice in the fact that it allows this small open world to be exploited through its well crafted design. Instead of going through the front entrance of an area, I could stick to the rooftops or even go through the sewers. It gives the player options, and that is always a good thing.
Each mission has side jobs that can be completed for extra money. These can range from killing a certain person not related to the main mission to finding an item that needs to be returned. These offer up both challenge and replay value for the player that wants to complete them all. And these are no walks in the park. Many of them take some careful planning and finesse to pull off, but when done right, it is both rewarding and satisfying. Money is used to upgrade Billie’s abilities and main stats that help out especially when going the more combat route I took.
Along the way, players will also find bone charms that can be equipped to Billie that give her perks that can be minor or major in many ways. There are even some that are so powerful that they come with a counter perk that is a detriment to Billie, so pick and choose wisely as to what is needed for a certain situation.
Death of the Outsider is a fun, bite sized Dishonored game that opened my eyes to the series once again. I enjoyed the open-endedness of the entire experience, and while I didn’t get a lot of details of the story, it was still enjoyable and fun to see. Dishonored fans will love this one as well, and people that may have been turned off from the first game may find this one much more enjoyable. There’s still some issues with stealth and difficulty, but in the end, it’s a fun experience overall with some great options.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.