Dishonored: Death of the Outsider – Review (PS4, XB1, PC)
Enter the Void
2016’s Dishonored 2 set a new bar for the immersive sim genre. The sequel built on core concepts laid out in the original, as well as adding a slew of new powers, new locations, and a graphical overall thanks to the new console generation. Death of the Outsider aims to continue adding to that groundwork by being more than just DLC and standing as a separate product that adds to the franchise.
Assassinating A God
Death of the Outsider starts after the events of Dishonored 2. You play as the former assassin Billie Lurk, who is on a quest to aid her former mentor kill the Outsider, a mysterious god-like being who bestows the power of the Void onto the previous protagonists of the series. Overall the game is a bit light on story, but not too over simplified either. Fans of the series will be intrigued by the overall goal of killing the Outsider, as he has remained mysterious all throughout the series. Getting insight to the who, what, when, where and why of some of the most curious aspects of the series was very satisfying, but is in the end pretty forthright.
Let’s Get Supernatural
Playing as Billie comes with three new powers.
- Displace is your main movement ability. Aim and place a ghost-like version of yourself, then press again to teleport into the ghost you placed. In order to do so, the ghost must be in your line of sight and relatively nearby. Displace can also be used as an attack, by placing your ghost inside of an enemy and teleporting directly inside of them. This causes a bloody, horrific and awesome explosion of body parts.
- Foresight freezes time and let’s you have an out-of-body experience where you can fly and get a better idea of your surroundings. While flying around, you can tag enemies to see their line of sight for a future advantage when sneaking, as well as setting down a ghost to which you can Displace. The combo of Displace and Foresight can create interesting movement such as using Foresight to create an even further distance to Displace to.
- Semblance will steal an NPCs face to use as a disguise, allowing you to walk through hostile areas. This one is pretty self-explanatory we hope.
None of these powers are upgradeable, making you feel decently powerful right off the bat and allows you to not have to worry about finding runes. Though this removes the power customization elements, the lack of upgrades felt fitting for the shorter experience. What really changes up the formula is how often you can use these powers. Instead of needing to use elixir vials, your void powers will auto recharge at quick rate, allowing you to use your powers more often and at a quicker pace. Overall, cutting down to just three powers removes a lot of the creative sneaking and killing from previous titles
The environments are just as interesting and well thought out, with many nooks and cranny to explore, as well as multiple entry points to create your own mission path. Four of the five chapter levels are totally new, with only one being from Dishonored 2. However, it’s still reskinned and remade to feel fresh. None of the new levels stood out quite like the Clockwork Mansion, but overall are the quality you’d come to expect from a Dishonored game. Contract missions are added as side quests to each mission to earn bone charms or money, and overall are nice additions to get more millage out of each level.
Chaos and Consequences
One of the biggest departures is the lack of the Chaos system. There are no consequences or rewards for taking a lethal or nonlethal approach. In one way, it was a relief to not have to worry about accidentally getting a higher chaos rank on a mission (historically contributing to a “bad” ending). The unfortunate side-effect is that missions only have one story path, and it never matters if you choose to kill or not. Why go for non-leathal at all if there is no consequence for killing, or even slight differences in the story?
After beating the main campaign, an “Original Game+” mode becomes available, allowing you to use powers from Dishonored 2. Trophy and Achievement hunters will enjoy replaying the game to get some of the more unique trophies that encourage creative play. There is also a custom difficulty menu that can be fun to mess around with.
Our Recommendation: Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is very much more Dishonored 2, with some new elements and some taken away. The story fills in some interesting details, but is pretty thin. The new powers are fast and fun to use, but rarely used in interesting or creative ways. The lack of the Chaos system is almost too freeing. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s a lot here to check out, but those who are only semi-interested or haven’t played the mainline games might want to skip it for now.