Note: This will have spoilers.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is the standalone DLC sequel to Dishonored 2 made by Arkane Studios. In this installment to the Dishonored franchise, you play as former-assassin Billie Lurk who is given the task by her mentor Daud to kill the supernatural being known as 'The Outsider.'
Set sometime after the events of Dishonored 2, you play as Billiy Lurk, is a former assassin who is on the hunt to find her mentor Daud. Once confronted, Daud gives her one final job: to kill the supernatural being who is the reason for people having their powers known as 'The Outsider.'
Just like Dishonored 2, Death of the Outsider doesn't change up the formula. Other than it being a shorter and cheaper game, it sticks true to what a Dishonored game is, which is exactly how I like it. What I like most about this series is that it doesn't try to make any large differences to the game. Instead, the franchise sticks to what works and keeps it that way. Because of that, I will not talk about the basics of the game. Instead, I will be looking at what this game brings new to the table and see where it improves or becomes worse compared to Dishonored 2.
One thing this game does differently than the other two is that this story does not involve Corvo. Despite my love for the character, I think this separation was good. Playing as someone new who has different motives and tasks is refreshing and it opens up the addition of a new mechanic (which I will get to later). Also, I think the story itself is interesting, as for it fits better with the darker themes of the game and brings interesting side characters into the limelight. Unfortunately, the story falters in the smaller bits. For example, I almost missed the fact that Daud died halfway through the game, because the announcement of his death was thrown into the first half of a short cutscene. For a character as important as Daud, having his death announced in a cutscene out of the blue felt unimpactful. Speaking of unimpactful, it seems that the gameplay has no impact on the ending. In the previous game, your choice on how many people you killed affected the ending you got. This time around, the ending is subjected to a single choice at the very end-kill him, or spare him. Their is nothing you can do in the game that will impact the ending in any way. But what is even more uneventful than that is the fact that their is no final boss fight. I was really looking forward to facing off against the Outsider, as for he is a character who has loomed over everyone in the game, and I think a boss fight would have finished the series well. Instead, you find him frozen in stone, possibly awaiting a dagger into his heart. Overall, I would say the story was good, but it had its uneventful hiccups.
Having this different story allowed for a new mechanic to be placed in the game: contracts. Contracts are side objectives given to you in exchange for a reward. I loved the addition of the contracts, as for they extended the length of the game and added more challenge to the game. Sure, I could go into the bank and kill everybody, but the task given to me was to not even touch one single person in the bank. So, I bought knock-out gas and sedated everyone. But some people were still awake, so the challenge was to sneak by them without being alerted. It's these challenges that made the game that much more fun.
Speaking of length, this game is shorter in a couple of ways compared to the first two games. Normally, I would say that is a negative, but this game is half of the price, so it should be no surprise that their is half of a game. While the contracts prolongs the length of the game, I still clocked in around six hours to complete the campaign. Also, their are less items and powers in the game. It sucks that their are less items and less content, but I don't hold that against the game. But I do praise the fact that the items and content are for the most part new, with new items, powers, and locations.
The new content in the game is really where the game shines for me. The new weapons and powers are a blast to use and are the most useful to me compared to the other games. The contracts like I said are fun to complete and make the game longer. What was most surprising to me was the addition of a custom difficulty mode. This mode was very detailed on how you want to set the difficulty by offering difficulty choices to all sorts of modifiers. One thing that was taken out of the game are elixirs to use for your powers, being replaced by your mana recharging. I was happy to finally use all of the powers without feeling the need to worry about recharging my mana. Unfortunately, their is one piece of content that isn't so great; and that is the new game plus. The new game plus is just a new game, but with powers from Dishonored 2 instead of this one. On one hand, I think having new powers is a cool way of playing through the game in a different way. On the other hand, it leaves me wondering why these powers aren't in the normal game.
The verdict: Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is a great addition to the Dishonored franchise despite the fact that it is a shorter experience. The story is a good break from the Corvo story line, and the new items and areas are fun to be in. Some uneventful story events held the game down for me and left me disappointed at spots. For Dishonored fans, this is just more of that. For people who don't like the series, this game will not change their opinion. This game kept to the formula that makes the franchise great, and that is why I love this game just as much as the previous two.