Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

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Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Death of the Outsider cover.jpg
Developer(s) Arkane Studios
Publisher(s) Bethesda Softworks
Director(s) Harvey Smith
Designer(s) Dinga Bakaba
Programmer(s) Hugues Tardif
Artist(s) Sébastien Mitton
Writer(s)
  • Sandra "Sachka" Duval
  • Sophie Mallinson
  • Anna Megill
  • Hazel Monforton
Composer(s) Daniel Licht
Platform(s)
Release 15 September 2017
Genre(s) Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is an action-adventure stealth video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is an expansion pack following Dishonored 2, and was released 15 September 2017 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It follows former-assassin Billie Lurk as she finds her mentor Daud and aids in his quest to kill the Outsider, a supernatural being who bestows magical powers on a select few.

Gameplay[edit]

The player can use various gadgets and gear. One such gadget is the hook mine, the hook mine can be placed on any surface, including walls and ceilings, and will grab any enemies and pull them towards it. This can be used to non-lethally neutralise a target or hide a body, though two hook mines placed nearby to each other can rip NPCs in half (killing them).[1]

After the first mission, the player gains access to three supernatural abilities, which cost energy to use; this energy regenerates to full over a short amount of time. Unlike previous games in the series, these abilities are all unlocked at the same time.[2] Lurk's main mobility power is "Displace", which allows her to set a marker in the world, the player can then teleport to it at-will at any time.[3] "Semblance" allows the player to take the faces of living NPCs and use them as a temporary disguise, though they can only take a character's face once. The disguise drains power as the player moves, but not when they are standing still.[4] Using Semblance on specific named NPCs may produce unique interactions. Completing the game unlocks an "original game plus" mode, where the player has access to some powers featured in Dishonored 2.[3]

During missions, the player may pick up optional "Contracts" at black markets, which are side missions that involve doing tasks such as assassinating another character;[5] in one example, the character is tasked with killing a mime and making it look like a suicide.[6]

Plot[edit]

After the events of Dishonored 2, Emily Kaldwin is reinstated as empress and begins to salvage the Empire previously broken by Delilah's rule. Billie Lurk wakes aboard her ship, the Dreadful Wale, having a recurring nightmare regarding her right arm and eye. Billie has tracked down her old mentor Daud's whereabouts to a boxing club in Albarca Baths, she makes her way to Daud's location, finding that the boxing club is run by a Void-worshiping cult called the Eyeless.

Lurk witnesses Daud being restrained by a special device that cancels out his Void-given powers, she disables the device, thereby freeing Daud. Daud is happy to see Billie and asks for her help in one last job: killing the Outsider, to which Lurk agrees, on board the Dreadful Wale, Daud explains that the Eyeless are in possession of a ritual knife, a special blade that was originally used to create the Outsider thousands of years ago. Daud surmises that the blade will allow Billie to kill the Outsider. Billie is then visited by the Outsider, who gives her a cryptic message, whilst simultaneously replacing her right arm with a Void-made arm, and her eye with a special red artifact, the Sliver of the Eye, the arm gives Lurk supernatural abilities.

Billie makes her way into the city once again to investigate the leadership of the Eyeless. Upon figuring out the identities of the leaders, Billie steals two keys to a safety deposit box in Karnaca's largest bank, she is able to infiltrate the bank and steal the knife, while also discovering that one of the Eyeless' leaders attempted to abandon the group and hid important documents in the Royal Conservatory. Once Billie retrieves the knife, the Outsider appears and explains that he knows more than most, revealing that Daud had died of natural causes aboard the Dreadful Wale while Billie was on the heist, much to her dismay, she returns to the Dreadful Wale and cremates her mentor's deceased body, thus also burning down the Dreadful Wale (an anagram of 'Farewell Daud').

Billie then infiltrates the Royal Conservatory, where she finds the documents, they detail the location of a Void portal at an abandoned mine outside Karnaca. Billie travels to the mine, which is now overseen and operated by the Cult that originally created the Outsider, the Cult members discuss occult sciences while marveling at the Void creatures walking about near the dig site. Billie makes her way to the Eye of the Dead God and absorbs it, allowing her to safely enter the Void portal.

Once inside the Void, Billie makes her way to the Ritual Hold, where the Outsider resides. There she finds the Outsider, seemingly bound and immobile. Billie is then given a choice, to either return the Outsider to the mortal realm by having Daud's Void spirit pronounce the Outsider's real name to him, which turns out to be the mark that the Outsider gives, or to use the ritual knife to kill the Outsider. Either way, the Outsider is displaced, and Billie acknowledges that with the Outsider gone, the world will be changed in innumerable ways. However, the Void will continue to exist and there is no longer anybody who can decide who will gain its power.

Development[edit]

Dinga Bakaba, lead designer of Dishonored 2, was one of the initial voices for making the Death of the Outsider standalone,[6] the game removes the chaos system featured in previous games, which tracked how many characters the player killed and altered the world depending on if the player had a high bodycount.[6] Developers felt that removing the need to find elixirs, which were previously required to fully restore energy, encouraged players to experiment more with the full range of powers. Giving all the powers at once was "liberating" for Arkane, as they knew the full extent of what any player could do at any point in the game.[2] Time restraints meant that levels couldn't all be "themed" in the same way Dishonored 2's levels were, though some levels are intended to make the player rely on different powers than others.[2] Co-creative director Harvey Smith had immediate concerns about the semblance power when it was first pitched, as he felt implementing the idea appropriately would take an excessive amount of work; ultimately the full extent and ramifications of the power were reduced to more "manageable" levels, and Smith was glad for its inclusion.[7]

Death of the Outsider is meant to bring an end to "the Kaldwin era", an arc that began in the first Dishonored with the assassination of Jessamine Kaldwin and followed characters involved with it, such as Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin.[2] Whether any future Dishonored games will be made is undecided, but would feature different characters as their protagonists.[8]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPC: 81/100[9]
PS4: 82/100[10]
XONE: 84/100[11]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GameSpot8/10[12]
IGN8.4/10[13]

IGN's Tom Marks considered it "a worthy end", but felt it didn't reach the "high bar" of Dishonored 2. Marks praised the "wonderfully detailed" levels and the encouragement to use abilities more liberally, though expressed mixed feelings at the removal of the Chaos system and lack of character progression.[13] Alessandro Fillari at GameSpot gave the game a positive review, praising the level design and individual missions, while also criticizing the story, stating that "while starting strong, the story eventually runs out of steam."[12]

GamesRadar+ ranked it 19th on their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017.[14]

The game was nominated for Best Expansion in PC Gamer's 2017 Game of the Year Awards.[15]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Golden Joystick Awards Studio of the Year (Arkane Studios) Nominated [16]
2018 Writers Guild of America Awards 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing Nominated [17]
National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards Art Direction, Period Influence Nominated [18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Donnelly, Joe (6 September 2017). "Dishonored 2 Death of the Outsider's Hook Mines look very, very cool". PC Gamer. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d O'Brien, Lucy (23 August 2017). "Gamescom 2017: Why Death of the Outsider is the End of Dishonored as We Know It". IGN. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Donnelly, Joe (13 June 2017). "Billie's 'displace' ability sounds awesome in Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Meer, Alec (15 September 2017). "Evasion of the bodysnatcher in Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Hardawar, Devindra (26 August 2017). "'Dishonored' gets unleashed in 'Death of the Outsider'". Engadget. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Fillari, Alessandro (26 August 2017). "Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider Lets Players Cut Loose As It Closes Out The Main Story". GameSpot. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  7. ^ Peel, Jeremy (29 August 2017). "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider delivers on the social stealth we were promised a decade ago". PCGamesN. Retrieved 3 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Osborn, Alex (25 August 2017). "Quakecon 2017: Future Dishonored Games Would Feature Different Characters". IGN. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  10. ^ "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  11. ^ "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018. 
  12. ^ a b Fillari, Alessandro (18 September 2017). "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 18 November 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Marks, Tom (16 September 2017). "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review". IGN. Retrieved 17 September 2017. 
  14. ^ GamesRadar staff (22 December 2017). "The best games of 2017". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  15. ^ PC Gamer staff (8 December 2017). "Games of the Year 2017: The nominees". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  16. ^ Gaito, Eri (13 November 2017). "Golden Joystick Awards 2017 Nominees". Best in Slot. Retrieved 28 January 2018. 
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (11 January 2018). "Best Video Game Writing Nominees Announced, See Them All Here". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 12 January 2018. 
  18. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  19. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.