I was facing a patrol of four soldiers I needed to take out, but I wasn’t worried. First, I sent my spectral self into their midst and tagged all of their positions. Then I teleported across the room to the most isolated soldier and used a broken glass to draw him away from his friends. After he was was unconscious, I used my greatest power: the ability to steal his face so I could move among his friends. I walked up to each of them, spoke to them, and then choked them unconscious whenever their companions looked away. After a while, I stopped being sneaky; even when my prey found the bodies and panicked, I could still sidle up to them and choke them out. Somewhere along they way in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, I stopped being a crafty assassin and became a non-lethal monster. Specifically, I think I became the monster from John Carpenter’s The Thing.
If you’re a fan of the Dishonored series, Death of the Outsider can be a bit jarring. In the original series, the Outsider grants you abilities that you can use to stealthily navigate Dunwall. And these abilities were impressively powerful. If you saved up enough energy, you could toss enemies through the air, summon angry rats or teleport behind armed guards. Here, since the Outsider is your target (though I never quite figured out why), you don’t get to use those abilities but you do have unlimited use of less powerful powers. This is how Outsider flips the script: rather than limited use of an array of powerful abilities, now you have unlimited use of three more modest powers. Displace lets you teleport, Foresight lets you invisibly scout an area, mark targets, and highlight their walking route, and Semblance (my favorite) lets you take on the identity of an unconscious target.
These abilities have some neat twists, too. Foresight lets you scout invisibly for a short time, marking targets and their walking paths in regular gameplay. Once marked, you’ll know not only where they are but where they plan to walk to next. Semblance, on the other hand, lets you disguise yourself for a set number of steps, meaning you can stay disguised as long as you stay still. At one point in the game, I was being chased by an army of guards. At a dead end, I fought and overpowered my first pursuer. Then I quickly stole his identity and stood by as my subsequent attackers ran past me. Then I stalked them, knocking them unconscious one by one. It is pretty fun to be an assassin, but it’s an absolute blast to be The Thing.
As a standalone expansion pack, Dishonored is not as long as the previous titles. There are just five stages to explore, but there are plenty of side missions to keep you engaged. Much like the other titles, neither the characters nor the story really resonated with me and the ending is a little bit disappointing. The game has nothing as impressive as the outstanding levels in Dishonored 2 (though the Bank Job comes close!). But, for me, the new ability “Semblance” was a real game changer. If you like playing as a non-lethal monster, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider may be a great title to check out.
Having only three abilities feels limited, but their unlimited use and novelty are a great deal of fun.
The title is pretty short and the stages are good but not amazing.
OVERALL: PLAY IT
If you’re a fan of the original titles, don’t let the shorter length keep you away. You’re going to want to try these new abilities. It may be a little brief to justify the price, but definitely try this game.