It is time to say goodbye. Goodbye to the plague infested, ruined, once-beautiful city of Dunwall. Goodbye to the dust filled city of Karnaca. And goodbye to a world of characters we’ve been killing with, and for, since 2012. As French developer Arkane prepares to send off this chapter of the Dishonored story, we get to visit the Era of the Rat Plague one last time. With new powers, new missions, but an old… friend?
Weeks after Emily Kaldwin has returned to her throne, the once disgraced assassin Billie Lurke returns to the city of Karnaca in search of her once long ago mentor; the man she once betrayed to Delilah Copperspoon, Daud. Freeing him from a gang obsessed with the supernatural Outsider, the now frail, dying, murderer tasks Lurke with hunting out the tools for the ultimate assassination. It’s time to remove the source of all the bad that has plagued The Empire; time to put right all that was set wrong fifteen years ago with the assassination of an Empress. It is time for the killer-turned-pirate-turned-ally to Corvo Attano and his daughter, to kill The Outsider. One way or another, the god of The Void will feel the end of a blade. How that happens is completely up to you.
Death of the Outsider has a level of built-in excellence told over five missions. Expanding on last year’s sublime Dishonored 2 and reuniting us with the captain of The Dreadful Wale, Billie Lurke – voiced brilliantly by the amazing Rosario Dawson (Netflix’s Daredevil) – in a tale of revenge against a god.
Refusing the mark that has granted every protagonist the supernatural powers to tell their tales, Lurke must rely on powers given to her by accident by artefacts she collects on her journey that will eventually end with a face-to-face with the man that has silently reigned over the empire for generations.
Where Dishonored 2 brought with it Corvo’s powers from the first and made some fun changes to the base magic for those that chose to play as Emily, Death of the Outsider brings a whole new evolution to the powers available to you. The first and most recognisable power that Billie gets is “Displace”. Displace is an evolution of Corvo’s “Blink” power and allows Billie to drop a marker to teleport to at will. While traversal is the main point of this space on your weapon wheel, the more creative player can use it as a safety net of sorts. Drop a marker, take out a target and teleport back to a good hiding spot before the body hits the floor. The more cold-blooded player can place a marker over a target and force their body to explode into a bloody mess when the rules of physics prove that only one body can inhabit the same space at the same time.
Further round the powers wheel you get “foresight”, a power that allows you to invisibly look around the map and mark targets, areas of interest or collectables and find the most efficient way through an area. Satisfying to use, this power is yet another slight evolution of “Dark Vision” that also covers the fact you no longer have a magical heart guiding you through maps. Finally, you can knock out enemies and take their face, Aria Stark style, with “Semblance”, a pacifist’s dream power that allows you to wander through areas as other people.
By the time you’ve gotten to the end of this rather short story expansion, you can feel like these new powers need to be changed or upgraded. While bone charms return to the game and can add an interesting buff or two, if you are the kind of player that likes to look around the entirety of the massive maps presented to you, or if you are the kind of person that jumps on the newly introduced “contracts” (mini in-mission tasks that reward with extra cash for your purse and a reason to explore), you’ll find the novelty of these new powers wearing thin by the time of your final confrontation around eight hours after starting. However, one of Dishonored 2‘s interesting ideas returns: Original Game Plus allows you to play as Billie Lurke, through her hunt for The Outsider, but using the either Corvo or Emily’s powers. If you are that way inclined, it is a fun little way to add a twist to your game.
Overall, Death of the Outsider is a solid addition to the story of the Kaldwin Empire. The maps and missions are, as we have come to expect, spectacularly beautiful, deep in detail and a joy to spend time in. While the story and your targets along the way to your ultimate goal may feel a little inconsequential, there is no denying that this expansion has had as much love put into it as every chapter of the story before it. If this is indeed the last time we visit Dunwall, Karnaca or The Void, then it is a worthy end to the saga.