Hands on with Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

Feature article

The next installment in the Dishonored series is a standalone adventure with some of our previous characters stepping into the limelight. Daud is back and has his sights set on killing the Outsider. To do this he sends his second in command Billie Lurk to assassinate the otherworldly being. Thanks to Bethesda we were able to try out the newest demo for Dishonored: Death of The Outsider ahead of its release in a few weeks.

One thing I would like to point out before we get into this is the game’s playability – Arkane Studios has created Dishonored: Death of The Outsider as a standalone game, working as an inclusive introduction to the world again for anyone who has not played the previous titles. Whether or not you have played the other Dishonored games should not dissuade you from picking up this game.

Ok let’s get into the demo.

One of the characters who really stood out in Dishonored 2 was Billie Lurk, the plucky ex-Whaler Captain with some badass backbone to boot. Somewhere in between the games it seems she has gotten a hold of some new powers and reconnected with her old master Daud.

Returning to Karnaca, Billie must trek through the city with her new powers in an attempt to take down “the bastard responsible for all the chaos”. Tracking down a series of gang leaders in the underworld of this Dishonored 2 city setting we were really able to see how much the gameplay has changed.

You can of course still choose between a non-lethal approach or go on a killing spree on route to your goal with the arsenal of powers and gadgets at your disposal. There’s certainly no problem with these still being key to the gameplay, they work well; it’s the other things that make the biggest differences. Here killing is not a huge deal, unlike Corvo and Emily, Billie has no real chaos system. Without the harsh consequences that the previous characters had, Billie is on a mission to destroy and the gameplay really flourishes now that experimentation and mistakes are more favourable.

Billie’s powers are honestly the best yet, culminating the best parts of abilities previously used. Displace is a new version of Corvo’s Blink, but improved, projecting a version of yourself in a different space. This projection can be queued up for later use or to work out exactly where you will be jumping to, instead of missing the beam like Blink used to do.

The second ability is extremely clever and would have been very useful in the previous titles. Semblance gives Billie the ability to blend into an environment or scene by stealing a human identity. This works on civilians, guards and even your targets. I found this extremely useful for infiltration, allowing you to temporarily waltz through an area without fear of being caught. This will surely have potential with the millions of ways to complete a task.

The last power we had access to was Foresight, an ability that really changed how players can approach any task. Foresight gives Billie the ability to leave her body behind and search an area for all interactive objects. Freezing time to float around an area, tagging enemies and seeing their routes can really help for any true stealth lover. Foresight also reveals hidden objects and pathways in the area, assisting anyone who is looking to do a 100% run.

All these powers work around the mana system, with one big twist – no more elixirs. Billie’s energy refills itself due to Billie being connected to the very void itself. On a small cooldown the bar fills very fast and allows players to use the powers much more freely.

An extra bonus added by the developers comes after finishing the game and starting again. In a game plus mode, you will unlock all of Emily and Corvo’s powers too. This will completely change the game a second time through.

Dishonored: Death of The Outsider has all the best aspects of it’s predecessors taken to the extreme. With true freedom to explore, unlimited chaos and abilities the game feels brand new again. Changing the formula works so well here and ultimately brings the series to new heights.

Dishonored: Death of The Outsider launches September 15th on PS4, PC and Xbox One.