Developer(s): Arkane Studios
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: April 16, 2013
How long did it take you to complete the original Dishonored? Five hours? Eight hours? Twenty hours? I personally spent an embarrassing amount of time sneaking through the campaign without killing a single soul. You see, Dishonored rewarded the stealthy approach with a rich and complex experience while pretty much giving the middle finger to those solely relying on guns and grenades. Dishonored redefined everyone’s expectations of the genre and gave players the necessary tools to shape their own path to victory without the kind of handholding that’s plagued this generation for years. Knife of Dunwall continues this trend by introducing new environments, new gameplay mechanics, and a new protagonist with a rich and rewarding narrative at a mere ten bucks.
Meet Daud, the murderer of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. The story begins with a flashback to the day the empress was assassinated. As he makes the kill, Daud is pulled into the Void where the mysterious Outsider confronts him. The Outsider tells him that “his story will soon end”…but how entirely depends on whether he finds Delilah. But who or what is Delilah? Six months later Daud learns of a whaling ship named Delilah docking at the Rothwild Slaughterhouse and he sets out to search for clues with his protégé Billie Lurk. Playing from Daud’s perspective feels familiar, but there are enough changes separating the experience from Corvo’s adventure. Unlike the quiet Corvo, Daud speaks and serves as the narrator between each chapter. Michael Madsen does a spectacular job voicing Daud and his internal dialogue ads a whole new layer of depth to the narrative.
It wouldn’t be Dishonored without the spectacular magic skills and Knife of Dunwall ads enough gameplay tweaks to spice up the already stellar stealth mechanics. The Blink ability has been modified to temporary freeze time and can be activated at will for quick directional changes. For example, you can jump, then hold Blink in mid air while rotating the camera, and quickly change directions to easily confuse alerted enemies. It may be a small change, but it allows for more strategic traversal through the environment. Daud can also summon an assassin to either distract guards or assist in battle. It’s an effective ability, but not very stealthy. Even if summoned behind an enemy, the assassin attacks head on and it would have been nice if you could command a stealthier approach.
|Final Score||“A Real Treat for Fans”||8.0|
The engine is certainly showing its age, but no one can deny the spectacular art style. While the last two levels feel very "familiar", the Slaughterhouse feels fresh and unique.
Knife of Dunwall expands upon the superb stealth mechanics of the original Dishonored by adding/modifying the magic skill abilities for more strategic tactics. An absolute blast.
It's only ten bucks and offers a solid five hours of gameplay if you explore everything. However, the first half is significantly stronger in design than the last section of the game.
Michael Madsen does a spectacular job voicing Daud and the rest of the cast is just as admirable.
Review by Tin Salamunic
Tin Salamunic is the founder of The Game Scouts. He is a Video Game Journalist during the day and illustrator by night. He's been obsessed with video games since the early NES days, collecting every major system and game on the market. Video games are the reason he pursued the illustration career and he hopes to be creative director for a video game company one day. All Articles by Tin