Developer(s): Arkane Studios
Platform(s): Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: August 13, 2013
To call Arkane Studios ambitious would be an understatement. The developer has not only designed one of the finest stealth games this generation, their DLCs are an exemplary illustration of how to treat post game content. Daud’s narrative isn’t some tacked on side story mindlessly slapped together to make a few extra bucks…no, playing through Daud’s perspective is a masterful evolution of Arkane’s richly imaginative universe. It’s a testament to the developer’s passion and love for the craft. The worst part about Daud’s latest venture is that it brings the Dishonored narrative to an end. The Brigmore Witches wraps up the assassin’s encore storyline beautifully, inheriting all of the core gameplay strengths while slightly tweaking the formula to avoid reiteration.
Let me begin by saying that you shouldn’t play The Brigmore Witches if you haven’t completed Knife of Dunwall. You can, but you shouldn’t. To jump straight into the most climactic chapters of Daud’s adventure would do the narrative injustice. Like a good novel, the experience shouldn’t be skimmed through, but rather thoroughly absorbed. After discovering the mystery behind the notorious witch Delilah, Daud sets out to stop her from completing a powerful ritual that would spell his doom. Can this be Daud’s last chance at redemption from his treacherous actions against the empress? Will he face mercy or punishment when crossing blades with Corvo?
The Brigmore Witches doesn’t break new ground, but it builds on its strong foundation by tweaking minor technicalities that ultimately make a striking difference during gameplay. Daud’s new Assassin’s Pull ability becomes an invaluable component when stuck in difficult situations. For example, being able to pull a whale oil tank from a receptacle when far away creates new strategic opportunities. At level 2, anything can be pulled. You can pull enemies into swarms of rats or pull them in for a quick kill. Assassin’s Pull also let’s you pull dead bodies out of the way when nearby patrols are alarmed. It’s amazing how a single ability can impact the gameplay.
If you’re continuing a save from Knife of Dunwall, all of your abilities and upgrades carry over. Additionally, there are new bone charms, the Corrupted Charms, granting both positive and negative effects. Do you want your defense boosted at the expense of movement speed? These new charms are probably my only complaint about the latest DLC as they seem somewhat pointless. There are already plenty of perks that don’t hamper your abilities, so I don’t see a reason in seeking these out…unless it’s just for the sake of collecting everything.
As with Knife of Dunwall, the most notable difference is in the breathtaking environments. The concept artists and level designers have once again crafted some of the most gorgeous and engrossing scenery around. The macabre tone carries an unequaled beauty in its contrasting display of death and aristocratic glamour. The diversity of each setting is fascinating, especially considering that all areas are part of the same city. I’ve never felt so compelled to search each nook and cranny for collectibles as in Dishonored and The Brigmore Witches introduces some of the most magnificent level designs yet.
Some of the most impressive scenery in Dishonored so far. Absolutely breathtaking and expertly designed.
Small changes can make a big difference. Daud's new ability ads an entirely new layer of strategy to the gameplay.
So many different ways to your objectives and so many side missions…for only ten bucks, you couldn't ask for more value.
As engrossing and impactful as ever. Both the soundtrack and voice acting are top notch.
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