Last year, the award-winning Dishonored delighted us with its open-ended approach and engrossing world. Opposite the previous released Dunwall City Trails, The Knife of Dunwall is the first piece of story-based DLC and it introduces new environments and gameplay mechanics for a small admission fee.
With the latest DLC, you step out of the comfy leather boots of the voiceless protagonist Corvo and assume control of the Empress-killing Daud. Picking up after her assassination, Daud is confronted by the Outsider within the Void and is told that “his story will soon end”, but that depends on whether he uncovers the mystery behind Delilah. Six months later, he soon discovers this Delilah and sets out to search for clues with his second-in-command, Billie Lurk. It’s a compelling story from beginning to its abrupt ending — the second installment,The Brigmore Witches,will be released later this year. What enhances the story is, unlike Corvo, Daud can speak. Thanks to Michael Madsen’s fantastic voice acting, Daud’s level narration and brief interactions with characters brings the story to life.
Essentially, The Knife of Dunwall is a more streamlined experience in comparison to the main story. A majority of Corvo’s abilities have been removed, except for Blink, Bend Time and Dark Vision (now called Void Gaze). Each has been slightly modified, like the Blink ability now temporarily freezes time and allows you to change direction in mid-air. Daud also has a new ability called Summon Assassin, which beckons an assassin to fight for you or distract guards. The emphasis on stealth is less prominent this time around, thanks to the addition of Daud’s combat-focused new toys. Arc Mines disintegrate anyone unfortunate enough to step in their path, while Chokedust grenades emits a cloud of dust that provides perfect cover from your enemies.
While the rest of the gameplay remains unaltered, the new levels you explore offer an abundance of opportunities for experimenting. The first area you come across is a new environment called the Rothwild Slaughterhouse. Not only is the area expansive, you also meet new enemy types, like the lunatic butchers, who are extremely difficult to eliminate. The second mission takes you to an estate where you need to find more information about Deliah by performing some tasks for a woman who has asked you for something in return. While the third mission has you retreading one of the weakest areas from the main game. It invokes a feeling of déjà vu as its inclusion feels like a filler meant to solely extend your play time.
Side quests are prevalent rather than occasional, with the addition of a new system for purchasing Favors before missions. These Favors will grant you access to the location of special equipment or information that pertains to that particular mission. It’s a welcomed addition that doesn’t feel forced or out of place.
The Knife of Dunwall is basically just more Dishonored, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. The abrupt ending may leave a bad taste in your mouth, but overall, The Knife of Dunwall is a satisfying addition to main game.
Editor’s Note: Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall DLC was reviewed using a PlayStation 3 copy of the game. If further investigation reveals any differences between the 360 edition and the PS3 edition of the game, this review will be updated to reflect those differences.