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Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall DLC review: Mostly brilliant

Get your hands dirty as master assassin Daud in this three-mission expansion

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The first mission is the slaughterhouse, and it's brilliantly designed - both artistically and in the freedom it gives you to experiment. Arkane's exquisite world-building is at its best here, and learning about the dark side of Dunwall's whale oil industry is fascinating.

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The second mission is set in the city's affluent legal district, and sees you infiltrating the stately home of Arnold Timsh, a wealthy, and corrupt, barrister. The bright, open streets here are a nice contrast to the dingy, blood-caked corridors of the slaughterhouse.

Timsh's house is heavily guarded, but there are a lot of ways to get inside, including using a dumbwaiter as a makeshift elevator. When you reach him, you don't have to kill him. Each mission offers a darkly ironic non-lethal method of dealing with your targets.

The final mission is the weakest. Not only does it reuse one of the least memorable environments from the main game - the bleak flooded district - but it's overly difficult, as if they were somehow trying to artificially extend the length of the DLC.

The area is crawling with an inordinate amount of guards and power-sapping Overseers. Getting through the level without alerting anyone is almost impossible, and you'll drive yourself crazy with constant saving and reloading if you're trying to ghost it.

We love being back in Dunwall. The new environments, and the stories they tell, add more history and texture to an already compelling setting. The slaughterhouse, built around that great, groaning whale, is up there with our favourite Dishonored levels.

Daud is an interesting character. You'll remember him as the man who killed the Empress at the beginning of Dishonored - an event you relive through his eyes. His story is about him coping with the regret of her murder, as well as a visit from the enigmatic Outsider.

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The Knife of Dunwall doesn't offer anything wildly different from the main game. It's more of the same, but that's no bad thing. The quality of the first two missions makes up for the lacklustre finale, and if you're meticulous, there's a good amount of content to enjoy here.

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The verdict

Two brilliantly designed missions, filled with opportunities for experimentation. It's just a shame it loses it towards the end.

  • Two great missions
  • Fun new powers and gadgets
  • One not-so-great one
8.5
Format
PlayStation 3
Developer
Arkane Studios
Publisher
Bethesda Softworks
Genre
FPS, Adventure, RPG

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