Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: Apr 15, 2013
Available Platforms: Windows, Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Reviewed Platforms: Windows
The opening cutscene mirrors the events that wrongly accused the main game’s silent protagonist, Corvo Attano of murdering the Empress. Here, Daud is voiced by Michael Madsen and while an assassin, is conflicted by the atrocity he committed, leaving a child without a parent giving you carte blanche to play how you want. He is quickly confronted by The Outsider, and is lectured. He is also given a name to investigate, Delilah.
What follows over the course of the three mission arc, last about 4 or 5 hours depending on your playstyle whether you continue a murderous rampage, or spare everyone’s lives to compensate. I didn’t sympathize with Daud, I was ambivalent and chose the nonlethal path as I did with the base game of Dishonored. I found it to be far more challenging as the game absolutely litters enemies about, but with the right use of nonlethal weapons and use of powers, can make it doable.
Mission structure is done a bit differently. There’s no hub like the Hound Pit to travel to for a safe area to walk around and converse with people. Before each mission, you’re given a screen where you can purchase your upgrades, items, and a new addition – favors. Favors allow you to acquire goods like runes or items you’ll need for the upcoming mission. It’s a neat addition that feels out of place because, well, who is he buying it from? It’s not a huge deal, but certainly a head scratcher.
After getting your first rune, a new ability comes in the form of calling an assassin to do your dirty work in a bit of a nod to Assassin’s Creed when they’d appear at a whistle’s blow. An obedient assassin will teleport in to distract enemies and take the brunt of the aggression while you do what you need to do. Blink for Daud is superior to Corvo. Here, when you enable blink to pick your attach point, time will freeze while you are stationary, allowing you to pull off some harrowing tactics of transporting from place to place without a full second going by.
Daud sports different gear than Corvo. Instead of a gun that fires the bolts, master assassin Daud wears a wrist-mounted device that is able to shoot the same bolts. Daud’s blade is more old-fashioned when compared to Corvo’s folding blade. It is more like an extended kitchen knife, but works just as well when you need to bash wooden fences or slice off overseer heads.
Locations take place in different districts of Dunwall, not seen by Corvo. But the second mission in particular stands out, as it takes place in a whaling facility, and you can see many alive, gutted, and dead whales being harvested for their oil and meat. The structure has to house these huge beasts that get captured, and so provides tons of verticality for Daud to employ many different approaches and tactics for getting around.
New enemies make an appearance, called Butchers – found in the same whaling facility. They wield large deli slicers, powered by whale oil to cut up the whales, but do an exceptional job on you too. There are some new weapons sprinkled about, like the new arc mine which shoots a tesla coil at enemies who come within its range, and disintegrate them.
My PC Specs:
– Intel Core i7 3770k @ 3.9GHz (Turbo)
– 8GB DDR3 RAM
– NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti
The story of The Knife of Dunwall can get lost within itself during your time with it, but you’ll be far too busy incapacitating guards, shooting them with sleeping darts and blinking around to even pay attention to it. The new additions make the DLC worthwhile, giving you new weapons, powers, enemies, and even some backstory to Daud and allowing you to sympathize with his actions, or not. If you’ve exhausted replaying the main game for both Low and High Chaos, then The Knife of Dunwall is a great way to jump back in and provides meaningful gameplay.
Retails for: $9.99, Recommended Purchase Price: $7.99
A Steam code was provided by Bethesda PR for review purposes