Spoilers, of course. It’s been a while but I’ve hardly had time to breathe this last semester, much less focus on writing.
I did get to play Death of the Outsider, which is the latest Dishonored installment (and you all know how much I love Dishonored). DOTO follows Billie Lurk, aka Meagan Foster, aka the alias of the Whaler-turned-Witch, accomplice to the murder of Jessamine Kaldwin and betrayer of Daud. Canonically, Daud allowed Billie to live and she fled out of shame, taking to the sea and spending her days on The Dreadful Wale until she encounters the dethroned Emily Kaldwin, angry and vengeful and trying to get her father back. Fun fact, did you know that Dreadful Wale is an anagram for Farewell Daud? I love that.
So all of this happens before DOTO, which takes place after Emily is empress again and Billie is back on the seas, minus Sokolov. She’s out looking for Daud, who she soon finds trapped in a fighting ring, and quickly rescues. The first mission of the game is rescuing Daud which was fantastic because Daud is, by far, my favorite character in the Dishonored universe. Also, you play this mission without powers, so that was a fun time. You are reintroduced to Cyria, a district in Karnaca, where a gang called “the Eyeless” have taken residence. The Eyeless are worshipers of the Outsider (who dismisses them as “unhinged”) and Billie finds herself facing off against them several times throughout the game. But that’s for later discussion.
So you find Daud and that’s when the whole death-of-the-Outsider thing comes into play. Daud is old. He’s no longer the sprightly assassin that he once was, though that’s a terrible way to phrase it because Daud is, in all honesty, terrifying. He wants Billie to kill the Outsider so that no more “monsters” like him will crop up in the Dishonored universe. He believes that if the Outsider were eradicated, it would be the end of all general corruption. The Outsider, apparently, is solely to blame for everything dark and wrong. The Outsider is the reason Daud killed all those people.
This is where I was a bit… eh.
So, here’s the thing. Throughout Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches DLCs, which were extensions of the very first Dishonored game, we play as Daud. It’s the first time that he is introduced, and he’s reeling from the fact that he murdered and empress, made a mistake, and basically sent the whole kingdom spiraling downwards. Daud acknowledges his responsibility – it was his lack of foresight and impulsiveness that led to this issue. He repents because he knows that the whole thing is his fault.
DOTO seems to erase this version of Daud and replace him with one much more… scapegoat-y. Suddenly the Outsider is to blame. And while you listen to him trying to make a case for his conclusion, you aren’t convinced because it’s a very flimsy argument. I felt, at least, that there was no way to see it from Daud’s point of view because his point of view made no sense. He believed that if the Outsider was killed, it would be the end of evil itself.
What happened to the Daud that took responsibility?
I still loved him, though, and I’m also a little miffed that his death was off-screen. Are you serious? Daud, the great assassin, the Knife of Dunwall, nightmare-incarnate Daud passes away on a boat in the middle of the ocean. What. It was so anticlimactic and so undeserving. Seriously, I would have understood if he’d had a terrible death– I hoped that he would die trying to redeem himself by saving Billie or something of the sort, but nope. The Outsider just mentions that he knows Daud’s body is on the boat and Billie’s like “no way he can’t be dead.” Sorry Billie. He dead.
So yeah. Was not happy with the direction of Daud in this game. Let me talk about something I liked, though: if you read my review for Dishonored 2, you’ll have read that whole rant about the replacement of Billy Lush as the Outsider. I’m still sad that Mr. Lush was let go, but I don’t know if maybe I’m more used to Robin Lord Taylor’s voice or if he grew more comfortable in the role, but he was much, much better in DOTO. He didn’t annoy me, I didn’t feel like I had to skip through the cut-scenes. I will say that I ignored him while he was talking during the small monologues given when Billie discovers a hollow, but I liked him more in this game.
I’m sad that there was no mention of Corvo, and barely any mention of Emily. They’re both such huge players in this game. Where did they go?? Also, I realized something while I was playing DOTO: I didn’t really Emily Kaldwin in Dishonored 2. She was an empty character. She barely reacted to things and there was hardly any emotion in her dialogue or performance. I think it may have been the fault of both the writers and the voice actress– while Emily’s voice was lovely, it was lacking anything human. For example, when she discovers Alexi Mayhew’s body, it’s just a “hmm that’s too bad, I liked you Alexi, you were a good soldier.” and that’s it. And barely a reaction to Corvo being turned into stone. Look, maybe she wouldn’t have been hysterical because she’s an empress and all that, but come on: her father was turned into stone. One of her close, childhood friends is slaughtered and dies in front of her eyes. I’d expect a little more than stone-faced acceptance. She wasn’t relatable.
ENOUGH about Dishonored 2 haha. I got way off track there. So let me, again, talk about what I liked: there is so much content for a thirty-dollar game! The levels have multiple ways that you can complete them, the main characters are pretty fleshed out and interesting, the world-building is as fantastic as usual. I had a fun time exploring Cyria again and it was really cool to see the aftermath of Dishonored 2 in play: visiting the Royal Conservatory again, while the Overseers and the Oracular Order are rifling through and destroying anything heretical, was really really cool. Also, the last level was amazing– getting to see the Void and the world combined, and the creepy Envisioned, made for a great atmosphere. It reminded me a lot of Outlast 2. I am a bit sad that the chaos system wasn’t used for this installment, but on the other hand, I can play Billie the assassin, without regret.
I read somewhere that you were supposed to play as Daud and honestly, I would have really loved to see the game from his perspective. But I’m also glad that we got to know more about Billie, who’s kind of a tragic figure in the games. She doesn’t make very good decisions, but in the end, the pieces fall into their places.
Also, I loved the neutral ending and all of its implications. The Outsider is mortal. The Void is leaking into reality. What does this mean for Dunwall, Karnaca, Serkonos, and their residents? What will Emily and Corvo do when they find out that the Outsider walks this earth as a mere mortal? What will happen to the void now that it has no entity to hold it together? What happens to the Outsider’s cult? Will they recognize their leader on land? What if they try to do something about it? I have so many questions and I hope that we get answers in the next installment!
Overall, I would highly recommend Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, especially considering the $30 (and less, now) price tag! It’s a beautifully made game, the levels are fun, the powers are super cool, Billie and Daud are bittersweet, and the atmosphere is so immersive. I really enjoyed it and I hope you will too!