[Review] The Knife of Dunwall

the knife of dunwall

Dunwall seems to be a city well known for its killers as it is for its plague and rats. You slipped through the shadows as Corvo Attano to avenge the Empress’s death and place her daughter back on the throne as the rightful heir. The Knife of Dunwall DLC places you in the boots of the very man who assassinated the empress, Daud. The new content further improves upon the games great combat gameplay and awesome powers, but still manages to make the story stale and still falls flat to what of what it could have been.

You take control of Daud moments after you’ve killed the empress. He receives a visit from the outsider telling that indeed the death of the Empress was different from all of Daud’s other kills. The Outsider leaves him with only a name: Delilah. From there Daud’s adventure begins through the city of Dunwall to find her and maybe some sort redemption for killing an innocent Empress. Along with some of his assassin companions, Daud is a little less lonely on his adventures than corvo.

the knife of dunwall[eurogamer.net]

Many of Daud’s combat abilities and powers are very similar to Corvo’s. Players will still be able to use powers like Blink and Slow Time. Blink this time around is tweaked by adding the stop time feature to it. Whenever you prepare to leap to different areas now time will stop, allowing to more expertly plan your route without fear of being caught. Even better you can use it mid-air to cover taller heights with ease.

A new power specific to Daud allows the player to summon an assassin partner to fight with you in tough situations. The next level of the power improves the assassin’s prowess in a fight making him even deadlier to use.

the knife of dunwall[sneakybastards.net]

Daud’s own arsenal also has some new and intriguing toys for all lethal and non-lethal purposes. Choke dust works like a non-lethal grenade is perfect for distracting enemies as you make your escape. You’ll also receive mines that will stun your enemies with an electric jolt similar to the arc pylons that the City Watch put to use. If you’re wondering, yes, there is a more lethal version called the arc mine. This deadly mine will leave your enemies in ashes very similar to the electric traps used by the Watch and it can kill off multiple enemies at once to clear them out.

I also enjoyed the extra challenge in the game. Guards patrol the area making non-lethal stealth a little more difficult. But, hey it makes you feel more like a stealthy assassin more often than not, taking greater care in how you handle each situation.

the knife of dunwall[xbox360achievements.org]

While it’s nice to see all these great improvements to Dishonored’s already great gameplay Arkane failed to bring improvements to the areas that needed it. The problem in question: the story. While it’s nice to have a vocal protagonist, the story falls flat by barely involving Delilah at all. Even though she’s constantly mentioned she only makes two appearances, none of which have any real significance at all to Daud’s quest. Lastly, I wish it was a tad bit longer, at only three missions. Maybe the story would be more fleshed out if they took the time to do that.

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall

8 / 10 stars           

Overall, The Knife of Dunwall is a fun addition to Dishonored. While I didn’t really enjoy the flat story it definitely delivers more Dishonored and if you’re a fan of that than you need to get this DLC.

Be sure to check out Stiv’s review of Dishonored and the previous DLC Dunwall City Trials. The soundtracks of Dishonored and other Bethesda games are now available online.