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Dishonored – The Knife of Dunwall DLC

By JcDent07-05-2013
Leigh Cobb (editor)
BloodyFanGirl (editor)

The Defence

Arkane Studios
Bethesda Softworks
Shooter, Adventure, Action, Platformer, Role Playing
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
AMD Radeon HD 5850
4 GB
9 GB

The Case


Normally I don't really like downloadable content, especially the stuff for RPG games that come out waaay after you finished it and inserts itself into random places in the main plot line (I'm looking at you, Dragon Ages and Mass Effect). Luckily for us, the people making DLC for Dishonored are of the classier sort and managed to crank out a plot related DLC called Knife of Dunwall.

The Trial


Here you take on the role of Daud, an assassin much like Corvo that has been granted power by the mysterious Outsider , who supposedly is neither good nor evil, but only ever seems to grant power to the murderous sort. Daud collected a band of ragamuffins and orphans, shared some of his power with them and started the number 1 assassination business in Dunwall. Why, does he even stab the Empress Jessamine himself? But he feels really bad about it, really really bad, and the Outsider appears to say that Daud's teleport-stabbing days are coming to an end. But, as a parting gift, he gives you a hint - “Delilah”.

I really didn’t want to know where my burgers come from.

I really didn’t want to know where my burgers come from.

Now, I won't go over the gameplay basics since anyone who hasn't played Dishonored before should probably decide about that after reading the main game review. What I'm going to tell you is that on Hard difficulty and low skill, the DLC lasts about five hours. This, however, doesn't feel like it in the DLC which is terribly paced and horribly constructed narratively. You learn who or what Delilah is in the first mission, learn some more about it in the second and feel like you have been cheated out of a mission or two by the end of the third one. They say that “the plot thickens”, but Knife of Dunwall snatches it from under your nose when it's at its ripest. Probably for the inevitable Bridgemore Witches DLC.

Complaints about the plot aside, what is there to see in Knife of Dunwall? The main attraction is the first level, the Slaughterhouse, because you finally get to see a whale – and their processing – up close. They're part majestic and part terrifying, closer to a really mean sperm whale, even though the creators go to great lengths to show them as anything but. The other two locations aren't as impressive, especially considering that the last one is straight up lifted from the original campaign with nothing interesting really added to it.

The game at least offers some new toys; arc and stun mines are quite commonplace and chokedust grenades are very useful in all sorts of tactical situations. Talking about powers, Daud only has one original – the ability to call in another assassin to help him. Since you don't have a still-beating heart of a person to tell you about the places, the assassins might provide some comments out of combat, but they're nothing special. Though you do get the pleasure of seeing them work!

This might be fun and all, especially when you combine it with other powers, but it's undermined by one of the core game’s mechanics - the “chaos” meter, which basically punishes you for killing people. I has only the effect on the endings of the DLC, so I say the hell with it - you're a master assassin, assassinate people! This leads to much more interesting gameplay than just abusing the game system to be a stealthy Samaritan. Throw some God-damn grenades, man!

Daud has an unnatural attraction to fine art.

Daud has an unnatural attraction to fine art.

Oh, and speaking about being in the role... Corvo was an old school, mute protagonist. We can't have that here now can we? So Daud must narrate some stuff and get involved in dialogues. Moreover, there's effort to show him as a sympathetic character who’s had it with Dunwall and sees his assassins as those who dispose of people nobody will miss anyway – and this goes on. So your reaction to this might depend on how you react to old school video game sympathy manipulation.

The Verdict


The Knife of Dunwall DLC isn't bad but it isn't stellar either. The quality is dragged down by the aforementioned pacing and the ill-fitting morality system. However, you do get to find out a bit more about the whales and the new toys are fun. Try it if you already enjoyed the main Dishonored game.

Case Review

  • Plot!: This raises it above the other Dishonored DLC.
  • Daud!: One of supposedly eight people empowered by the Outsider, he's the perfect choice.
  • Assassins!: Hey, it's fun to have one at your back.
  • Length: While I'm being told that it's quite long for a DLC, I'd still say they bungled the pacing.
  • Corvo Had It And So Do You: Why can I zoom in just like Corvo even if I don't have a clockpunk mask?
  • Sequel Hook: The end is basically saying “buy Bridgemore Witches when it comes out”.
Score: 3.5/5
If you need more Dunwall, then here it is!
Comments (3)
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Posts: 228

Bismarck, this takes place before you take on Daud!

Posts: 233

Good thing I spared Daud in Dishonoured. Otherwise this DLC would never have existed...you can all thanks me now, plz

Posts: 1317

Hmm, I think I'll have to get my hands on this one sometime. "Just" more Dishonored can't be a bad thing.