Dishonored: Death of the Outsider review—no gods, no kings

Enlarge / The game doesn't judge you for getting your hands dirty anymore.

Ten minutes into Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, I thought it was a slick standalone addition with smart mechanical improvements over its predecessor. An hour later, it was already my favorite Dishonored title to date.

That praise isn’t quite as effusive as it might sound. I've never gelled well with Dishonored’s joyless world. If there's a character you're not encouraged to torture or kill in a Dishonored game, it's because that character only exists to tell you how much worse off the steampunk world is elsewhere. Meanwhile, the assassination-centric plots are too focused on revenge to bother righting any of the endless societal wrongs.

In Death of the Outsider, somebody finally feels like doing something to fix... well, everything. That somebody is Billie Lurk, a major antagonist from the first game's DLC duology and major accomplice in Dishonored 2. After meeting up with her former mentor, Daud, the two hatch a plan to kill the one ultimately responsible for their planet's often supernatural ills.

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True to its name, that “ultimate source of all evil” is the demigod of chaos called the Outsider. Since the Outsider is the one who usually bestows magical powers on people, Billie is denied most of the supernatural arsenal that other series protagonists have enjoyed. She does have a few tricks, however, and what her powers lack in quantity they make up for in quality and mechanical improvements.

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