Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Game Reviewed: Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios
Reviewer: Samuel Gronseth II
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox 360, PC
Category: First-Person Stealth
ESRB Rating: M
The latest entry in the Dishonored series finds a supporting character, Billie Lurk, attempting to assassinate the trickster diety of the series, The Outsider, in hopes of stopping the chaos that plagued Dunwall in the first two games. The player will sneak or fight their way through city streets, quarantined museums, and ancient mines in this quest to kill the Outsider.
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is played from the first-person perspective, and emphasizes the use of stealth to navigate through its environments, evade or eliminate enemies, and recover various plot-important objects. The player also has access to a number of gadgets and supernatural abilities, which add versatility to the player’s moveset and allows them to approach situations in a great variety of ways.
All of this is pretty standard for the Dishonored series, which is considered one of the best of the stealth genre. Previous games have also included various story outcomes depending on the player’s choices, with the best endings reserved for the players who get through the entire game without ever resorting to killing. While Death of the Outsider is more of a spinoff than a full sequel–starring a supporting character and selling for less than most full games–it nonetheless contains everything the Dishonored series is known for, and has some very important plot developments for the series.
If your kid has already played a Dishonored game, you probably know what to expect, but let’s go through this game’s mature content just in case.
What Parents Need to Know
The player can go through the entire game without causing harm to anyone, but should they choose to, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider has a lot of bloody results. The player can attack at close range with a knife, or sneak up to enemies and stab them from behind. Certain attacks can dismember enemies, and some weapons (such as razor mines) will explode people into blood and limbs. The player can choose to kill only enemies, take on assassination contracts, or simply knock people out and let them live, but should violent options be chosen, the game can be rather graphic.
The words “f**k,” “s**t,” and other, lesser expletives are used occasionally throughout the game.
Nothing of note.
In the Dishonored universe, there is another plane called The Void, and an entity known as the Outsider who lives within it. He grants powers to people in positions to influence the world, and watches to see how things unfold. He gives this power to Billie early in the game, and appears to her in visions and whispers throughout the game.
*NOTE – Spoilers: it is revealed that the Outsider is not a deity, but a man who was ritually killed centuries ago in order to create a god-like being with control over the Void.
The player can choose whether to act with good or evil intentions in a variety of ways, most notably the ability to either kill enemies or simply evade or incapacitate them.
The full story of Death of the Outsider speaks to the human tendency to try and put the unknowable into a box, rather than appreciating the full beauty and mystery of it. It also allows the player an opportunity to choose empathy and emancipation over vengeance and death.
Dishonored earned its place in the pantheon of modern stealth games for a reason, and Death of the Outsider carries that badge of honor well. Though the game is smaller in scale than the full releases, it uses its limited space and time remarkably well; multiple missions use the same open city area in different ways that keep the same location feeling fresh and interesting to explore, and the story moves smoothly through plot points to a satisfying conclusion that has huge implications for the series going forward.
This one even gets more explicitly into the philosophical and theological themes of the series, presenting a picture of spiritual exploration and the mistakes that can be made in trying to force the truths we find into easily-digestible boxes. It could certainly provide some interesting discussion about faith, even with the fictional magic setting.
But the game is also very mature in tone and content, and thus not really suitable for younger players. I’d suggest taking the M rating seriously on this one. But if you have a teenager mature enough to handle the game’s content, you could certainly do worse than Death of the Outsider for thoughtful, well-designed fantasy stealth games.
Samuel Gronseth II
Samuel Gronseth II is an avid video game enthusiast who manages Video Game Reviews at TheSource4Parents.com. He has experience teaching about video games, and is passionate about their storytelling potential. Sam's favorite movie is The Empire Strikes Back, and his favorite video game is Persona 4. Sam lives in Knoxville, TN with his wife, Jimi. To see more of Samuel, check out his Youtube series Games as Lit. 101, where he examines the stories of beloved video games to see what we can learn from them: https://www.youtube.com/gamesasliterature.