Review: Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (DLC)

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Title: The Brigmore Witches
Format: PlayStation Network Download (2.3 GB)
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: M
The Brigmore Witches is also available on Xbox 360 and PC.
The PlayStation Network version was used for this review.

Review of the Original Game:
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What if you could take one of the best and freshest new IP of 2012 and extend it? You’ve beaten it every which way, you’ve secured the platinum trophy, and you yearn to dig deeper into the twisted city of Dunwall. The DLC add-ons for Dishonored serve to flesh out the story, which is already a handful, and bring this treacherous tale to a close. The Brigmore Witches is the final episode and it creates a suitable conclusion while taking into consideration your play style and choices.

Gameplay:
Kudos to the studios that can make good first-person games that aren’t solely focused on shooting. With Dead Island, Techland was able to create a visceral zombie slaying experience while offering a deep and lengthy RPG. EA made us queasy with some hardcore parkour in Mirror’s Edge. Last October, Arkane Studios joined the ballsy cause of keeping the “FP” and dropping the “S” in FPS with Dishonored; a game built around stealth assassinations with multiple routes and optional objectives during missions. You throw in a little magic and a dreary setting and you have a game that not only stands out from the crowd, but also stealth kills the competition under the guise of that crowd while possessing a sewer rat.

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You play as the legendary assassin, Daud, and everything that made Dishonored unique is alive and well in The Brigmore Witches. There are still multiple ways to off your target, different routes to your destination, and tons of collectibles that are as eerie as Dunwall. Like the main campaign, this DLC is divided into a few 30-60 minute missions that can all be replayed upon completion. After finishing a mission, a performance report displays a slew of stats including collectables found, kill information, and chaos rating (stealth score). If you’re unhappy with your results, the option to replay the mission allows you to quickly and efficiently hop back in and try to do it in a better, more complete manner.

The game and DLC alike can be punitive and unforgiving in their approach to force creativity from the player. Paths are not highlighted or obvious and it is actually necessary to think while avoiding detection. The first-person viewpoint adds a very realistic difficulty to the staple patrolling guards of the stealth genre. Don’t expect to be right under their noses in a cardboard box or right at their feet in some tall grass. Rather plan on looking to ceiling routes and making use of every gadget and magic ability in your arsenal. Upon detection, get ready for a tough sword duel and efficient management of your powers wheel.

Visuals:
As is the case with many first-person games, the star of the visual show is the environment. With top-notch graphics, fantastic lighting, and creative architecture, the city of Dunwall interests and captivates the player at the turn of every dreary alley. The Victorian buildings and wardrobes contrast with the futuristic gadgets and create a compelling time-mixture.

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The merger of worlds past and future results in a virgin plane of exploration where truly nothing is expected. Barriers that do not exist in our world can disrupt your path. Magic spells not already popularized by fiction make complete sense. This foreign world feels strangely domestic through its impressive presentation.

Audio:
The Dunwall experience would not be complete without the appropriate sounds. Guards have unique accents while patrolling and the sound effects from knife duels pull the player into the battle. Deafening bangs from ancient firearms collide with creepy crescendos, accentuating the gameplay.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only.

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Conclusion:
The Brigmore Witches expands on an already fantastic game and is completely worth the purchase price for fans of Dishonored. In terms of gameplay, there isn’t much of an evolution in abilities or mechanics and that’s okay. It does however offer deeper insight into both the story and Dunwall. Add-ons, patches, and DLC expansions breathe new life into games that we wish were longer. It’s a beautiful thing when a few more campaign hours are added to a game as good as Dishonored.

Score:
8.5

Written by Emrah Rakiposki

Emrah Rakiposki

– Food
– Video games
– Rap music
It has been my life’s work to properly order the list of this world’s greatest pleasures. There is no right answer.

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  • Keith Dunn

    I should play this game.

  • I played Dishonored when it first came out for a few hours and couldn’t get into it. From all the great thing I have heard of the main game and the expansions makes me want to give it another go.

    Here’s to hoping they throw it on PS+…