The Knife of Dunwall & the Witches of Brigmore put you in the role of the leader of the assassins, Daud who is seen murdering the Empress at the beginning of the main game.
At the start of the Knife of Dunwall we see the murder of the Empress from the point of view of Daud, as he delivers the killing blow he is pulled into the void by the mysterious Outsider & told that his story is coming to an end soon but how it ends will depend on if he can unravel the mystery behind the woman Delilah.
The DLC then resumes 6 months later as Daud gets word of a shipping vessel named The Delilah & sets about investigating it alongside his protégée, Billie Lurk.
The Knife of Dunwall revisits some familiar places from the main game (Daud’s base) as well as some brand new areas (Rothwild Slaughterhouse & Legal District). Also like Corvo, Daud has powers gifted to him from the Outsider, a lot are recognisable such as Void Gaze & Blink but he also has a few new tricks such as Summon Assassin which does exactly what it says it does.
These skills are upgradable as before by finding & picking up hidden runes. Bone charms (equips that offer minor improvements to Daud but limited to a set number) return also as well as most gadgets albeit with a few new items, Choke Dust & Arc Mines.
Useful if you are going for a high chaos play through but not so much if you don’t want to be seen or kill anyone.
Some new enemy types make an appearance as well with the slaughterhouse employes having huge cutting saws to attack you with. To stand & fight more then 1 of these is a huge challenge.
One of the new ideas for the DLC’s is the option to buy favours before the mission starts, these cost a number of gold & can range from having a supply drop left for you within the level, doors being left unlocked or having an insider to meet & offer you advice.
I liked the favours idea as they encourage exploration in the preceding missions to farm enough gold & reward you in the following with something that doesn’t automatically make it much easier.
Minor adjustments aside where the Knife of Dunwall excels is with its story…
I was aware that Knife of Dunwall told 1 half of a 2 part story with the Witches of Brigmore coming much later but somehow it still felt like a hefty piece of narrative even when ending on a cliff hanger of sorts. Playing as the very reason Corvo is in the situation he is in the main game worried me at first as I couldn’t see how I could be sympathetic to Daud’s cause but his story is so interesting that I took to him.
His quest to uncover the truth behind Delilah may seem pointless at first but eventually Daud will uncover a plot that threatens to destroy everything Corvo is doing in the main game. That this plays out during Corvo’s story & promises a showdown with the masked assassin at the end but from the point of view of Daud was very exciting.
Like in the main game your choices matter, do you run & gun? Kill everyone in your path while making as much noise as possible or do you sneak around ensuring no-one meets an end at your hand?
It’s decisions that do actually matter & will have an effect on not only how the Knife of Dunwall ends but on how the Witches of Brigmore plays out as well.
At the start of the 2nd part of Daud’s story, the Witches of Brigmore, Corvo comes to end what Daud started. It turns out to be a dream Daud is having while asleep in his base. Awakened by one of his assassin the hunt for the mysterious Delilah & the chance to undo her plot continues.
All your powers, weapons, upgrades & chaos levels will transfer over from the Knife of Dunwall to this save file & will have an effect on how the story plays out. From the start it was good to know that your decisions from before would matter.
Like in the Knife of Dunwall the story takes place across a few familiar areas (Daud’s base & Coldridge Prison) as well as a few new areas (Draper’s Ward & Brigmore Manor). Draper’s Ward particularly is a very interesting area as 2 warring factions occupy it, The Hatters & The Dead Eels with you having to work your way around their little skirmishes.
The Witches of Brigmore introduces a new type of bone charm called a corrupted bone charm that offers a more noticeable improvement but also has a downside. For example one might let you swing your sword faster but at the expense of movement. It’s an interesting idea as it forces you think carefully about what you are equipping but one that ultimately doesn’t really matter as your bone charms from the Knife of Dunwall carry across & the Witches DLC has more then enough additional normal bone charms.
I didn’t bother equipping a single corrupted charm in the end….
You get 1 new power this time around, the useful & (when fully levelled up) devastating Pull. This allows you to grab things from a distance & eventually grab enemies & drag them to you where you can kill them or choke them out.
Up until the final mission the Witches DLC is a load of fun, if you’ve played the game before then you are unlikely to have much trouble here. There are more enemies about then usual which force you plan carefully, for example to infiltrate a boat its best to swim under it & come out in the hold.
There are a number of unique characters & the missions involving ‘The Geezer’ are genius!
When you do reach the final mission, the Brigmore manor (and a little bit of the preceding mission) you are introduced fully to the witches & hell hounds, a new set of enemies that require you to really adapt your approach. Getting inside the manor & then to Delilah without being seen or killing anyone will test your every bit of skill but is very exciting to do.
If you do decide to stand & fight, don’t expect an easy ride. The witches can teleport, scream to disorientate you & the hell hounds will only die if you crush their skulls otherwise they will get back up & attack over & over again.
Like all of Dishonored your approach matters, kill or spare? This pattern follows all the way to the final boss & requires you to think carefully about how you can eliminate your target.
How you behave makes all the difference when it comes to the ending as Corvo finally catches up with Daud & makes his decision based on how you acted throughout the 2 DLC’s. It’s an interesting ending but one that I think could have been improved by taking your decision from the main game & making Corvo act that out. Did you spare Daud in the main game? Then Corvo should spare him in the DLC.
Still it’s a minor complaint about a set of DLC’s that are both interesting & expansive. There are both excellent value for money with the witches being a slightly more rewarding experience. Most of the DLC’s faults are reminiscent of the main games faults such as the overall emptiness of Dunwall & the lack of buildings to be able to get in & explore.
I would have liked a few more side missions as well….
The Knife of Dunwall & the Witches of Brigmore feel like more then just add-ons. With 10+ hours of game play (as long as you’re willing to explore & if your working for a low chaos finale) its easily as long as some full priced games.
Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall & The Witches of Brigmore DLC