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Hands-on with Dishonored: Knife of Dunwall DLC

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Though Bethesda didn't have as big a showcase at PAX East this year as it did at prior events, it was nevertheless packed the entire show, thanks mostly to The Elder Scrolls Online, a game that will strike a huge chord with the PC community later this year.  But the company also showcased its forthcoming Knife of Dunwall DLC for Dishonored for the first time, putting players into the shoes of the vile assassin Daud – who had a few tricks of his own up his sleeve.  We managed to go hands-on with him to see how he felt.

Though the entirety of the story was not revealed at the time of the gameplay session, it appears that Daud is looking for some sort of redemption following the death of the Empress, as he's commanded by the Outsider to find someone named "Delilah".  Along the way, he meets a mysterious fellow assassin who provides him some tips on his mission, such as sneaking into compounds or hunting down a particular subject for questioning.

Daud

The first thing you'll need to understand about Daud is that his Blink capability works much differently than Corvo's.  In fact, during the beginning of the game, I was a bit frustrated when my teleporting didn't work as expected, either forcing me to fall from a great height to my death or landing in trouble with patrolling guards.  It's a matter of time stopping, projecting where you need to go, and then hitting the completion of the motion to get there, rather than just a simple tap.  Once I got the hang of this, however, it was a bit more smooth sailing.

The rest of Daud's abilities fall into familiarity, as he feels very similar to Corvo.  He has a cool wristbow that allows him to shoot with a lot more ease, whether they're lethal or stun variety.  He also has a new Arc Mine weapon, one that sticks to surfaces of all types and can take out an enemy at a time, depending on who enters its range.  You can even plant them on corpses, if you feel like leaving a bit of a surprise for someone.  (Ouch.)

Daud

In addition, Chokedust comes in handy.  Think of it as a ninja's powder, enabling you to temporarily distract them and leave them gasping for air while you either move in for the kill or make means for escape, depending on what you want to do.  It's limited in supply, but helpful when you find yourself surrounded and unable to Blink out of harm's way right away.

The level design for Daud's Knife of Dunwall story is just as staggeringly large as the regular levels in Dishonored, with plenty of places to come in from (including rooftops and walkways) so you can plan your course of attack.  And I don't know what it is, but there's something cool about hearing actor Michael Madsen, playing Daud, shout commands to fellow assassins (who accompany him and can even encompass some of his powers upon request) and just plain be a bad-ass.  Players are going to love this opening chapter – as well as the closing one, The Brigmore Witches, which will be coming in later 2013.

Daud

Though a release date hasn't been set for it yet, this DLC will be available sometime this month, for around 800 Microsoft points ($10) or so.  If you're a fan of the game, or just seek a bigger challenge than the original game offered, you're going to like what Daud has to offer within Dunwall.

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Robert Workman
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