Dishonored DLC – Dunwall City Trials
Governed by a stealth-based campaign, Dishonored managed to persuade players into a more considered approach when tackling certain tasks or enemies.
Of course, you could run in and create a blood bath, but this would in turn impact on the city and your story. Powers you could improve upon focused on discretely despatching targets, manoeuvring around buildings, and even possessing the mind of guards or rats to reach objectives.
The Dunwall City Trials DLC includes 10 challenges, ranging throughout the various skill sets of the main game. There are in total three combat-based challenges, three movement, two puzzle, and strangely only two stealth-centred tasks.
- Mystery Foe
- Bend Time Massacre
- Kill Chain
- Back Alley Brawl
- Assassin’s Run
- Oil Drop
- Train Runner
- Kill Cascade
Within each you are awarded points based on how well you deliver, while also being faced with a timer. Online leaderboards determine how well you fare against friends, which could add for some competition if you’re that way inclined.
Through the dream-like design of the levels, you can attempt to utilise abilities that you might not have chosen to level up in your main game, which can make for some interesting effects.
The first of the stealth challenges, Mystery Foe, requires you to find four clues, to inevitably find and assassinate an unknown target somewhere on the map. Points are given depending on how little you get spotted by guards or civilians, and how few clues you need to find the correct person.
This is one of the only trials that really encompasses the Dishonored ideals of the main game, and creates plenty of replayability by generating a different scenario each time. Burglary also requires all your furtiveness, as you sneak around a mansion, looting six golden eggs, along with other valuable items along the way.
You can only get spotted by patrolling guards a maximum of three times, giving the element of competition as less sightings and takedowns mean more points at the end of the challenge.
It would have been a slightly more appealing DLC for those who enjoy the main premise of the game to include more of this type of challenge, rather than speed trials and combat rounds, but then again these do play on the other gameplay aspects that the game implemented at times. Puzzle-based Bend Time Massacre requires the player to scope out the best vantage point from the outside of a building, to take out the people inside.
Once a window is smashed and you enter the room, the time slows and points are given for the style and speed of your assassinations. While this is based on slow-down, Kill Chain is based solely on keeping a chain of attack going in the quickest time possible. Back Alley Brawl delivers a wave-based survival arena, in which you find upgrades and abilities between rounds.
This is a far stretch from the skilful, quiet attacks that the main game pushes, and the DLC struggles to really make this mode a believable addition. In Assassin’s Run you are equipped with a crossbow and nothing more, and the aim is to run through an area, taking out every guard as you do, while Oil Drop is a simplistic shooting range, in which you must shoot barrels falling through the sky.
Bonfires, Train Runner and Kill Cascade are movement based, testing your Blink skills to reach checkpoints, scale obstacles, and produce interesting drop assassinations.
While Dunwall City Trials offers a nice stop gap between the main campaign and future story missions to be released in early 2013, the majority of the challenges may only appeal to those with a need to blast through time-trials or better their friends.
It lacks the narrative that creates intensity through the original missions, but then again it does push towards trying new abilities that might not have been used in a playthrough.
Version Tested: Xbox 360