Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches Review
The latest and final piece of Dishonored DLC, The Brigmore Witches, pits the player against a coven of witches with arkane powers that make them dangerous and forboding opponents.
Imperiled by the power struggle between these witches and your own assassins, you step into the shoes of master assassin Daud, and must endeavour to take down the coven’s leader, the mysterious and unsettling Delilah.
In undertaking this quest, the player has access to number of powers which were not available in the main game, the most useful of which is the ability to summon an assassin to distract enemies or assist you in combat.
For the most part though, Daud has the same skill set as Corvo from the main game and that’s probably for the best, as it is the unique combination of possibilities that abilities like blink and stop time create that gives Dishonored its flavour.
Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches – Exploration
Indeed, that’s probably the greatest praise that can be given to The Brigmore Witches: it still feels like Dishonored.
Sneaking between cover, evading enemies, and blinking up to rooftops to survey the area and contemplate your plan of attack is as satisfying and exhilarating as it’s always been.
The various areas which you move through within the three missions of The Brigmore Witches also maintain the ample provision for vertical exploration and the potential for multiple routes which were such an important feature of the main game.
Runes and bonecharms, used to upgrade your powers and abilities, are scattered about the levels to encourage exploration. Again, the challenge to find a route to a bonecharm or rune and get there unscathed is just as welcome as it always has been.
It also adds a bit of longevity to the DLC for those players who are keen to find every last collectible, coin and narrative enriching item out there.
Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches – Experimentation in the Sandbox
But for those players, the most important facet of The Brigmore Witches it that the game allows for multiple approaches in the way you tackle each situation.
This can apply to anything from the route you take, the way you get past a particular door or guard, whether you want to kill or neutralize a target, or, most impressively, whether you even want to undertake a mission at all.
The fact that Dishonored gives the player such agency over their approach to the game, to the point where they can ignore what a character has told them to do and solve things their own way, has always been a massively appealing element of the game and it’s great to see that return in The Brigmore Witches.
Even if you’re not the type of person who is going to play multiple times to try out different solutions, there’s still something incredibly appealing about coming across an alternative way that you could have acheived an objective, as you frequently will.
It makes the game feel incredibly free and gives the impression that your approach to achieving your objective is uniquely yours.
In that sense, Dishonored and its DLC games can be thought of as sandbox games. Sure, the relatively small levels lack the scale of what would generally be considered ‘sandbox games’, but the scope of possibilities in the routes you can take, your approach to combat and how you achieve your objectives gives Dishonored a flexibility which lends it to experimentation.
That is Dishonored’s strength and The Brigmore Witches stays true to that approach.
Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches – Narrative
The Brigmore Witches story is perhaps not the game’s greatest strength, though at times, it does intersect with the main game’s narrative in interesting and illuminating ways.
However, Dishonored’s strength has always lain in its ability to evoke a sense of place which is created through narrative, visual style and incidental detail. In that sense, The Brigmore Witches largely matches up, though the absence of The Heart from the main game is perhaps missed in that regard.
The approach that you take to the game will have a small effect on the story that you experience, though the chaos system that the DLC carries over from the main series lacks sophistication and impact as a measure of the players moral character.
That’s regrettable, but likely to be far from a deal breaker for fans of Dishonored.
Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches in Summary
The extent to which you enjoy The Brigmore Witches is likely to depend on your view of the main game. If you like Dishonored, this is more Dishonored, so enjoy it.
Those who play the game stealthily and/or replay levels to experiment with different solutions will get more from The Brigmore Witches than those who rush through with a combat heavy approach, but that’s always been the case with Dishonored.
The Brigmore Witches endeavors to stick to the formula which makes the main game so great and that makes it a welcome addition to the world of Dishonored.
Version tested: Xbox 360