Games: Dishonoured finale heroine the stuff of Daily Mail readers' nightmares
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (Multi)
BILLED as the conclusion to Dishonored, Death of the Outsider continues the recent trend of extra chapters to blockbuster franchises delivered as standalone experiences – this time for a recession-busting 15 sheets.
It's thus a substantial slice of slicing as the one-eyed Billie Lurk attempts to off the series' mysterious emo git and supernatural god. One thing's for sure – heads will roll. The heir to Thief, Dishonored's games are superior assassin capers with some of the best world building and art design yet committed to binary.
Even the lowliest buildings are so intricately composed you'll want to poke around every corner just to soak it all in. Our heroine this time around is the stuff of Daily Mail readers' nightmares – she's black, bisexual and physically handicapped, yet none of these come to define our ex-whaleboat captain and all round badass.
The Michael Madsen-voiced Daud also returns, tasking Billie with slaying the Outsider. From then on it's business as usual for our monocular heroine as players bask in Dishonored's lush steampunk universe, where candlelit backstreets host hi-tech robots powered by whale oil.
Once again you can play all sneaky like or spill the claret on a throat-splitting spree. There are myriad ways to approach each situation, from rewiring alarms to snooping through air vents and sewers like a bionic tradesman.
The main narrative is whippet-lean and can be rushed through in a bloodthirsty eight hours. Take the pacifist route, however, and Death of the Outsider opens up myriad ways to play that require pinpoint strategy and planning as you scope environments, evade detection and put enemies to sleep.
Polishing this off without spilling a drop of blood will boggle your noggin. Lurk isn't as well-equipped as previous Dishonored stars, though some familiar toys let you scratch that trigger finger. Your supernatural abilities are also a tad less super, restricted to a bit of out-of-body scouting, stealing identities and teleporting, though power-boosting bone charms are hidden throughout each level.
Busting with lore, diaries and hidden info, Lurk is even a dab hand at rat whispering, and her vermin pals always have something useful to say, albeit a tad cryptic for something that lives in poo.
Although contained within five levels, each is a sprawling assassin's sandbox and stretching out the run time are side quests and contract kills as players earn big coin for mercenary slaughter.
You'll also have a grand old time just rooting through cupboards, pilfering from toffs and learning more about the world's deep lore.
The original Dishonored was one of the PS3 era's best, with its PS4 sequel a worthy tribute act, and while they haven't tinkered with the recipe here, it tastes just as good. Death of the Outsider is a stunning curtain call, distilling the formula into a more focused world of witchcraft and chatty rats. If this really is the end for Dishonored, it can take a bow.