Some Hands-On Time With Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials Pack
Those of you who had the privilege of playing Dishonored should have some fond memories of Blinking up to chandeliers, Possessing rodents, and the ever so gratifying assassination of a target in whichever creative way you chose.
Well, Bethesda recently came out with the Dunwall City Trials pack, which contains a few twists on how we classically viewed the stealth/action/adventure game.
Right off the bat, I will say that there is a disappointing lack of story. But that wasn’t really the intention for this DLC as it is more based around individual challenges. There are four “modes” for each situation they decide to land you in. These consist of Mobility, Stealth, Action, and Puzzle. Stealth is by far my favorite of the modes as it is quite simply what the game was made for in the first place. Also, you get all sorts of fuzzy warm memories of air assassinations and carnivorous rats.
There are only two such challenges, but they do take a fair amount of time and the difficulty was a little higher than the game's initial setting was. And each one is uniquely different; for example, one relies on you finding clues to determine your target, which can be done in a variety of ways. You may also choose to use more or less clues and jump, or Blink, rather, to conclusions. The other variant of this particular challenge style includes infiltrating a gigantic mansion and taking everything that you can find! A big plus to this mode is that there is no timer whatsoever, unlike most of the other modes in this pack (with the exception of “Action”).
Next up: Action. Well this is pretty much a last-man-standing scenario. Survive waves of enemies and feel free to brutally assault an innocent merchant for ammo and goodies, or kill him for upgrades. He does not show up for a while so if you do kill him, make sure you choose his final hours wisely. He is actually in a glowing aura of gold, primarily so he doesn't blend in. There is a bit of a twist when it comes to this mode, which we find in oh-so-many modern games.
There are two different arenas and you have your powers, which allow you to blink around and get up on rooftops to avoid the dogs. You can call swarms of carnivorous rats, use grenades, and even take a somewhat stealthy approach if you are so inclined. Overall, this is surprisingly creative and unusually fun for what I was initially worried would be more of a tired, overused mode. They also have a shooting gallery-type section and one other interesting challenge in the action section.
I suppose Mobility would be next on the list. Mobility seems to have a bit less thought put into it. Get to the end as fast as possible via blinking and climbing your way across a fairly linear map. As with every challenge, they let you retry at the end for a better time. Or drop-assassinate your way across a map. This is my least favorite mode; it's fairly straightforward and certainly not the strongest of the challenges but still fun and worthwhile. And finally, there's puzzle. At first, you're just getting the body count as high as you can. Which doesn’t sound very puzzle-like, does it...?
Well, this is my second favorite mode in the DLC and they find an interesting way to make the puzzle missions challenging. They include what essentially equates to a one way mirror around a room, which you can analyze the situation through without alerting the guards or using Dark Vision. As soon as you break the glass you have a pre-determined amount of time to take down a certain number of people in the room...in super slow-motion of course. You can do this via the environment, or just use your skills and go on a rampage, hopefully before the timer runs out. There is another variation on this which is quite similar but still fully entertaining.
OK, so all in all you get three mobility challenges: Two stealth, three action, and two puzzle. Keep in mind that each challenge has multiple levels, so although it may seem like a particular challenge has less to it, it really just has more parts or stages within the challenge. Can you guess the price? On the Playstation Network it's available right now for $4.99. Yup, five bucks gets you all that. I would have loved to see it be a tad more story-driven, though, something there is none of whatsoever.
But really, for five dollars I’m not complaining. You get all sorts of good challenges and there is easily four or five hours there. And thats if you don’t finish the regular challenges and unlock the expert setting. I generally don’t go back and play games for the DLC, but this is such a different angle, I would happily recommend it to anybody looking to fill a between-game gap or who is simply missing the refreshingly unique and enjoyable title that was Dishonored.
Oh, and if you haven’t played Dishonored yet ... just do it.
Related Game(s): Dishonored
4/16/2013 11:37:33 PM Charles Dutka