Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Dishonored is best reviewed via stories. Here’s one from somewhere in the middle of the game, mission two or three (out of five). I’d been taking my time working through the optional side missions, which you can pick up by visiting the message board at the black-market (itself actually very easy to find, yet the patrolling guards seem oblivious to its existence right beneath their noses).
These side missions pop up on your display as little note pages and if you look towards them they’re given a title and distance-to. The city is quite large and each mission treks across it a fair bit, giving you a sort of shared little hub, with pockets coming off it for main objectives. Given the complexity of the levels, it’s quite easy to get disoriented and find yourself in completely the wrong part of town in relation to the objective you intend to complete – but that’s just Dishonored, you quickly adapt and leave that marker for later.
Anyway, this side mission tasked me with finding a missing person and bringing him to a specific location. Finding this person in the first place was a heap of fun, as I had to find a way to infiltrate a secret club’s exclusive bar and then explore upstairs to work out what the heck they were doing with my guy. The answer is some shady-arse shit, so I quickly took care of them and hoisted the unconscious missing person across my shoulders. The problem, though, was downstairs. The bar was full of nasty-pasties, patrons taking a break from nefariousness to wax lyrical about their evil lives and ask the wrestler-bodied barman to pour them another. They were going nowhere and the only exit lay beyond this room.
Each attempt to sneak out was thwarted, there were just too many eyes in the room. I even tried to sneakily choke-hold each patron whenever everyone’s line of sight drifted elsewhere (goodbye, half an hour). Alas, although I got away with putting one of them to sleep, the resulting search soon caused them to stumble upon their slain brethren upstairs and it was all too messy.
I reloaded, stashed my snoring ward in a side room, beside the stairs, and thought things through. Eventually, I decided that there was no other option than to openly take them all out, but I needed to do it smartly. Thus decided, I walked past the bar room, approached the doorman (who always landed the killing blow in previous attempts) and chocked him out. I then returned to the side area where my buddy was sleeping and from this slightly hidden vantage lined up one of the patrons with my stun attack. He went down and I managed to stun the woman next to him before the other five or so cottoned on to what was happening. It was on!
Emboldened, I shot into the room, sword swinging wildly! I didn’t bother to block – I’m all about being a whirlwind of death. Several fell beneath my blade early on, but the remaining combatants got a few hits in, which forced me to use my last health potion. I retreated, moved back towards the stairs and swung my blade wildly, hoping to connect. I locked swords with the barman and mashed R2 like a madman, hoping to break his hold. I succeeded and swiped hard, enacting a finishing move of intense brutality. I looked around and breathed at last (I hadn’t realised I was holding it). The scene was silent. Blood and limbs everywhere. But I was the last one standing. I was triumphant. I paused the game and hit “quick-save”, which is the only save I’ve been using because it’s convenient and, well, quick.
I moved back out into the bar just to make sure that I got everyone. No living thing stirred. Phew! I sheathed my blade and turned back towards that little side room where I left my unconscious companion. Bodies littered the floor and as I turned the slight corner, ready to collect my human package, my heart dropped and I said out loud, “Oh no!”. Somehow, in all the confusion, my wild sword swinging had connected with my unarmed, innocent friend. I can’t be certain it was me, but I suspect it was and the guilt crushes. For there he lay, his two legs severed from his body, dead.
It was then that full realisation hit me: I couldn’t take this back. I’d already quick-saved! I stood over his body and sighed. “Sorry, buddy,” I said. There was nothing left but for me to leave the pointless scene, the only living survivor of the bar-room massacre.
Although I could always reload the entire mission and try again, I probably won’t, because this was meant to be how his story ended, a tragic accident at the hands of an overzealous hero. I would learn from this mistake in the missions to come, taking even more time to plan and implement my approaches, always making certain to stash important elements far from harm, even if it means extensive back-tracking. My failure stayed with me and made me a better player.
Perhaps I’ll see him again on replay, perhaps not.
This was just one of my stories from Death of the Outsider. I wonder what yours will be.