Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches DLC review

The story of Daud concludes, capping off a side story that makes the original game better.
The story of Daud concludes, capping off a side story that makes the original game better.
The story of Daud concludes, capping off a side story that makes the original game better.

Highs

  • Daud’s story is compelling and Michael Madsen’s voice work is solid
  • There are always options on how to play
  • The original gameplay returns

Lows

  • The DLCs recycle the powers rather than add new ones
  • More than ever the missions are meant for a stealth approach
  • Shorter than The Knife of Dunwall

DT Editors' Rating

The story of Dishonored is about redemption, regardless of whether you are playing the vanilla offering as the wrongly accused Corvo Attano, or the two DLCs starring the master assassin Daud. The paths they take, however, are radically different. Corvo is a man seeking redemption in the eyes of the world. Daud, on the other hand, is a blood soaked killer, and a broken one at that.

The Brigmore Witches concludes Daud’s story, which runs parallel to Corvo’s own. The first part, The Knife of Dunwall, begins almost immediately after the start of the vanilla game, with Daud murdering the empresses and helping to frame Corvo. Knife soon introduces the witch Delilah, and Daud is encouraged to find her through the machinations of the mysterious Outsider, the man – or perhaps being is a better description – that gave both Daud and Corvo their powers.

The-Brigmore-Witches_Gravehounds

Following the trail left by Delilah, you control Daud through three missions per DLC. As with the original game, you can choose how to approach these areas, and in doing so choose what kind of man Daud is.

If you enjoyed the original game, this DLC (and its predecessor) is a worthy addition to the mythos.

The easiest way is always the “high chaos” path, which means you are leaving bodies in your wake. This is the fastest way to play by far, but you also miss out on a lot of what makes the game so unique. In Knife you began with only basic powers and weapons. You collected runes to purchase on power upgrades and collected charms that offered various support abilities. When you start Brigmore and load your previous game, powers should be less of an issue. Combat offers a lot of options (not many other games let you attach traps to a rat and then throw that rat into a group of enemies), but playing this way misses some of the point of the game. That is even more obvious in Brigmore.

When presented with options on taking out a character, it typically falls into one of two options: you can be clever or bloody. Being clever will give you a series of objectives. For example, you may have to break in to the target’s house, steal his will to later give to a disgruntled relative, talk to a bitter rival to obtain a forged letter, pickpocket the target and leave the forged document, sabotage the house’s ventilation system to get him outside, then wait for his allies to come and take care of him for you after reading the forged document. You also have to do it all without being seen. Alternatively, you can sneak up behind the mark and stab him. One is an exercise in creative gameplay, the other is moving forward and pushing a button.

The-Brigmore-Witches_Pull_01

That isn’t to say the offensive strategy can’t be fun, but in Brigmore Witches fighting your way through will offer a very different – and very brief – experience. If you are focused on speed and don’t mind the high chaos outcome, which introduces more human enemies as well as swarms of rats, then the three mission DLC will take an hour or two at most. If you try to play it clean and treat it like a true stealth game, then you are looking at a much, much longer and deeper experience – partially because by sneaking and listening to enemies you will uncover side quests, and partly because you will need to continually restart. Thankfully the ability to save at any moment returns.

…you can choose how to approach these areas, and in doing so choose what kind of man Daud is.

The only new gameplay addition is a new “pull” ability, granting you the ability to pull items towards you, as well as disarming traps once you hit the second level. This combined with the upgrades you already purchased in Knife make the gameplay in Brigmore richer, but also a bit easier.

You travel through three sections, including Coldridge prison not long after Corvo has escaped (the opening level of the vanilla game), a multi-section mission through several parts of town, and finally the dilapidated Brigmore manor. Of the three, Brigmore manor is the only one that feels completely fresh. The others are familiar, and that is one problem with the DLC as a whole: it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of gameplay.

The-Brigmore-Witches_Fight02The finale of Brigmore is broken into two parts, the first being the suitably fulfilling and option-filled confrontation with Delilah, and the second links back to the original game and Daud’s climactic confrontation with Corvo. Regardless of your choice in the vanilla game, your choices in the DLC determine your fate. A little more epilogue would have been nice, but that may just be the result of the character of Daud, who is more fleshed out than Corvo. Michael Madsen’s voice acting plays a big part in that.

Conclusion

If you enjoyed the original game, this DLC (and its predecessor) is a worthy addition to the mythos. The six DLC missions in both packs are probably about half the length of the nine in the proper game, and approaching them together offers a fairly complete story on its own right. Playing this with The Knife of Dunwall is the best way to approach it, and with each DLC costing $10, $20 isn’t too bad for a game that could last either 4-5 hours or 4-5 days.

There isn’t a lot new to add in terms of gameplay and a bit more meat on the ending would have been nice, but The Brigmore Witches (and its companion The Knife of Dunwall), almost come across like Dishonored 1.5. It’s enough to tide us over, at least until a proper sequel is released.

This DLC was reviewed on an Xbox 360 using a code provided by Bethesda Softworks.

Highs

  • Daud’s story is compelling and Michael Madsen’s voice work is solid
  • There are always options on how to play
  • The original gameplay returns

Lows

  • The DLCs recycle the powers rather than add new ones
  • More than ever the missions are meant for a stealth approach
  • Shorter than The Knife of Dunwall
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