‘Dishonored: Death of the Outsider’ switches up the formula with Contracts

The Dishonored series has prided itself on player choice and open-ended environments, and last year’s Dishonored 2 was no exception. The next game in the series, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, looks to switch up the formula even more with Contracts, optional missions built specifically for protagonist Billie Lurk.

As an assassin-for-hire, Billie Lurk doesn’t just kill for revenge or redemption like Corvo and Emily did in the first two games. Instead, money plays a key role, and the Contracts system was included to reflect this. Bethesda detailed a few of them in a blog post, which focuses on the new Karnaca location, “Upper Cyria.”

Before going out to complete her main mission, Billie has the option of entering the local black market to pick up four contracts, with creative director Harvey Smith said will “pull you over to another part of the world.”

“You get a chance to see something tertiary, and when you move back toward your primary objective, you see the situations along the way from a different angle,” Smith added.

In this case, these missions include “The Missing Brother,” which takes Billie on a stealthy manhunt, and “Death to the Mime.” We’re not sure why a Karnaca citizen wants to murder the city’s mimes, but as long as they pay, Billie is ready and willing to oblige.

Contracts are meant to be organic and extra content, so if you fail one, you’re supposed to just move forward with your mission. You can try it again in “Original Game +,” which Bethesda hasn’t detailed yet. Dishonored 2 introduced a New Game + mode shortly after its initial release, giving players the ability to mix up Emily’s power with Corvo’s to create the ultimate supernatural assassin.

Without two playable characters, we aren’t sure the game will have the same amount of replay value, but Death of the Outsider is still shaping up to be an interesting take on the stealth-action franchise. If Harvey Smith is to be believed, it could also be the last game in the series, as it provides closure to most of the loose ends left over from the first two games.

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