Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall Review
In Dishonored, you played as Corvo, falsely accused of killing the Empress and forced to go underground to avenge the conspiracy that led to her assassination. But what about the other guy? The assassin who really did kill the Empress? That question is answered (partially) in The Knife of Dunwall, in which you play as the master assassin Daud and experience his side of the story in the aftermath of the assassination.
Daud has a skillset that's quite similar to Corvo's. Blink is still your primary method of getting around Dunwall undetected, although Daud has the additional advantage of freezing time while selecting the landing spot for a Blink. This small tweak allows for some deft maneuvering - for example, you can reach a balcony on the other side of the street beyond the range of your Blink by first taking a running leap towards it and then activating Blink before gravity begins to take over. Daud doesn't share Corvo's Posession ability, but he can summon an assassin from his legion to join him in a fight.
Daud's choice of weapons is also similar to Corvo's, with a crossbow loaded with sleep darts being the stealthy weapon of choice and the pistol the go to weapon when things start getting hot. Daud also has choke dust available that will immobilize enemies as they struggle to breathe, allowing you to take out alerted enemies before they can raise the alarm and call in their allies.
Although Daud is a master assassin, trying to complete a mission with a low level of chaos in The Knife of Dunwall is far more challenging than it was in Dishonored. Switching the Possession power for the ability to summon assassins is partly responsible for this, but it also seems that the streets of Dunwall that Daud haunts are garrisoned a bit tighter than those you walked in Dishonered. I wasn't going out of my way to try and raise alarms and slaughter guards by the dozen, but chaos sure didn't have much trouble finding me.
Overall, though, The Knife of Dunwall really does feel like a continuation of the original game. The levels are large and give you plenty of opportunities to find alternate routes and hidden places. The whale oil processing plant that's at the center of the first level can be infiltrated in (at least) three distinctive ways, all of which require completing a series of tasks before they are opened to you. And if you enjoyed learning the extensive lore of Dunwall behind the story in Dishonored, you'll really appreciate the way that The Knife of Dunwall extends it even further. There are many books, documents, and letters to peruse in the game, some of which will take you a bit of effort to find. This is the kind of DLC that Dishonored really deserves, the same gameplay that made the original so much fun and an opportunity to further expand the fascinating Dunwall universe. If there's anything disappointing about The Knife of Dunwall it's that the story is slow to develop and that it ends rather abruptly - The Knife of Dunwall is actually part one of a two part story that will be concluded in a future DLC release. In spite of its unfinished story, I probably got about four hours of play out of it, but I spent a lot of time exploring and looking for secrets to find.
I'm not going to say that if you liked Dishonored you'll like The Knife of Dunwall because, frankly, if you didn't enjoy the game you wouldn't even bother considering to buy DLC for it. Instead I'll say that there's no reason for you not to get The Knife of Dunwall - it extends the game both in terms of new missions and an expanded mythos. You'll certainly have fun with it and look forward to the conclusion of the story in the next DLC.
Final Rating: 90%. The Knife of Dunwall is the kind of DLC a game like Dishonored deserves.