Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches Review
The Dishonored saga comes full circle to a close with the The Brigmore Witches DLC. While this is the second part of the story that began in The Knife of Dunwall DLC, there's nothing preventing you from playing The Brigmore Witches without previously purchasing The Knife of Dunwall. However, all of your charms and power upgrades carry over from the previous DLC, so you'll certainly be making things more challenging for yourself if you decide to begin with the end.
The Knife of Dunwall began with the same event that marked the opening of Dishonored, the assassination of the Empress Kaldwin and the kidnapping of her daughter, but rather than follow the adventures of the falsely accused Corvo the DLC told the story of the true assassin, Daud. Racked with remorse from an event in which he was duped into playing the key role, Daud undertook a quest to unravel the conspiracy behind the assassination, which began in the previous DLC with the search for the mysterious Delilah. In The Brigmore Witches Daud knows that Delilah holds all of the answers and where he must go to find her, but getting to her is the trick. After a short opening level that sets the stage for the rest of the story, there are two levels in which Daud must first find the person who is the key to getting him to Delilah and then help that person to help him. The final level is set in the dilapidated Brigmore Manor which serves as the base for Delilah and her coven of witches. If Daud can make his way past the powerful witches to Delilah, then he may finally have the answers he seeks before his inevitable meeting with Corvo.
The storyline in The Brigmore Witches is stretched a bit to cover the four hours it will take you to complete it if you rush your way through it, but then that's what you get for rushing. There's actually quite a bit of lore packed into the DLC if you take your time to find and read the notes and books hidden throughout the levels, and that lore further fleshes out the world of Dishonored and magic's place in that world. In fact, the inclusion of details about the other lands and cities in the Empire makes me hope that it's a part of the world-building process leading up to a Dishonored sequel. Overall, the story does bring things to a satisfying conclusion considering that you already know how it all finally ends. Well, sort of. Duad's ultimate fate here is decided by your actions in his two DLC adventures and not on the choice you made as Corvo when you completed the original game's storyline.
As in The Knife of Dunwall the secure locations in The Brigmore Witches' levels can be breached in several ways, giving the DLC replayability beyond the low/high chaos options. One of the pre-mission purchasable bonuses will even let you waltz through the front door of a very secure location in disguise, which completely changes the nature of the level in addition to giving you a leg-up on a low chaos play-through. And in the Dishonored tradition, each level in this DLC adventure has its share of secret areas to reward diligent exploration with bonus supplies, runes, charms, and other goodies.
Even though the Dishonored saga is being brought to a close, there are a couple of new things introduced in The Brigmore Witches. The first thing is corrupted charms. These carry a better than average bonus that regular charms, but that bonus is tempered by a penalty of some kind - you may attack faster, but you'll move slower, that kind of thing. Not a bad idea, but I didn't find the bonus provided by any of the corrupted charms that I found tempting enough to make me willing to take on the penalty as well. The other new addition comes in the form of a new power, pull. This is a telekinetic power that allows you to pull objects and enemies towards you. Useful for grabbing something through an open window and in dealing with a particularly persistent new type of enemy that you'll encounter in the DLC's final level.
The Brigmore Witches pretty much delivers what you'd like to see in a DLC expansion; new levels that extend your experience with an enjoyable game while expanding on the game's lore. If you enjoyed Dishonored, then you owe it to yourself to revisit Dunwall and see the events after the assassination of the Empress from another point of view.
Final Rating: 90%. The most disappointing thing about this DLC is that it's the final one.