Welcome to Dunwall… again.
There's one particularly jaw-dropping event in Dishonored that sets the gears of Corvo's quest in motion, and a man named Daud is primarily responsible. The Knife of Dunwall, Arkane's substantially-sized single-player add-on, puts you in the shoes of this villainous character following the shocking murder of one unforgettably pivotal individual—if you've played the first hour of the main game, you'll know exactly who I'm talking about.
At first I was a bit puzzled as to why the developers decided to put you in the shoes of a completely different character, but after spending just a few minutes with the game, it all became clear. The universe that Arkane has created with Dunwall is full of mystery and intrigue, and getting to see that through the eyes of a completely different character casts a whole new light on the city. Better yet, Daud has an interesting personality and speaks quite often, giving the player a better sense of the person they're playing as. I'd even go so far as to say that I find him more compelling than Corvo.
I was a bit disappointed when there wasn't a whole lot of content related to the city's whale oil industry in the main game, but now I know why they were holding it back. The mission I had the pleasure of playing through at PAX East tasked me with infiltrating a whale oil factory in search of a man named Rothwild. As I snuck around the city, making my way to a large building littered with whale carcasses, I found myself right at home in the world, making use of all Daud's fascinating powers.
Fortunately, the developers mixed things up a bit with the gameplay, tweaking the game's teleportation ability "Blink" so that time will freeze should you stop movement. Tinkering with the various powers proved to once again be a blast, and the game's wide open levels encourage you to try and tackle missions in a plethora of different ways.
As I snuck through the halls of the whale oil factory, the revving of radial saws sent chills down my spine. As workers wielding massive blades cut into whale flesh, I did my best to get by unnoticed. Sadly, my stealth skills need some work, and I managed to get caught several times. This resulted in a chase, as I fled for my life while the monstrous men readied their blades and followed in eager pursuit—it was terrifying. Every time it happened I was filled with a sense of panic I can only liken to hearing the frightful sound of a chainsaw for the first time in Resident Evil 4.
Believe me, this is no half-hearted cash-in.
The Knife of Dunwall oozes with atmosphere. From the gargantuan whales moaning above to the bloodied floors below, I found myself both disturbed and intrigued at the same time. In all honesty, I came away from the main game a bit disappointed, wanting more, but I'm happy to say that this single-player add-on was just what I was looking for. If you have any affinity towards Arkane's dark and foreboding world, you absolutely can't miss out on this DLC.