Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials

dishonored
8 Overall Score

Variety of trials | Global Leaderboards | New Achievements and Trophies

Some challenges ramp up difficulty too quickly

Written by on January 11, 2013 in [, , , ]

corvo-assassination

Bethesda has promised three add-on packs to their stealthy plague-ridden, revenge-driven game Dishonored. The first of these packs, Dunwall City Trials, became available in late December for $4.99 (400 Microsoft Points). In addition to ten new city maps and four new types of challenges, the new add-on also offers new achievements and trophies as well as global online leaderboards.

Dunwall City Trials has lived up to its promise to test the player’s skills in stealth, attacks, mobility and logic. This new content has a nice side benefit, allowing players the opportunity to hone the skills critical to mastering the original game. The trials are categorized under the heading of Action, Mobility, Stealth, and Logic. A common thread throughout all of the trials is the importance of a player’s creativity. Each of the primary skill categories can be critical in successfully completing the original game. Playing these short challenges will help a player realize their strengths. This new-found knowledge may help them return to the original game and play to those strengths.

The Action challenges include battles against waves of increasingly more difficult enemies to test a player’s attack skill. These trials range from battling thugs in a back alley, to making a run through a mansion to take out baddies, to a simple target practice of shooting falling whale oil canisters.

Stealth trials drop the player near a mansion to gather clues to a mysterious assassination target or burglarize the occupants and gather as much wealth as possible. These trials were made extremely difficult by the sheer number of innocents and guards that patrol the grounds.  I was constantly anxious of discovery. I was not able to just drop a potential witness. I had to take time to hide the body to avoid alerting a guard to my presence. If the player arouses too many guards to their presence it’s game over.

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Mobility challenges include a challenge to race a train to its destination using the quick teleportation power “blink”. That same power allowed me to race between several floating land masses to hit a progression of red glowing ‘bonfire’ targets. Blink and skilled falling combine to create a trial consisting of a series of drop assassinations. This trial severely tested my platformer-challenged self. I fell into the infinite nothingness more times than I can count.

Logic trials challenge the player to kill increasing numbers of enemies within a pre-set time limit. This is not as easy as it sounds since there are many obstacles one must overcome along the way and an extremely short time limit.

I have to admit my favorite challenge is the Action trial known as Assassin’s Run. This challenge has a simple premise. The player must proceed through a building room by room. Each room is filled with enemies and a few innocent civilians. I need to kill all the enemies while avoiding the innocent. Once I killed all the enemies in a room, the next is unlocked. This trial had the pure fun of taking out enemies within a very limited space. The challenge was extremely fun and a timer inspires the player to replay the trial.

Global leaderboards also add to replay-ability and bragging rights for those skilled enough to score high marks in each challenge. Score well enough in a challenge and earn at least two out of three stars to unlock the expert version of that challenge. I found the normal versions extremely challenging and will probably spend most of my time on this level but those extremely skilled folks that enjoy attempting trials nearing the impossible.

Dunwall-City-Trials_AssassinTraining

My greatest frustration came during a few of the trials when they seemed to ramp up in difficulty from easy to impossible in the space of a heartbeat. That’s right I’m talking about you Bonfire. I would feel pretty good about leaping from one red glowing target to the next when they suddenly decided to hide targets at seemingly impossible locations. The good news was that I could soothe my soul by going back to my happy place, the Action trials.

Each new star earns a new piece of artwork for the player to enjoy. The art is a bit on the gloomy and depressing side as it mirrors the art found in the original game. It is, after all an age of horrible deaths from plague and a dystopian society controlled by horribly corrupt elitists.

Most of the trials are extremely challenging and some even triggered my impulse to throw a few choice frustrated curses at my TV. The good news is that there is a wide enough variety of trials to allow each player  the opportunity to find their own preferences. I was happy to spend more time with the Action trials. Possibly because I spent the bulk of my time during the main campaign in stealth mode. This was my big chance to break out my weapons and shoot to kill. Ah the joy of a good slaughter.

This new content is a good amount of new play time and allows the players to show off and brag about their skills and strategies. Creativity is the key to making a good run great. I think the price for the add-on is reasonable and absolutely challenging. If players want to strut their stuff or hone their skills they will find what they are looking for in these bite-sized trials. My biggest wish would be more levels on the Assassin’s Run challenge.

A copy of Dunwall City Trials was provided to The Married Gamers for review.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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