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Witches Be Crazy: Dishonored – The Brigmore Witches Preview


We go hands-on with two hours of Dishonored’s final DLC campaign, The Brigmore Witches.


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It’s difficult to determine just how frightening a spectre Corvo Attano is until you’re at the other end of his blade. Piero’s mask casts a grotesque, inhuman visage over his shrouded face; his silence even when not the protagonist more sociopathic than a role-playing affordance. As Daud, you will face Corvo in armed combat in Dishonored’s final DLC pack, The Brigmore Witches – but not in the way you might expect.

Chilling though the image of the former Royal Protector may be, it’s nothing compared to the three-mission conclusion’s eponymous supernatural coven. The Brigmore Witches sees Dishonored going full-Pagan; facing this new enemy archetype is like attempting to take on an army of Viktorias from Thief II: The Metal Age. Shrill, fast and able to summon sisters to their aid, the witches are easily Dishonored’s most dangerous foes, offering a superior challenge to anything Daud, and even Corvo, have faced before.

The Brigmore Witches sees Dishonored going full-Pagan

 
Daud isn’t without his own new tricks. A single new supernatural power, named Pull, has been added to his repertoire. This is the same power used on Corvo to suspend him in place during the assassination of the Empress. In practice, it’s a far more multi-functional and versatile ability that genuinely invites new opportunities for both stealth and combat approaches. At its first level, Pull can be used to ensnare distant inanimate objects and wrench them directly into Daud’s possession. This includes all consumables – food, ammunition, even keys from a guard’s belt. Its mana cost is akin to Blink, in that, if left for a moment to recharge, there is no cost whatsoever. Pull can also be used to remove whale oil tanks from their slots at a distance, thereby disabling any connected security systems.

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Upgraded to level two, the power works on living beings, allowing Daud to bring a foe close, suspend them in the air, and either assassinate or knock them out when they have been drawn near enough. Where the use of this power shines is in environments with extreme verticality, such as those featured in the return to Coldridge Prison. Guards can be pulled and simply dropped from second-storey catwalks, all at a distance and entirely stealthily. The ability even works to collect and carry bodies from a distance for emergency disposal. It is, in effect, an anti-Windblast, though its multi-purpose functionality makes it far more fun to use.

Guards can be pulled and simply dropped from second-storey catwalks

 
Daud also has the opportunity to begin his return to Coldridge disguised as an Overseer. It is a return to the basic social stealth opening of Lady Boyle’s Last Party, allowing Daud to freely inspect the premises until he finds himself caught in a restricted area. Arkane has perhaps learned from the reception of The Knife of Dunwall and opted to place this DLC’s re-used level at the beginning, rather than the end – but even so, there are some interesting non-combat approaches involved in opening cells, releasing prisoners and allowing the AI to sort itself out.

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The second mission involves a visit to picturesque, seaside gang territory; a former upper class promenade torn apart by two warring factions. Much of the mission involves manipulating the interactions of these gangs, with the opportunity at various stages to turn their alliances toward or against you. After the claustrophobic interiors of Coldridge, the mission’s wide open streets and long sightlines by the docks make for a more intensive stealth challenge.

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Two new mechanical additions find their way into The Brigmore Witches. Corrupted Bone Charms glow purple and offer both a benefit and a drawback to equipping them. One charm caused damage taken to be deducted from Daud’s mana pool first, with the downside being that mana did not regenerate. The second addition, available via blueprints, is an upgrade to Daud’s Chokedust grenade named Baffle Dust. It’s essentially a non-disruptive variant; enemies react similarly to being caught in the cloud, but the addition of a confusion-inducing toxin to the grenade causes them to resume their patrol afterwards without any knowledge that they were just coughing up their lungs. It’s like throwing a flashbomb without the enemies ever knowing they were temporarily blinded.

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But it’s the Brigmore Witches themselves and their dangerous supernatural abilities that define this conclusion to Daud’s story. Through them, it’s clear that this is Dishonored at its most loose; free to explore themes and environments that Corvo’s trek through Dunwall only hinted at.

Daniel Hindes

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2 Responses to Witches Be Crazy: Dishonored – The Brigmore Witches Preview

  1. By Jonas, November 12, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Tried to get in contact with you guys via mail, but your mail seems broken, just a heads up!

    • By Daniel Hindes, November 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

      I have sent you an email. Cheers

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