When I started Brigmore Witches, the final DLC for Dishonored (original game review here), Arkane Studios and Bethesda's superb super natural assassin game, I had certain preconceived notions. At first, I thought I knew everything there was to know mainly because the DLC runs concurrently to the main story by simply showing events through the eyes of Daud, one of Corvo's adversaries. I thought Daud was the definitive villain and I also believed that I'd have no qualms facing the inevitable ending that resulted from my choices in the original game. I was wrong. Brigmore Witches establishes Daud, even more so than Knife of Dunwall (its review here) did previously, as not only a conflicted man, but a man that does everything in his power to make a difference, even when no one will ever notice - the sign of a true hero.
In the original game, players have a choice to either kill Daud, or let him live. All of these events that take place in Brigmore Witches eventually lead up to that moment, but let's back track a bit. The end of Knife of Dunwall left players with their right-hand assistant betraying them and on the verge of war with Delilah and her Brigmore Witches. The story picks up right where it left off and never slows down for the entirety of the 5-or-so hour adventure. The DLC is delivered similarly to Knife of Dunwall, as it consists of a few standalone missions with no "hub" like the original game. You can pick up from your last save, or start fresh, but I don't see why you'd ever want to start fresh when you can carry over content.
With a new pull power, non-lethal mines and new favors for missions - Arkane Studios squeezed in just enough new things to keep it interesting. The best things about this DLC actually has absolutely nothing to do with the gameplay, mechanics or features - it's all about the world and characters. In Knife of Dunwall, there was a severe lack of fresh environments - the first mission resembled every area in the base game and it never really took that extra step to feeling like a new experience. Every area in Brigmore Witches is unique and gushes with personality. From the Coldridge Prison in the opening mission, to the dock-side areas of the second mission and especially Brigmore Manor and its surrounding grounds - they all feel fresh.
The Brigmore Manor might just be my favorite piece of content in the entire Dishonored legacy of content - and that's saying a lot. The witches are fast, fierce and aggressive to battle, teleporting everywhere, summon tentacles from beneath the ground and shooting spells all over the battlefield. New undead dogs make a debut as well, automatically coming back from the dead unless their skulls are crushed. The lush green environment surrounding the manor and the decrepit interior is both strikingly contrasted and beautifully represented.
At the end of the DLC (without spoiling anything) I had all of my expectations sufficiently exceeded. Brigmore Witches isn't just the best that Dishonored has to offer, it may very well be one of the best pieces of DLC that I've ever played in a game. With enough new content to keep you engaged, stunning story revelations that change your perceptions of the characters and some of the most inventive level and enemy designs of the game thus far, Brigmore Witches ends the Dishonored story on a note even higher than the original game. I cannot recommend you purchase this DLC any more adamantly, as it is simply fantastic.
Dishonored: Brigmore Witches is available Tuesday, August 13th for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in America and Wednesday, August 14th on PSN in Europe. Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!
This review is based on a digital download copy of the DLC for PC provided by Bethesda.