Back in October we reviewed Dishonored, but now we're here to take a look at the Dunwall City Trials downloadable content. Arkane Studios puts you back in the world of the Dunwall City to test your skills. I hope you've been training, because these objectives are tough to perfect. There are 10 different challenges each with a second more difficult version of that make sure you're the right assassin for the job. If you read my Dishonored review, then you'd know I beat the story twice. Well, on each challenge I was lucky if I got 3 out of 3 stars on any of them!
The good thing about the Dunwall City Trials is you don't have to worry about anything story related. It's just like BAM, here's content, go play it whether you've beaten Dishonored yet or not. This DLC is a good way to either prepare you for the campaign or just go crazy with everything you've learned thus far. In the DLC there are challenges that test your stealth, combat, mentality and mobility. They can be fun for anyone that just wanted to get through the level, while also tough enough to make you keep trying to get the best score. Then once you reach that, you've got the expert version of that level after getting 2 out of 3 stars to try and beat. As you go from challenge to challenge, you'll have to follow certain rules, go for certain objectives, and at times you'll be provided with certain weapons and/or abilities.
When I played through the story of Dishonored, I generally was as stealthy as possible to try and get that good ending for low amounts of chaos. So I figured, heh, stealth challenge, pft, this should be simple. It turns out I couldn't get those three stars, yet I was able to think of 50 different ways to enter a building. That's what I believe Arkane has always been good at, making sure you can do things however you wish. The challenges were generally nothing crazy, just get inside a building and steal stuff or find a target with only a few clues to assassinate.
Presumably I wasn't sure how I'd do on the survival challenge, where basically they throw waves of enemies at you and say have fun. Go figure, that's the one I'm the best at. After destroying so many enemies in a variety of ways with everything at my disposal and then dying, I had the impression I'd be stuck with two stars again. Fear not, I finally got those three that have been mocking me. See now the expert mission we don't talk about.
Let's move onto the mentality grinding challenges. Those ones were interesting and took a lot longer than the others I'll admit. I recall for one of the challenges you were tasked with taking out enemies all around a level with less than three seconds in between each kill. Although the timer didn't start until your first kill and you were free to walk around without enemies noticing you as they stand still. I spent several rounds in this challenge just focusing on everything in the environment. Tesla coils, wooden boards I can break under people, electric rails I can turn on, moving people around by possessing them. Generally everything worked well, but it'd take a while. It really would make you think and make sure things work, but once you spend as much time as I did on one round and lose, well, things change. I also recall just saying screw it and slaughtering everyone without a plan, somehow successfully. That was a ton of fun to improvise rather than have a plan. So it is possible to go about the challenges that make you think without thinking at all in the end.
Last, but not least are the mobility ones. These ranged in what you'd have to do a lot. One second you'd have to blink like crazy to reach random checkpoints, another was to race a train to the end of the level, and the other one I had a ton of fun with was cool. So this mixed with combat and mobility. In this challenge you'd get points for really high dive attacks on your enemies. Anything else didn't count, but the level was set up so you could jump from ridiculously high areas. The first time I did this mission I followed the basic set up and only got one star. After that, I learned to really take advantage of higher up areas nearby, to blink as high as I could, blink mid-air, and do other cool stuff. This challenge would have you flying for over 10 seconds at a time, blinking in the air, slightly moving to the side, and then perfecting that dive assassination on that guard. This was a fun one because you were constantly moving through the air doing things that you'd either be terrified of doing in the campaign or are literally just impossible.
For the few hours you'll get out of it, it's worth it easily for everyone. If you're the competitive guy looking to up your skills, take to the leaderboards and rise to the top. If you're looking to just have some fun and get more content out of Dishonored, this is your chance. If you want to see a bunch of concept art as a reward for beating levels, guess what, you're in luck. For $4.99, I'd say go buy it.