In the opening moments of Dishonored, assassins ambush Corvo, the Empress, and her daughter, Emily. Daud, leader of the wraith-like faction, appears and mercilessly kills the Empress before vanishing into thin air.
Some way into the game Daud and Corvo's paths cross once again, and he expresses regret for his actions. The Knife of Dunwall DLC winds back the clock and picks up before that fateful moment, delving deeper into Daud's crisis of conscience and following him on his quest for redemption.
Our brief hands-on with the DLC starts with a retelling of the assassination. This time we're cast as Daud, lurking on the rooftop overlooking the gazebo, seconds before Emily spots the approaching assassins.
The gravelly voice of Michael Madsen, who returns to voice Daud, narrates the events: "One more job shouldn't have mattered, I'd killed nobles before... Why should an Empress be different? But she was..."
After sliding the knife into the Empress' gut Daud is transported to The Void, where a twisting walkway made of floating, scattered bricks leads to an altar, and The Outsider.
Daud is one of the other eight people in the world bearing The Outsider's mark, and according to the all-knowing supernatural being, the Empress' death will have grave consequences. Daud's story is about to come to an end, but before the curtains close The Outsider offers one last gift; some control over how it ends in the form of a mystery. It starts with the name 'Delilah'.
The Knife of Dunwall will allow players to both explore new areas of Dunwall and return to previously seen areas such as the Flooded District, home to Daud and his assassins. Our demo, however, sees us infiltrate the Rothwild Slaughterhouse, six months after the death of the Empress.
Lurk, second-in-command of the assassins and a companion throughout the DLC, informs Daud of a ship named Delilah in proprietary of the slaughterhouse owner. Our mission is simple: infiltrate and investigate.
While the bulk of Daud's equipment and abilities are the same as Corvo's, a few vary in subtle ways. His Blink, for example, slows time to a crawl, which means those that favour stealth will find Daud to be much more capable at incapacitating enemies without alerting guards.
Players that like to trade steel with enemies, on the other hand, will find the Blink is now very handy in a tight spot, since it stops enemies in their tracks and lets Daud reposition himself. Given that the DLC notches the difficulty level up a bit with new, aggressive enemy types, you might find yourself with your back against the wall regularly.