|System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC*|
|Dev: Arkane Studios|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks|
|Release: December 10, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language|
Dunwall City Trials will particularly appeal to players who felt the main Dishonored campaign was too easy. There's no way to save progress in the Trials, so save skimming is right out. There's also no way to scavenge and stockpile potions, and you'll be working with a limited skillset in each challenge, so there are fewer opportunities to game the system and become an unstoppable god of death. There are even unlockable expert modes for many of the Trials. High scores for each trial are recorded in online leaderboards, for players who enjoy competing against the rest of the world.
For such bite-sized pieces of gameplay, some of the Dunwall City Trials do a good job preserving the game's freedom of choice element. Mystery Foe, Burglar, Back Alley Brawl, Bend Time, and Kill Chain in particular encourage the use of many different strategies in order to successfully complete them. The more arcadey parts of the Trials, like Oil Drop and the speed challenges, are less appealing in their rigid structure, as there are far better arcade challenges out there. Dishonored's developers should definitely stick with the game's strengths instead of attempting to wrap the game's systems around challenges to which they aren't suited.
The Dunwall City Trials are a bit like the Disneyland version of Dishonored. They've cut out some of the most compelling parts of the game, such as exploring the expansive levels and learning the secrets of Dunwall's citizens. There are no interesting moral choices to make and no lore-filled books to read, but there are some fun challenges that remain true to the spirit of the game. While not all the Dunwall Trials are of equal quality, at the price at which they're offered the better Trials provide an entertaining afternoon or two of guilt-free assassination fun.
Date: December 13, 2012