I've been having a lot of fun with Dunwall City Trials, the first downloadable add-on to October's fantastic stealth game Dishonored. I've beaten the core game almost two times now, and while it's such a brilliant bit of design, I'd found myself hungry for new, different challenges.
It's always felt like the game would benefit from an extra mode in addition to the single-player story, one that let us really put the game's many enjoyable systems to the test. Dunwall City Trials, which costs $US5 to download, adds just that.
It's a collection of 10 challenge maps that put players through a gauntlet of stealth, combat, and puzzle challenges, each one designed to stand on its own as a leaderboard-focused trial. Master those, and you'll unlock five more 'expert' maps that make the existing challenges even harder.
The DLC, while perhaps a bit slight, feels like just what Dishonored needed. While the 10 challenges are great, I can already tell that I'm going to want more of them.
The stealth challenge "Mystery Foe" puts you into a "Lady Boyle's Last Party"-type scenario, where you'll have to sneak about a party undetected and gather clues about who your target is before taking him or her out. The fewer clues you need to take down your target, the higher you score. The best bit is that the target is randomly selected each time, making the level feel a bit like something out of Hitman: Absolution's smart Contracts Mode.
"Burglar" has you robbing a house (that floats, awesomely, in the same dream-zone in which you meet The Stranger), and remaining undetected. There are wave-based attack challenges, too, as well as one of my favourites, "Kill Cascade," which has you chaining those oh-so-satisfying aerial kills together as quickly as possible.
I've only played an hour or so of Dunwall City Trials, but it already feels like a solid add-on for anyone who liked the core game. It's hard not to wish for a couple more stealth challenges, as those are the best of the bunch, but each challenge offers a welcomely stiff challenge and some good optional objectives, and certainly feels worth five bucks. As with the challenge rooms in Batman: Arkham City, the trials are a fun way to stress-test Dishonored's systems without worrying about your chaos level or which powers you've chosen.
I hope that, as Bethesda releases more DLC for the game, we get to see another slew of challenge rooms in addition to whatever else they may be planning. Dishonored deserves even more of this kind of thing.