With the reveal of Death of The Outsider, a standalone expansion for Dishonored 2 that focuses on Billie Lurk and her quest to kill The Outsider, we've learnt that we'll see familiar faces as well as revisit some of the places we explored in the original game. Most importantly, we'll be sailing on The Dreadful Wale again, which served as the post mission hub for Emily (or Corvo).
The Wale is a cargo ship similar to the Undine from Knife of Dunwall, though this vessel is fit for long sea voyages. The ship itself is split up into several different rooms, each with their own unique purpose.
In the original Dishonored, Corvo would return to The Hound Pits Pub between missions, functioning as a base of operations for The Loyalist Conspiracy.
When Dishonored 2 was released many players seemed disappointed by the post mission hub that the Wale provided them, citing that it was too small, too unrealistic and that Arkane dropped the ball on its design.
But in many ways, The Dreadful Wale is a much better hub than the Hound Pits ever was. Let's take a look at why.
While the pub had a large area to run around in, hidden things you could discover and several side quests, it was supposed to be even larger, but was pared down by the designers to make it less confusing.
Reducing the size of the mission hub in Dishonored 2 was a great way to bring focus and urgency into the task at hand. As Delilah's reign gets underway, you aren't going to have a lot of time to explore a place as large as the Pub was. Adding some realism into the story, the Wale allows us simply a place to collect ourselves without getting lost.
Many times when people are faced with hardships, such as Emily is in Dishonored 2, the first instinct is to escape, with miles and miles of water in each direction. Escape isn't a viable option for our young Empress, giving the Wale a sense of isolation, which is a reflection of the situation Emily finds herself in.
While the Pub was a place where a movement was being created, The Wale is simply a place to wait out the storm until you can make your next move.
Because you are out on the open seas you are not confined to one location like you were at the pub. Being located in a mobile hideout makes it much less likely for Emily, Meagan and Sokolov to be found. In the first Dishonored you are free to roam around and explore, giving you a sense of freedom even with all the darkness around Corvo's story, making it feel a little static. Whereas in Dishonored 2 you're traveling through the different parts of Karnaca by ship and able to see much more of the world, lending the game a bigger sense of adventure.
A beautiful ship has many rooms and is adorned in odd decorations — what isn't to love about this ship?
The Pub in Dishonored was a perfect example of the state of Dunwall during the Rat Plague; a one-hundred-year-old building, dilapidated but still serving a purpose for Corvo and his allies. The Wale on the other hand is a much more sturdy vessel, with just a couple of problems noted by Meagan during several mini side quests to fix an area or clear out another area of bloodflies.
The design of The Wale makes Dishonored 2 feel a little more steampunk than its predecessor, with odds and ends from various locations stored on board the ship, retaining the old industrial flavor that was cherished from the first game's design.
The locations aboard The Wale include the Mess Hall which serves as the center mission briefing area during the game.
Filled with information about your targets, where you are traveling next and many background items with such amazing detail I felt a little disappointed that you couldn't interact with them.
In the corner of the Mess Hall is Anton Sokolov's artistic depiction of the antagonist of the story, Delilah Copperspoon, which you can see him working on after rescuing him from Jindosh's mansion. He will also paint a portrait of the protagonist.
Another important room is the protagonist's quarters of the ship, which you wake up in proceeding each mission. On the desk is a travel log which serves as a journal of sorts and gives us a peek into the mind of our character as we travel through Karnaca. Filled with thoughts about the mission objective and our character's inner thoughts, it provides some fun bonus exposition for those who want it.
Of course the Pub will always be a beacon of broken hope to lovers of the first Dishonored, but The Dreadful Wale brings its own odd charm to this dark world, and I for one cannot wait to step aboard it again.
Death of The Outsider comes out on September 15 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.