Deathloop is a first-person shooter that was released in September 2021 for PS5 and PC. It was developed by Arkane Studios, who also made Dishonored and Prey – two excellent games.
The idea of this game is very unique. You play as Colt, who one day wakes up on the beach of an island only to find out that he has died and come back to life. The aim of the game is to assassinate a number of people – known as “Visionaries” –to stop the “loop”, which just repeats the same day over and over. As you play, you use a combination of skills such as stealth, attacks, parkour, gadgets to hack tech, guns, and powers to investigate ways to get to all of the people who are based in separate sections of the map during different times of the day. You learn their schedules and weaknesses to work out a way to kill them all on the same day.
Dishonored is one of the best series of games that I’ve played, so anything that this studio makes is always something that’s on my list to play. The first trailer for Deathloop looked insane. You tell that it was done by the same people that made Dishonored – some powers are pretty much the same, and the overall look looked very familiar. The gameplay looked amazing, and the idea looked so unique and different that I knew I had to play it.
As a starting university gift for myself, I recently picked up my copy and got stuck right in. From the very beginning, you know that there’s going to be a lot to this game, and it’s not going to be something that you quickly play through from start to finish.
For a start, you can play as two characters; Colt or Julianna. Although Julianna only becomes available once you’ve played through with Colt. From the off, things appeared really complicated, and I started to wonder if I would be able to keep track of what I was doing as things aren’t as straightforward as they are with other games. Getting to grips with the time system and what you can do and when takes a little while, but you get into the rhythm after a couple of hours of playing.
As you fight – or stealth – your way through the different areas, you learn more about the characters involved and what methods you should use to kill them. I quickly learned how best to organise tasks so that I could do the maximum number of things in the given day. It’s a bit of a shock at first when you’ve played through a day, got loads of weapons and powers and then it all gets reset when the day ends. Luckily though, despite everything being reset, the knowledge you gain during each day stays with you, so when it comes to luring the Visionaries out, it gets a lot easier and killing them can be a quick thing. You’re also able to use objects from the environment to take out your foes, These range from explosive barrels, gas pipes and even bubble-gum machines! (You can spill them on the floor and use them to trip up enemies.)
While you traverse the different locations, you will also see bright written messages that will give you hints as to what you can do or what will happen in that location. These can range from telling you how to take out an enemy to telling you which way you should go. Along with these messages are some which just look to be put in as a laugh.
As far as my progress into the game goes, I’ve managed to kill a few of the Visionaries on different days and have found ways to get them where I want them, and so far, I’m really enjoying it.
One of the issues that I’ve run into is that some of the puzzles seem overly complicated and involve you going to several different places and finding things before bringing your knowledge back to the original location. This, at times, can be pretty frustrating as you find yourself going around in circles trying to find what you need.
That being said, I can’t complain about this game too much. It’s very different, and it plays to its strengths. It’s good that there’s a new game that doesn’t just follow the usual formula for first-person shooters, and that uniqueness keeps you coming back to the game. The graphics are top-notch and give you that retro 60’s/70’s feel reminiscent of We Happy Few.
Despite the differences, if you’re a fan of Dishonored, I think you’ll probably like Deathloop.
I’ve said I’ve not yet finished the game, but I’m quite confident that my playing experience will only improve.
I’m going to give Deathloop a 9/10; I’m taking a point off purely for the confusing aspect of some of the puzzles, but other than that, it’s an excellent game that I can’t recommend enough.