Deathloop is an intriguing immersive simulation game. Arkane Studios, the studio behind the stealth adventure immersive sim Dishonored and the sci-fi immersive sim Prey, is behind it. Deathloop takes the best parts of both series, refines and expands on them, and poses a simple question:
What if time loops when a new player joins the game to annoy and sabotage your plans?
Deathloop, while simpler than its immersive sim siblings, gives a lot of freedom in how a player plays it, while also simplifying a lot of things for newbies to get in and enjoy. Players may expect a lot of fresh things to discover and enjoy, however some features of the game may irritate them.
Stuck on Blackreef with murderous intents
The game is set in the 1960s and follows Colt Vahn, an assassin trapped on the time-looped island of Blackreef. This repeats several times during the day, deleting Colt’s and the island residents’ memories each time.
Colt considers the island to be a prison, so he sets out on a mission to assassinate eight Visionaries, a gang of oddballs in charge of protecting the loop, so he can close it and leave the island. Julianna Blake, the AEON Program’s chief of security, stands in the way of Colt’s attempts to break the loop. Her mission is to protect the island’s loop, and she is free to employ any means necessary to accomplish so while avoiding memory loss caused by time loops.
Colt and Julianna have to be the game’s most endearing characters. Every time a player begins a new loop, both characters will engage in some type of back-and-forth banter, which is a lot of fun to listen to and gives both of them a lot of personality. The conversation can also reveal important plot details that aren’t explicitly communicated to the player.
Colt and Julianna are excellent video game characters thanks to the excellent chemistry between voice actresses Jason E. Kelley and Ozioma Akagha.
Aside from the primary cast, each visionary has their own distinct personality and is voiced. Aleksis Darcy is a visionary who enjoys arranging nighttime parties, making him a bright and easygoing individual. Another visionary, Egor Serling, is a paranoid scientist, therefore gamers will largely see him inside his modest lab, worried and afraid.
Arkane Studios spent a lot of time and effort fleshing out each and every character, making them a big part of the game’s appeal.
Only a day to live
Colt can go into four different regions of the island on Blackreef to identify and eliminate the visionaries. Each section of the island is its own level with its own set of themes. Updaam, for instance, is a town square with a bakery and dwelling structures, whereas Complex is a military installation complex with open nuclear bunkers and research halls.
Every component of the island has been created to look unique and exude a 60s Jazz blue vibe. Players can access the levels in a variety of ways, including via roofs, alleyways, and tunnels, and they can visit different portions of the island at different times of the day: Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening.
New paths open up and item placements alter depending on what time the player visits a portion of the island. This increases the game’s replayability by allowing players to have a unique experience with each run. Overall, parts of the island are free for players to explore, allowing them to approach in whatever way they like and wreaking havoc.
Knowledge is powerful
Deathloop’s gameplay is around figuring out how to kill all of the visionaries in a single day. To accomplish so, a player must understand their movement pattern, demeanour, and essential information. After all, each piece of information contributes to the creation of the ideal design.
Deathloop features a plethora of documents strewn about the maps that contain the game’s narrative, vital details, or tiny details that can provide useful items for planning.
The player is encouraged to explore as much of the island as possible in order to obtain knowledge that will aid them in attaining their goal in the next loop. Players are encouraged to visit all four regions of the island to gather information because the information changes depending on the time of day.
Deathloop, unlike other immersive simulations that require players to learn each new path they meet, does so for them. Under the investigation tabs, every document and crucial information collected during a run is preserved for future runs, which can then be utilised to plan out future runs, making them considerably safer and effective. After all, there are no quicksave or quickload features, so gamers must make do with what they have.
Deathloop emphasises planning, and the quest for information adds a rogue-like element to the game.
It’s all about getting trinkets and guns
In comparison to earlier Arkane games, such as Dishonored, which was a stealth action-adventure immersive sim focused a lot more on stealth, Deathloop is a more in-your-face shooting immersive sim.
This implies that players are not limited to knives and can be as noisy as they want throughout the game. Each run allows for the removal of a maximum of three firearms from the map for future use.
The quality of a gun is determined by how well it will behave. Gray weapons, for example, are widely available around the area and are easily jammed, whereas golden weapons are the rarest and come with specific stats to oppose the adversaries. Furthermore, players can follow arsenal leads to obtain ultra-rare weapons with a variety of useful bonuses.
But what about Colt’s potential? What if a gamer want to jump higher or have more accurate guns? Deathloop lacks an upgrade tree with the ability to purchase upgrades. Instead, during their runs, players can find “Trinkets,” which assist them improve their build for that particular run.
Trinkets, like firearms, are typically found throughout a map and have properties dependent on them. Gray trinkets are the most basic, providing additional stats and enhancements, whereas green trinkets are the most advanced, containing a variety of additional stats.
The entire game revolves around a player’s ability to employ trinkets to create the most efficient loadout possible. Colt will be able to double jump with some ability trinkets, while others will assist him sprint quicker and tackle at the same time. Similarly, trinkets in firearms can improve their performance, such as increasing accuracy or dealing bleed damage to foes.
Colt can only have four ability trinkets and three weapon ability trinkets on a gun at an once (depending on how many trinket slots a gun has).
Because most of the game’s evaluations were done on Sony’s Playstation 5, we asked Bethesda for a review copy for PC, which they graciously provided. The game has been put through its paces on two separate platforms.
The game played at full 60FPS on high-max settings with RTX enabled at 1080p on the RTX PC. The game’s shadows, lighting, and water are all breathtaking, and the lighting shines even brighter during the twilight scenes.
DLSS settings, on the other hand, were not available during the game’s evaluation. With the RTX enabled, the game averaged roughly 80FPS. It’s obvious that having the DLSS option accessible would greatly help this game. There is also a VRAM gauge in the game’s options, as well as all of the necessary parameters for a PC port.