If at first, you don’t succeed, die, die again is the theme in Deathloop and it really is a great way to describe the mechanics of a game that has managed to really live up to expectations.
The objective is to hunt down and kill eight targets called “Visionaries” on a 1960’s inspired island called Blackreef. This is so you can end the time loop before the day ends. That might sound like a pretty easy thing to do in a first-person shooter, but this is no ordinary shooter. Whereas in other shooters the object is to stay alive, dieing can actually progress you further through the game.
The protagonist is Colt, a gunslinger with an attitude, who has to find a way to end a time loop. It’s easy to think of movies with this theme, “Edge of Tomorrow” with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt is one while you will see elements from recent films like the Christopher Nolan movie “Tenent”. (but unlike that movie you can hear all the dialogue clearly, and that is a great thing because it is acted superbly).
Waiting in the shadows is another Assassin named Julianna whose sole purpose is to take Colt out so that the day resets and the loop keeps going. The game reveals her motivations and it creates really strong story arcs that add a lot to the overall picture.
Playing the title on the PS5 is so smooth, it’s built for the next-gen system and the gun mechanics are outstanding. The types of weapons are also fun and there are kooky gadgets to use throughout that will all disappear if your loop resets, unless you bind it to your character in a really interesting system that seemed confusing at first but soon became second nature.
Although the game is quite short for a AAA title, it does have great replayability as it can be as fast-paced as you like, or play stealthily.
DeathLoop is created by Arkane Lyon and Bethesda Softworks, so you know before you even install it that the story is just going to be immaculate. There are multiple plot twists and the characters are really fully developed well. Even the enemy inhabitants of the island are really stylized, which makes me think back to titles like the Bioshock series, with that 60’s retro-future tech. It’s a simple structure that allows important items and scenes to really pop.
Investigation in the complex narrative is the key to success with DeathLoop. It's nearly impossible to kill all 8 targets separately, so thorough investigation, you open story elements that allow you to guide the narrative to suit your goals. For example, you can round up the targets to be in the same area so you can down two at once instead. It encourages smarter more engaging play, rather than be a straight-out gun fest.
If you like the games Dishonored, Outer Worlds, or Bioshock you will love DeathLoop.
Deathloop is released exclusively for PS5 and PC but we did hear a rumour that it’s a timed exclusive so we may see it on Xbox in a year or so, especially considering Xbox purchased the developer that makes the game.
DeathLoop is a 10/10 game that you can continue to go back to well after you have completed the main mission.