The latest sandbox adventure from Arkane Lyon employs a time mechanic that no other game has. The studio has produced something akin to a finely tuned watch. And it is without a doubt one of the most fantastic video games experiences I’ve ever had. Time has stopped in Deathloop, a first-person time-looping murder/puzzle game. The story unfolds through the puzzle-solving and consequential death experiences of a character in an underground bunker. At its core, though, Deathloop is a top-notch creation.
The island is ruled by eight wealthy, evil Visionaries. Colt must kill all eight Visionaries before the day ends to end the cycle. The Visionaries have split across four time periods and four different sandbox districts. Moving from one district to another advances the day forward. Moreover, while Colt is in one district, time appears to stop.
Finally, there’s Julianna, a young woman who seeks to irritate and kill Colt to uplift him. She, too, recalls previous loops. And she can appear at any time to scupper Colt’s plans. The most crucial thing is that other players may control her, who may also improve her along a separate development cycle. When you play as the antagonist, it completely changes the game. It’s a significant bit of design, and I’m looking forward to going through it all again now that more people are playing.
The connection between Colt and Julianna is the game’s heart. The performance by Jason E. Kelley and Ozioma Akagha are incredible. Even though Julianna is threatening him, he doesn’t have the willpower to be cruel to her. It’s also worth noting that both playable characters are Black, which is remarkable given how few Black people there are in big-budget media (mainly because they’re not gang members).
Although Deathloop is primarily concerned with gathering information rather than assassination, it is fascinating and enjoyable. After all, Colt hasn’t broken the loop, although there are still four Visionaries at the end of the day. To put it another way, Deathloop is a cross between Edge of Tomorrow and Hitman.
Colt has access to a variety of upgradeable weapons. Some of these are conventional, including pistols, SMGs, and rifles, but there are some legendary variations. My favorite two-handed weapon is a pair of pistols that may be stacked together to make a rifle.
Colt can access supernatural abilities, as is standard with Arkane’s games. Shift allows Colt to instantly pass through a considerable distance (it’s basically the Blink power from Dishonored). In contrast, another will enable him to establish a link between many foes, allowing you to kill one and all if you kill one (similar to Domino in Dishonored 2). The powers and weapons may be combined in unexpected ways to produce breath-taking moments. For example, after discovering two Visionaries surrounded by their minions, I used my ability to bind both targets together into an isolated guard. By killing him, I destroyed both at once.
The glitched-out environments, frantic combat, and hacked security systems in Deathloop make it more inviting to stealthier players than other Arkane games. This is the first time an Arkane game has felt this good as an all-out action shooter, though. In fact, no previous ArcKane game has ever felt this great. I didn’t feel bad when using a sneak approach; some magic skills even encouraged it. Colt may toss people into the air; he can go berserk and become extraordinarily strong.
Overall this game is very immersive and enjoyable to play. The stealthy approach is advantageous but can be challenging if you’re not good at it. I love the Tarantino vibe to this game, and I cannot wait for more levels to come out.
The game’s main downside is that it ends before you know it, which will probably only bother people who run through games quickly. It took me seven hours to get to the end, though there were periods where I was figuring out what to do next or stopped playing altogether. You should think of Deathloop as a perfect example of how short episodes in an episodic series are acceptable, even when they cost $20 each. That said, there isn’t much reason to go back once you’ve completed your first unless you want some immersive fun.
In conclusion, Deathloop is a great game that will not disappoint those looking for a way to relax and beat up some people. It is excellent in terms of gameplay, story, and immersion. It’s a fresh change of pace for Arkane games known for their immersive worlds that feel like real places. The gameplay is excellent because it’s open-ended but still offers multiple approaches to different objectives. Deathloop also has two notable things: the protagonist is Black, and the game features a relationship between Colt and Julianna, which is central to the game. This game is well worth playing.