Deathloop is a first person shooter/ puzzle game from Arkane studios, it was released in September of 2021 and has had very high review scores considering its low sales.
In the game you play as Colt an unfortunate man who has been trapped in a never ending time loop for 17 years, he is stuck on an island he cannot leave and is constantly hunted by a rival assassin called Julianna Blake. He has to repeat the same day over and over again and the only way he can break the loop is by killing all of the visionaries (Boss characters who have more skills than average AI characters) in one loop
The gameplay of Deathloop is it’s most unique feature, in the game you repeat the same things on repeat, every loop is the same and your goal never changes. This may not sound very good but its not about quick progression in an epic story, instead what Deathloop offers is very slow progression in a simple story with addictive gameplay and learning.
What I mean by learning is that it is actually impossible to kill all of the visionaries in one loop as they are never in the same area at the same time, every time you leave part of the map time progresses.
So if you have one visionary in area 1 in the morning and there is another visionary in area 3 in the morning you cannot kill both so breaking the loop is impossible. This is where the puzzle solving comes in, you need to find a way to get these guys in the same place at the same time. I dont want to go into many spoilers because the game is best enjoyed figuring stuff out for yourself but I will give one example to explain my point, I will put this in bold so you can see where to skip the spoiler if you want too.
In the game you can find an email rejecting an invitation to a party, the guest was Egon a scientist who doesn’t go as he has made a scientific breakthrough and wants to continue studying his creation.
So if you can figure how to make sure his experiment is not successful then he should attend the party which puts two people in the same place at the same time.
Puzzles like this are what make the game so addictive, I was very surprised with how much I loved playing the same thing over and over again and only making very small advances each time, and by the time that I had gathered all of the clues I needed to break the loop it only takes around 20-30 minutes to beat the game so the majority of the gameplay is getting to that point.
There are many ways to take out enemies in the game, you have your standard weapons such as guns, special guns and your knife which you can swap around to suit your playing style but the most important part of your arsenal would be your slabs
These vary and are dropped by visionaries as you kill them, Colt comes with a slab which allows him three lives before the game loops. Other slabs can give you teleportation, telekinesis or even temporary invincibility.
You can have three slabs at a time and can swap two of them as long as you they are infused to be kept during the next loop. I only really used the same two throughout the game those being the Aether and the Nexus slabs.
Aether allowed me temporary invisibility which made some stealth a lot easier and was useful for escaping tricky situations. The Nexus slab is great it allows you to connect multiple enemies at once meaning that if you connect seven enemies and assassinate one of them they would all die as you can imagine this was not only satisfying but also extremely useful for clearing entire rooms in a matter of seconds.
From a visionary perspective this game looks very impressive and don’t get me wrong these are not hyper realistic as it does use a slightly less realistic style, however the visuals are still very crisp and high quality. These don’t exactly blow you away to extent that Horizon Hidden West might when that releases but these are still top notch. I also want to mention how well the game handles distances, nothing needs to load and you can see almost entire areas ahead of you without anything loading in making the experience much more realistic and more importantly immersive.
I don’t normally talk about multiplayer in videogames but I feel I need to here. During the campaign your rival assassin Julianna can turn up to try and reset your loop, in order to survive you need to kill her and destroy her satelite so that you can unlock the escape doors. Julianna is almost always played by an online player and while I think this is extremely cool it poses an issue from a gameplay perspective and an issue which is already present.
Deathloop didnt sell very well so not many people are using the online, the times I did I was waiting nearly 20 minutes every time. Luckily in Deathloops defense you can turn the online elements off and Julianna will still appear randomly as an AI, this means that while there are not many players to play as her this does not affect the gameplay as she can still appear as an AI, so you can still kill her and reset your lives. It is a shame about the online severs not really being used but I wont let that affect the final score as this isn’t the developers fault.
The Soundtrack was composed by Tom Salta and Ross Tregenza, Tom Salta is known for composing Prince of Persia the Sand of Time and the Tom Clancy games, unfortunately I couldn’t find much information for Ross Tregenza.
This soundtrack is diverse , the music style and instruments change an awful lot depending on the current situation, time of day and area you are in. It all fits very well and does not disappoint, the music is very subtle as well so it doesn’t overwhelm the players and a lot of the time its fairly quiet and only makes as much noise as is necessary, almost as if this is also trying to sneak itself in similar to Colt during the gameplay. My Favourite song is Deja Vu, the end credits song of the “good ending”, this is to my knowledge the only vocal track in the game and it reminds me of a Bond Song due to its style and is just really something special.
Deathloop really surprised me because from its marketing I really didn’t think I would like it. The game is amazing for how it manages to pull off a really fun game that constantly repeats itself, it has a really innovative soundtrack and overall we might have one of the best games on PS5, it is a shame that the online isn’t being used much but I hope this review can encourage people the pick the game up so we can have more online Colt vs Julianna action.
It is very rare that a modern game can influence a perfect score from me but in this instance Deathloop has surprised me so much that I cannot feasibly think of awarding it anything but a very impressive 10/10. Buy the game now and Break the Loop!
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