First Impression: ‘Deathloop’ Looks To Be A Unique And Refreshing Gaming Experience From Arkane Studios & Bethesda
2019 feels like a lifetime ago at this point. During that year, I attended E3 for the first time and one of my most anticipated games that premiered there was Deathloop.
Releasing on September 14, Deathloop is an innovative first-person shooter launching for PlayStation 5 and PC from Arkane, the award-winning studio behind the critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise. I had the chance to play a few hours of Deathloop and get a sense of what this crazy world would be like. I can easily say that I had an absolute blast the entire time!
You start the game as Colt, a character who is trapped in a time loop on the enigmatic island of Blackreef, doomed to repeat the same day for eternity. The only chance for escape is to break the loop by unearthing information and assassinating eight key targets before the day resets.
However, lurking in the shadows is rival assassin Julianna, equipped with her own equally powerful abilities and weapons, on a mission to protect the loop by assassinating Colt, and restarting the cycle. Although Julianna is a playable character, she was unfortunately not available for the preview.
As I was playing this game, I became more invested in the story to the point where I almost wanted to grab a notebook to take notes. When you play as a Colt to break this endless loop, you learn a lot of information that becomes more important as the story progresses. After playing for a few hours, I feel like I’ve barely even scratched the surface.
Within the four to five hours of gameplay and the loops I went through, I really enjoyed Colt as a character. Not only is the voice acting hilarious (shoutout to Jason E. Kelley who voices the character), but as you go through the loops you start to learn more about the character making him feel more realized each time you go through a new loop which is pretty interesting. It’s also refreshing to see two Black characters as the lead protagonist and antagonist of the story in a video game.
Check out some of my Deathloop gameplay below:
Each new loop in Deathloop is an opportunity to learn from the past and adapt. Finding clues and uncovering hints is key to taking out targets before the day resets. Discover relationships, learn schedules, and do whatever must be done to gain the necessary knowledge. The game is divided up into separate levels and areas and you’re given the option to visit any area at any time of the day: morning, noon, afternoon or night. The Loop resets once you either die or play through till morning-to-night.
The game also leverages the PS5’s graphics to bring Arkane’s unique artistic vision to life as well as using the dual sense controller by fully utilizing features like the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers to make each encounter feel unique and impactful. On top of the dual sense controllers to heighten the action, the soundtrack takes it to another level.
Arkane is known for magnificently artistic worlds with multiple pathways and emergent gameplay. Deathloop seems to be no different. The Island of Blackreef within the game is a stunning, retro-future, 60s-inspired environment that feels like a character within itself. While Blackreef may be a stylish wonderland, for Colt it is his prison, a world ruled by decadence where death has no meaning, and delinquents party forever while keeping him captive.
I cannot wait to dive into the rest of this game to see how the story and game unfold. We will definitely be back to cover the multiplayer features, as well as Julianna’s characters. If the rest of the game is like the first five hours I was able to play, I think we are in for a unique gaming experience that everyone is going to enjoy.