It’s finally here then, the latest offering from Arkane, DEATHLOOP! A game I have been waiting for with barely contained excitement since it was first revealed, DEATHLOOP is groundhog day, the game. A play on the respawn mechanic from most video games, everything in this title is as meta as it comes.
From the start things are very confusing, you take the role of Colt, waking up on a beach confused as to who you are, where you are and why you are there. All you know, is you can see floating words telling you where to go, and you’re being constantly abused via the radio by a woman called Julianna who seems to know who you are but won’t give you the details. Julianna continues to be a thorn in your side, if the thorn is actually a hollow point bullet, yes she wants you dead, and isn’t shy about saying how much fun killing you is. Death isn’t an escape either since anytime Colt dies, whether to Julianna or any other danger present on the island, the day just resets, you want up on the beach again sans your gear but with a better upstanding of your surroundings! After a couple of loops you finally workout the only means of escape, is to take out the 8 most powerful people on the island… the visionaries. These are some strange targets, each holding a different sway over this island of 70s styled hedonism!
That’s about as much story detail as you’ll get from this review since it’s definitely a game I feel needs to be experienced rather than researched! There is so much depth and subversion in the story that I’m still reeling and I’m not even sure I’m half way through yet, if anything things are a little too confusing at times, a more casual gamer might have a hard time getting to grips with it all.
Obviously a key part of the game is killing the visionaries however, with the constant threat of the time looping, these targets don’t tend to stay dead for long, the only way is to drop them all within the same day. No easy feat when their are only 4 stages to each day, morning, noon, afternoon and evening. You need to be crafty and this is where the game gets very clever. Using wits and guile you have to come up with ways to have more than one visionary in one place at one time. I had a lot of fun exploring each area finding all the small details that lead to positioning the targets properly.
Luckily you get quite the arsenal to take on these threats although, the slab powers, as their known, have quite the flavour of Dishonored about them. I mean there are carbon copies of Blink and Domino right there for you to use! However, the guns you get are nothing short of incredible and the gunplay is staggeringly tight and satisfying. Unlike Dishonored and Prey before it, DEATHLOOP definitely takes the go loud option with sneaking being more useful to set up your bullet heavy rampages through Blackreef. Early on you lose your powers and weapons upon each fresh loop, though thanks to a storyline development and some fancy pseudo science, you get to save your equipment for each loop so you can earn yourself quite the load out!
A fascinating part of the game comes on the form of murder happy chief of Blackreef’s security, Julianna. In a multiplayer twist, you can head online and take the role of the loops protecter, invading another players games and trying to stop Colt before he can escape. These moments have been hilarious and rewarding as you get access to new guns and skins for both Colt and Julianna. These prizes pale in comparison to the true reward however, ruining someone else’s game.
It’s been a little while since I was so invested in a game and DEATHLOOP is an excellent break to constant multiplayer titles or live service games. If you have time and don’t live in a constant time loop then I cannot recommend DEATHLOOP enough! I’m giving DEATHLOOP a constantly repeating