Deathloop Review (PS5)
Deathloop is a next-gen first-person shooter from Arkane Lyon, the award-winning studio behind Dishonored. In Deathloop, two rival assassins are trapped in a mysterious time loop on the island of Blackreef, doomed to repeat the same day for eternity. As Colt, the only chance for escape is to end the cycle by assassinating eight key targets before the day resets. Learn from each cycle – try new paths, gather intel, and find new weapons and abilities. Do whatever it takes to break the loop.
If At First You Don’t Succeed… Die, Die Again
Every new loop is an opportunity to change things up. Use the knowledge you gain from each attempt to change up your playstyle, stealthily sneaking through levels or barreling into the fight, guns-blazing. In each loop, you’ll discover new secrets, gather intel on your targets as well as the island of Blackreef, and expand your arsenal. Armed with a host of otherworldly abilities and savage weaponry, you’ll utilize every tool at your command to execute takedowns that are as striking as they are devastating. Customize your loadout wisely to survive this deadly game of hunter vs hunted.
At first glance, Deathloop is certainly something special, from Arkane we expect pretty solid things, and Deathloop definitely delivers. Gameplay is very familiar to folks who played and enjoyed the Dishonored series, enjoying a blend of abilities, guns, stealth, and exploration it is really up to you how to tackle each stage.
The game has similarities to a few things which I’ve heard ALOT of reviewers say, but I’m going to combat a little bit. Lots of folks are comparing to Majora’s Mask, I don’t think that is a fair, nor accurate statement. Sure there are certain things you could only do at certain times but this plays differently. The game is comprised of 4 maps, all of which can (and you will visit) at four different times of day Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening. During these different times of day, there are different things going on, enemies may be more plentiful, paths may be blocked, doors may be locked, your targets are doing different things or might not even be there.
The loop is that you have to explore these maps (which are fairly large and pretty detailed) to learn things, read memos, hear voicemails, read emails to learn more about what is going on when and where your targets will be so that you can eliminate them all in one day before the loop resets. All the while you are resisting different places over and over again to find the pattern, and collecting guns, upgrading abilities and such.
The other comparison I was seeing a lot is rouge-like, now you would think that with the description and promo stuff that it was true. I guess it is a little but not really. After a very short time playing the game, you discover a way to keep your inventory and such on your loop. So it’s not an instance of where you die, you lose everything. You also can technically die a few times before ultimately resetting the loop on any given day.
Now moving on to the nuts and bolts of the game, it’s a very stylish-looking game that favors its simplicity in art style to give you more robust and diverse landscapes and level design than your typical single-player FPS game. For me, on PS5 the game ran very smooth even in areas where I was being swarmed and there were explosions all around me, there weren’t any noticeable framerate issues or anything of that nature.
The game ultimately just works. The level design is really good and didn’t get boring for me as you really have to listen to what is going on, read things and take it all in. Deathloop is not meant to be a rush through and try and beat kind of game, you would miss alot.
One major drawback issue for me is the in-game menus, they are absolutely horrible, it is a mess, and is not very clear what I am supposed to be doing, or could be doing, etc. I was able to overcome just by pushing through and figuring it all out. There weren’t any real tutorials or guides on the menu system at all.
The gunplay works like a standard Dishonored type game, it’s definitely not like your Call of Duty or Apex Legends but feels familiar in a Far Cry or Wolfenstein type approach. When partnered with the different abilities you get can make it a lot of fun.
Things like invisibility, swapping places and more await you and how you want to tackle your objectives. Again Deathloop gives you complete sandbox freedom in how you want to play. If you want to stick to the rooftops you can definitely do that, you want to take a long way around to not be noticed go right ahead if you want to open windows and go right through buildings well you can do that too.
The voice acting and characters are completely a shining point in this game. Colt is an NSFW blast to listen to and play as throughout your adventure. Comes off very much like a grindhouse blacksploitation film in its execution.
The uniqueness of the characters and the dialogue keep the game feeling fresh as you continue to struggle through the loop. They will taunt you and when Colt succeeds he also taunts his enemies. The main campaign takes like 12-15 hours to complete, but if you want to find everything, try multiple ways, etc the game would be much longer.
Deathloop also features multiplayer in a very unique way. In this mode, you play as the character of Julianna who taunts and tries to kill you as Colt in the regular game. In this mode, you are dropped into other people’s games and you will literally be stalking and trying to take out Colt and interfere with their game.
It’s definitely a fun and fresh approach vs a deathmatch, or team-based PvP mode. You can disable this if you want to play your regular campaign without any potential real players dropping in. One of the things to note here is that there are no difficulty options for Deathloop, the game is just as it was developed with no way to make it harder or easier.
At times this game can feel really unbalanced where AI is absolutely clueless and other times they will coordinate and wipe you out easily. In the future, I imagine there would be some balancing updates.
All in all, Deathloop is a really fun ride that you can take and play it however you want to. It’s a nice breath of fresh air and truly a game that is just different than everything else out there right now. This will be one I will revisit for some time to come.