I started Deathloop not long after it was released in September 2021. An Arkane Studios title with similar abilities to those in Dishonored? Sign me up!
Well……I dropped off pretty hard after about 7 hours, and I can’t quite understand why. Perhaps Deathloop felt too little a departure from Dishonored? Certainly, the massive open areas and leaning more towards gunplay didn’t strike a chord with me. Feeling so similar, I immediately went into stealth mode.
Regardless, I dropped off and wasn’t sure I would ever return. But, thanks to a Twitter poll, I’m back in the shoes of Colt and honestly if feels much better than I remembered.
Deathloop isn’t actually as jarring or disappointing as I had held it in my head.
Back at it
So, as a promise to myself and the people that voted, I’m finishing Deathloop, by hook or by crook. And that means I can actually finish a review I started months ago.
This isn’t really a part of the review, more a manifesto of my priorities and my plan of attack.
Deathloop is focused around a timeloop. You have 8 enemies to kill all in one day, but they’re doing different things in different places at different times. So, you have to just work it out. Die, and die again.
It’s groundhog Day with guns and powers. You re-live the day over and over. Learning more and more about the world, your targets and how to go about things. It’s clever and encourages you to experiment.
The key enemies are called “Visionaries” and each of them has a special ability. These abilities are dropped upon being killed, for you to claim from a “slab”.
Here’s the kicker…..if you die and start back at day one, nothing you earned comes over. If you successfully move on, you need to spend “residuum” to make different weapons, abilities and trinkets permanent.
You go in, you die, you lose. You go in, you succeed, you have to choose what you can afford to infuse and keep. Deathloop is generous with rewards, but tight on letting you keep them.
The way forwards
My plan is to level-up the abilities I like to use the most. To learn levels and areas where the visionaries reside, and to go on a hunt for good gear.
Once I’m comfortable that I’ve got all I need. I’ll plan my attack on all 8. It feels insurmountable at the moment, but I already feel more capable and competent with the gear and abilities I have.
Deathloop feels a bit like a roguelike, with the permanent buffs and repeated learning/failure. But it feels far more substantial as a game.
It sure does feel like Dishonored, and despite best efforts, I feel compelled to play as stealthily as possible.
I’ll be looting some reasonable gear for when things go south (they usually do), but playing a game like this “loud” doesn’t feel right. Despite Deathloop clearly intending the player to engage in some chaos.
I reckon another 10-15 hours and I’ll have it cracked. So the full review will come shortly after.
I’m actually pretty excited to see where Deathloop takes me now. So that’s a promising start to me picking it back up.
Normally on a big game I split a review into 3 parts. Deathloop and perhaps others moving forward, will be a more concise account of my time with it.
I love a long review, but ultimately, I’ll be looking to use the reviews as scripts for YouTube videos, so it’s time to get more succinct.
Let me know if I get it right next time.