Deathloop | Review of the time loop according to Arkane Lyon

Deathloop | Review of the time loop according to Arkane Lyon

Deathloop is designed to be a great mystery to solve, based on a series of unknowns to be found in order to untie each knot and arrive at the final solution. It is normal that since her announcement, Arkane Lyon has wanted to preserve this enigmatic aura of secrecy. In the current era of everything and immediately shown with arrogance to try to capture the attention of the players, it can be a double-edged sword to have to sip information and screen the most interesting details, however this ambiguity is also part of its incredible charm. . Despite all the opportunities we've had to spend time with the game, including a preview of the campaign's first five hours, that sense of mystery and discovery has accompanied us all the way to the end credits.

Despite the great scheme had by now been deciphered, Deathloop has never ceased to surprise us and has dragged us into its follies in the same way that the time loop holds the inhabitants of Blackreef in its grip. Identification works well because, just like the player, Colt has no idea why he is there, what his purpose really is and what relationships tie him to the characters involved and the game world. Everything is new for him, as it is for us. The knowledge of new elements goes hand in hand with the personal development of the character and this allows us to appreciate even more the synergy between the narrative progression and the perfection of the supernatural abilities at our disposal.

Seeking freedom in a time loop

Thanks to the time loop, which restarts a day at the end of the events that take place in the evening, more than a trap, Deathloop is a world of opportunities for player. Unlike the Eternalists, who live the day without giving it real weight due to the constant loss of memory with each reboot, Colt has a memory of what happens in each cycle and treasures it to direct each subsequent action. From this constantly learning from mistakes and discoveries, it follows that Colt has enormous power in his hands to shape the micro-events that shake the immutable flow of time at will. Every day unfolds in exactly the same way for everyone else, except for Colt who can choose a different approach to an identical situation each time.

The success of this formula stands above all thanks to that sense of progression that we have anticipated. New abilities, new weapons and new tools to interact with the game spaces make it possible to cleverly deflect the deadly bullet of repetitiveness that threatens players whenever a game has a structure based on repeating the same dynamics several times. At first it will all seem very tight and guided, but after the introductory phase that accompanies you to discover the mechanics, Blackreef will become your playground. Deathloop is an Arkane title in every fiber of him, and like others before him, part of his strength lies in the tools to be combined in ever more original ways. We could have killed the Visionaries every time in the same safe way, but why should we when the loop gave us another chance to experiment? Why limit ourselves when there are no real consequences and death has no real value within the loop?

Colt will have a machete to perform silent kills, a Strelak Charge, a grenade that takes on three different configurations - classic explosive grenade, proximity charge and environmental mine - and the Hackamajig, a device that hacks turrets and sensors, distracts enemies by messing up the frequencies of electronic devices and unlocks doors to access places seemingly impossible to reach. With just these tools at your disposal, the possibilities are numerous and highly dependent on your style of play. Knowing the routines of the characters also allows you to set traps to enjoy the moment away from prying eyes. One of our favorite combinations involves the Hackamajig to pass all the enemy turrets under our control and the use of mines and proximity charges to leave no way out even for the enemies that could come in support.

Colt does not however, he will be empty-handed and will be able to defend himself using weapons as well. Each weapon of purple rarity or higher comes with a unique ability. Killing the same enemies could give you different loot because the unique ability is also random. Lower level weapons tend to jam, luckily you'll be able to get your hands on something better after a few hours of play. The adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller do a good job of transmitting all the differences of the weapon you are holding, even simulating the jam in low quality models. Each weapon, in fact, is represented by a different resistance of the triggers when they are pressed. When we hold a loaded shot with the nail gun it almost seems to feel the weapon vibrate and when we reload it, we see the nails enter the magazine and hear them jingle.

The tablets complete the arsenal: these are supernatural powers obtainable by killing the Visionaries. What's even more interesting is that by killing them more than once you can get upgrades for the tablets that further modify an ability to make it more lethal or to extend its duration over time. The tablets may more closely resemble Dishonored, but the way we can combine them makes them truly unique and customizable based on the context we are going to face. You can equip a maximum of two so before embarking on a mission it is good to think about a strategy. The Tablets really change the way we complete an objective and have allowed us to kill the Visionaries in different ways each time, but also to speedrunning to skip some pieces already faced in other iterations of the timeloop.

If you are stealth players will have several chances to become even more lethal from invisible. What we really appreciate about these powers, as well as their variety, is their ability to prove really useful and to help the player. The skills, in fact, can also meet those players who feel less confident in silent approaches by giving them an incentive to try that particular approach thanks to the invisibility or the great mobility given by tablets such as the Translation.

A But sometimes to get out of a dangerous situation you have to put your hand to the trigger and in that case our favorite tablet is Ruin with related upgrades for increased damage and power recovery for each damage inflicted. If we combine everything with the Binding tablet that binds all enemies affected by the skill to itself, the pyrotechnic effect is guaranteed. Too bad that the enemies lack a bit of reactivity and the ability to really worry us, characteristics that would certainly have made the clashes more challenging.

Dying and having to start over shouldn't be perceived as a limit, but, as we said , must be grasped as a new possibility. It is the time loop itself that by its nature stimulates exploration and it is the progression accumulated between the cycles that holds everything together in a harmonious way. After completing one of the initial driving missions within the world of Deathloop, you are introduced to the wondrous effects of the Remnant, a substance used to infuse weapons, tablets and platelets. In this way, between missions, you can choose the items you want to keep between cycles, so you don't even have to worry about losing everything.

Such an eccentric set of skills and a numerous support equipment, however, would be of little use without levels designed specifically to unleash the imagination of the players. Blackreef and its four districts have been designed down to the smallest detail to entice the player to explore every square meter of the island. Without even realizing it, we found ourselves moving quickly on the roofs to admire the architecture from above and better mark our targets. Each hidden and dimly lit street was like a call, each cave and each door an invitation to enter.

Deathloop has many ways to capture the gaze but the most compelling one is given by the use of color and the presence of written on the walls that recall the psychedelic atmospheres of the sixties in a continuous altering our perception in a pop way. Deathloop also draws a lot from the cinema and not only for the aesthetics of the sixties and seventies: some areas of Blackreef could easily figure in one of the old James Bond films where the villain of the moment has established his lair defense technologically.

We played the title on PS5 which offers 3 different display levels:

Performance mode with dynamic 4K scaling, performance priority, no raytracing and 60fps.

Visual quality mode with 4K scaling dynamic, graphic fidelity priority, no raytracing and 60 fps with dips.

Raytracing mode with dynamic 4K scaling, high graphic fidelity, raytracing enabled and 30 fps.

Both in performance mode and in mode visual quality the experience is very fluid, while the Raytracing mode may lose fluidity when using very fast movement skills and many visual effects.

Multiplayer in Deathloop

Que this time we could also try the multiplayer component, obviously all the limitations of an infrastructure that we were able to test before launch must be taken into account and therefore it does not reflect exactly the same experience that you will have when all players have the game in their hands. Playing the role of Colt, there are three modes with which you can adjust the online game: single player mode where only the AI ​​is invading us, friends only mode for an invasion limited only to players from our friends list and online play with invasions accessible to any available player. If the game does not find players, the AI ​​will be able to replace them.

We can say that the Julianna governed by artificial intelligence is much more discreet and devious than the Juliannaes encountered playing online who have almost always preferred to attack us directly creating a lot of confusion and being easily identified. In the long run, based on the experience gained from match to match, players' strategies may change, prompting them to try different ways to sign Colt, but that's something we can't evaluate at the moment.

The multiplayer mode there it felt more like a side experience if you're looking for a bigger challenge that enemy AI generally doesn't offer, or want to entertain post-campaign play to unlock new costumes, weapons, and abilities for Julianna as well. Although the idea of ​​the hunt and the challenge between Colt and Julianna finds a lot of sense for the purposes of the story of Deathloop, we cannot say that we were completely satisfied with this online experience that was born as an optional and, as such, does not add much. to the final experience that can be lived in complete tranquility even in single player mode.

Games with friends, on the other hand, can take on completely different connotations because in defiance of the rules that see us as Colt's antagonists, we don't necessarily have to kill him in cold blood but we can almost work together to help him if we are ahead of him in solving a puzzle - or maybe make him believe it and then kill him when he least expects it. It will be interesting to see what strategy players will adopt after launch.

Deathloop, in fact, rewards players both in case of defeat and victory, but above all it proposes a series of hidden objectives to be unlocked by experimenting new ways each time. kill or hinder Colt. The progression is not unique to everyone but it is by leveling up with the hunt that you have access to a new loot. Players who enjoy completing everything 100% may have extra motivation to defend the loop as Julianna.

Powered by Blogger.