Deathloop is Bethesda’s new IP that on the surface looks like an update, a repeat of their wonderful Dishonored series, but it is so much more than that. Deathloop is, despite the insane amount of marketing, a surprising and refreshing first-person shooter that mixes roguelike elements with a time loop mystery and all of this works brilliantly together.
NOTE: This review is spoiler-free.
During the marketing campaigns (did I mention how extensive they were?), the game looked atmospheric, but the mannequin-looking enemies made the game seem like it may not have much of an atmosphere. Happily that impression is completely wrong. The game oozes a late ‘60s, early ‘70s aesthetic; not as over the top as something like No One Lives Forever, but a definite early TV sci-fi show aesthetic. The atmosphere adds to the mystery as you playthrough each level, sometimes multiple times, all in service of trying to break the loop.
Graphically the game is not lost in the time from which it takes its inspiration from. The PS5 performs like the cutting-edge champ we always suspected it could as there are zero frame drops anywhere to be found. The Ray Tracing is impressive too, giving you gorgeous scenery to look at as you sneak about.
The story starts out simply enough: you are Cole and for some reason Juliana hates you and just wants to see you dead. Repeatedly. That’s not quite true, as she wants you to remember because Cole is an amnesiac. He does not remember what happened or why or where he is - all he knows is that he must break the loop to break free and live. Stopping him is Juliana and everyone else on the island. They like the Loop because the island has been transformed into a consequence-free party planet by the eight bosses. Well, there’s more to it, but spoilers.
Finding out what happened is an intriguing puzzle doled out in just enough of a drip feed to keep you guessing and interested.
Each level is designed to give the player the obvious route, but a little bit of attention to detail will have you seeing new paths to take...
...the mouse and keyboard players will miss out on the impressive implementation of Sony’s haptics in the DualSense controller.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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PC, PlayStation 5
14 September 2021
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