Monday, August 30, 2021

Everything We Know About Deathloop

We have been following the news about Deathloop closely since it was revealed at the Bethesda 2019 E3 conference, even featuring it on the cover of one of our issues. A lot has happened in the two years since its announcement, including a deal that brought Bethesda-owned studios under Microsoft’s umbrella, which made everyone question whether the title would continue as a PlayStation 5 console-exclusive.

As far as the game’s journey, it seems that Deathloop’s development was a case of life imitating art. The game went through a cycle of getting delayed, showing off details in a Sony showcase, getting delayed, and showing off more details in Sony's State of Play. But it looks like the loop is about to break since the stylish first-person shooter has gone gold and is just around the corner. To make sure you have all the info you need on release day, here’s everything we know about Deathloop:

Who Is Making It?

Arkane Studios is handling the game’s development, specifically its team based in Lyon, France. The studio is best known for the Dishonored series and Prey, and it is bringing a lot of those games’ DNA into Deathloop, a new IP for the team. The game’s director Dinga Bakaba is a long-time Arkane veteran and previously directed Dishonored 2 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Who Am I Playing?

You’ll slip into the ‘60s-inspired leather jacket of Colt Vahn, an assassin who finds himself trapped in two senses. He is stranded on Blackreef Island, a spit of land in the middle of the ocean teeming with deadly enemies, but he is also ensnared in a never-ending, 24-hour period. To escape both, Colt must cross off every name on his hit list before time resets his progress.

If I’m An Assassin, Who Are My Targets?

Scattered across the island are eight individuals, called the Visionaries, who hold the key to breaking through Colt’s nightmare imprisonment. Here’s the list: Egor Serling, Aleksis Dorsey, Frank Spicer, Charlie Montague, Harriet Morse, Fia Zborowska, Dr. Wenjie Evans, and Julianna Blake. Each of these people helped the AEON Program successfully loop time in pursuit of eternal life. They are the pillars that hold up the life-prolonging project, and while even one remains alive, it will continue. From swanky clubs to scientific facilities, Colt must track down every person in this group, study their routines, and take them out before his time is up to break the maddening cycle. But be warned, if you don’t get them all, you’ll have to start all over the next day, and there is only one solution to Arkane’s “murder puzzle.”

Egor and Aleksis were two of the first targets Arkane revealed. As the founder of AEON, Egor Serling is a scientifically minded individual who enjoys solitude while wanting to be the life of the party. On the other end of the spectrum, Aleksis Dorsey thinks of himself as the leader of his pack, something he communicates through his signature wolf mask. We later got a glimpse at Frank Spicer, the group’s muscle and aspiring rockstar. Julianna Blake is a unique member of the Visionaries. Not only does she recognize she is in a time loop, unlike everyone else whose memory resets each time, but she’s also actively hunting you down to stop you from ending it. The other four targets are still a mystery, but you’ll have plenty of time to figure them out during your time in the loop.


How does The Time Loop Work?

As the name suggests, Deathloop’s deadly gameplay takes place in a repeating 24-hour cycle of time. Each day is split into Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Night. If Night comes to an end and you still have targets on your list, or you die, you’ll wake up back at Morning again. Luckily, you’ll retain all the information you gathered during your last loop and, with an unlockable rare item called Residuum, you even get to hold on to some of your gear and abilities between loops.

Dying does not always mean starting over again, however. Early in the game, players pick up the Reprise ability. Reprise lets you turn back time to before your death, giving you a chance to right your deadly mistakes before you make them. This is especially valuable because you can’t quick save your game in Deathloop. However, you only get two Reprises per day, and you need to retrace your steps to recover some of your most valuable items after triggering it. If you want more than two take-backsies in one loop, set your sights on Julianna because killing her refreshes the ability.

Blackreef Island

Within the black-sand beaches of your prison are four distinct districts, each with their own unique flavor. You are free to explore any of them in whatever order you’d like, but you can only investigate a single location during any one time period, so choose carefully. It is possible your target won’t be available at the time you decide to infiltrate their liar, but once you discover this, you can avoid that time and place combo the future.

For all the other island inhabitants, Blackreef is a never-ending party that you are trying to crash. This means every single person you meet in the game will be antagonistic and try to kill you. While the world around you may be utterly hostile, it at least has a groovy vibe. Everything from the game’s locations to its characters has an eye-catching 1960’s aesthetic design.

What Are The Tools Of The Trade?

Despite waking up on a beach with no idea what’s going on, Colt gains access to a surprisingly large assortment of gear throughout his adventure. Weapons, of course, are some of the most important. For silent kills, you can go with the over-the-top nail gun called the PT-6 Spiker, or the tried-and-true Machete. If you want to go in guns blazing, you’ve got the Rapier, a sniper’s dream shotgun, the Strelak 50-50 assault rifle, the heritage gun that looks like it should be out on the open plains, and many more. To make these weapons, and yourself, even deadlier, you can equip tiny metal Trinkets found throughout the world that grant boosts and alter gun properties.

Guns aren’t the only trick up your sleeve. Deathloop also boasts some powerful abilities, like Reprise, which you can collect by picking up the right Slab. These Slabs grant unique powers in the game, including Karnesis, which lets you throw objects and people around with ease. Many Arkane fans will recognize the Shift ability as it bears a striking resemblance to a similar power, called Blink, in Dishonored. You can also upgrade each ability to enhance its effect. Slabs are scarce, but you can sometimes find them on Visionaries you have killed.

Is There A Multiplayer?

Yes, the game has a limited online PvP aspect that works like a Dark Souls invasion. Other players can enter your world as Julianna Blake and try to murder you. You’ll always know when this happens because your loquacious rival announces her arrival over the radio. The person playing as Julianna only gets one life in a day, but another player could inhabit the lethal sniper later, so you’re never entirely safe. Knowing that some players might find this feature unappealing, Arkane made it possible to restrict challengers to your friend list or opt-out entirely.

When Is The Game Coming Out?

Deathloop releases on September 14 for PlayStation 5 and PC.

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