Deathloop Review

Developer: Arkane Studios

Publisher: Bethesda

Reviewed on: Playstation 5

Also available on: PC

Release: 15/9/2021

Rating: M

Price: $99.95

Mystery games are far and few between these days. When I first saw the trailer and preview for this game, I thought it was a online game similar to Returnal in which you play the same stuff over and over and over again. Well it's 2021 and I have both been there and done that. Do I really want to do it again? Fortunately I was surprised that this is not the case with Deathloop, the game itself is a mystery that unravels as you traverse through the story figuring out exactly what the hell is going on. Story aside the impressive visuals on the Playstation 5 system are reminiscent of the recent Metro Exodus re-skin. The studio Arkane take full advantage of the Dualsense controller with enhanced controls and the speaker and vibrations to immerse you into the story of the game. Through it all are two characters you will love (or love to hate) as the mystery unravels and you explore the Loop and determine what must be done. Deathloop is proof there is still plenty of originality in video games and a combination of single player and multiplayer gameplay make this an experience you won't soon forget.

When you first enter the game, you need to finish the single player path to a certain point before you unlock the multiplayer option. This will make no sense at all when the game starts, but as you start to play the story, you get an understanding of what the game director Dinga Babaka is going for here (spoiler alert - effing brilliance!) Players start the campaign as Colt, a swole and confident security guard with a killer jacket. You walk around the beach following text that guides you on the direction to walk. This all looks pretty normal(ish) until you reach a door, enter Julianna, the other protagonist of the story who is trying to stop you from remembering something but trying to get you to remember something else. As you move through the first area picking up weapons and ammo, you unlock a key code that grants you access to different areas around the island which unlock objectives to break the loop and unravel the mysteries of the island.

As you run around the island, the floating text gives you some great insight into any items that may be laying around or danger up ahead. You may have ventured there before and been mowed down so text saying "Find another way" alerts you to groups of enemies who lay ahead. As you keep playing and more of each area is unveiled, you start to realise what is going on and your trust (or distrust) of Julianna and the facility starts to unravel.

Gameplay wise this game is not afraid to throw everything at you. You can choose how you enter into certain areas through stealth or a run and gun approach depending on how well stocked your ammo is and how many loops you have left in your current playthrough. The main play is a first person shooter mode that also combines some hacking through the expertly named the Hackamajig also allow for dual wielding so you can shoot and hack your way through areas riddled with enemies, turrets and electronic doors. There are also other abilities you can gain through tablets that drop when you kill certain enemies which will help you destroy enemies that will assist in eliminating those that are harder to kill with the weapons you have. Every map has different objectives you explore to get different results, you can also control the time of day which determines which enemies and missions are present at that time. This is the biggest advantage of the game which stops the revisiting of familiar places feeling like a grind (I'm looking at you Marvel's Avengers!)

What would a great game be without a killer soundtrack, and this is something that Deathloop excels at. Thanks to the game's signature song 'Deja Vu' The song is reminscent of James Bond iconic opening songs while adding to the rich tapestry and visuals that Deathloop offers up. Each location in the game is meticulously details with the environments reminscent of the recent Metro Exodus PS5 update. The character designs are unique and the birds eye view of the Loop loading screen as time of day changes, while brief, is a visual feast.