Deathloop arrived as the first exclusive (half) of Bethesda post purchase of Microsof. And with an approach that, out of sheer skepticism, made us think of repeating the already hackneyed mechanics, gameplay and approach of Arkane’s titles.
The truth is that, although many of the players who face Deathloop will see reminiscences of the great titles of the study, the exclusive one for PS5 (and PC) has such a ravishing personality which makes it clear how well Arkane does in raising his titles.
On paper, Deathloop puts on the table a loop infinite temporal in which many will see reflected the approach of films such as Edge of Tomorrow. The concept is the same, but along the way it takes its own path. Wake up, die, wake up … And in the middle of it all, a good handful of antagonists with a tremendous personality and an outstanding plot line.
Really the best thing about Deathloop is what does not count, but what is put in front for the player to discover. At each step, at each death, at each repeated day. Because what happens with Deathloop does not happen with other games
An absorbing plot and outstanding gameplay
The title has four main scenarios, mini sandboxes, in which it gives the player the freedom to move freely. Yes like a metroidvaina there are doors that cannot be opened or inaccessible areas, but instead of opening new paths as we raise the level, he does it by playing with time.
Each time loop lasts a full day, from dawn to night. And it restarts once the cycle is complete. We can go to any of the scenarios in any of the four phases of the day: morning, noon, afternoon and night.
And the stage and its elements remain intact in each loop as long as it is the same phase of the day. We can visit each site in each of the phases of the day, but each time we visit it a cycle will be consumed. So if we want to go back in the morning we will have to wait for sunrise. In each phase of the day the elements and the accesses of the levels are different, but they remain the same throughout the day. And of course the enemies reboot.
This forces us to plan where we are going and how we are going, and even though the days are the same, it never feels repetitive. And that is a spectacular asset that it is achieved only with a mechanic as well devised as this one.
The time mechanics of Deathloop is so well thought out that we can kill all the main enemies and not have advanced in the game’s storyline, since this it depends on us following the correct order of our actions. Otherwise, we will be in an infinite loop doing the same thing over and over again without moving forward.
The game guides the player quite well as to what to do to follow the correct timeline, but it opens the door to using the different sandboxes of the scenarios to farmear equipment and weapons and to explore without having to advance in the timeline. It will take the player some time to be clear which of your actions have an impact on the infinite loop continuum, and the way this system is built is a real treat.
Deathloop plays with time and with the player himself
Be that as it may, this all works as a whole. The scenarios and sandboxes, as well as the enemies of each of them, are one more element of the plot, and not pure decorations. And everything works as a great plot gear, because what the scenarios and the casual conversations of the enemies tell us it has an impact on our actions and possibilities.
It is certainly a masterful way of guiding the player through what seems like absolute temporary trial and error mayhem. Every detail is important, and seeing how the scenarios change throughout the day in its different phases and how it affects the gameplay, offering new tools, is also a challenge in itself.
The rest of the elements are those of the great Arkane games. Multiple ways to approach each level and mission, similar to Dishonored. Very vertical stages with different movement options, spells and gadgets that will open or close roads. And a first-person view that puts a greater focus on exploration. Like the rest of its titles, you can choose stealth or confrontation, but in some cases the first option will be the most appropriate.
Deathloop is, in short, an outstanding game that time travel lovers will enjoy, fans of first-person shooter, and all those looking for a game in which exploration, freedom, secrets and an absorbing plot are the protagonists.
a a must if you have a PS5 and a mandatory title if you play on PC.