The gaming industry is slowly beginning to pick up its pace as holiday season approaches. The fourteenth of September sees the release of Arkane’s Deathloop, an exclusively published title by Bethesda. To say they’re aiming to hit the ground running in the new console generation is quite the understatement. Inspired by the Swinging Sixties, you play as the mysterious Colt, who is seemingly stuck in a time loop on the island of Blackreef. Tasked with dispatching eight targets to earn your freedom, you find yourself at the focal point of a never ending party that restarts at the end of each day. Each failure of yours guarantees one thing: the loop restarting. Below are our four main reasons we’re excited about Arkane’s new IP, and one that, in our view, is a cause for concern.
Four Reasons We’re Excited For Deathloop:
1. Turning The Heads Of The “Dishonored” Crowd
Way back during the annual E3 2019 conference, Deathloop was first revealed to the world. This is Arkane’s first new IP since its previous Dishonored spin-off entry “Death Of The Outsider” in 2017. Dishonored has been widely celebrated for its open minded, non linear assassination escapades. Giving the player free rein of choice regarding targets and objectives. The choice is yours, be an unseen assailant leaving less bodies behind and getting the job done, or plunge the city into chaos with an unforgiving, violent approach.
This is where both Deathloop and Dishonored share their ideals with each other, kick down the door and make a scene, using the various weapons and abilities at your disposal, leaving each and every person in your way out of action. Or, aim for the latter, assessing layouts, character guard patterns, items of interest, and stealthily dispose of your targets. One benefit Colt has from his time looping predicament: Failing a mission and having to start from the loops beginning once again, is an inconvenience, but along the reset of each failed loop Colt does bring his previous experiences with him. Everything you have learnt and discovered stays with you for the length of your journey. The same cannot be said for his hostile counterparts however, as of each reset causes their memory to be erased and start anew. This is just one example of how the Dishonored formula is back, but with a bright, fresh coat of paint.
2. Blackreef — Bringing The Sixties Back Into Style
Arkane’s choice of soundtrack and style for their games setting has always been top tier amongst game developers. From what gameplay has been released, this time the dreary rat infested streets of Dunwall have been substituted for a more bright, vibrant sixties-esque surrounding, from neon lights to art decor designs. Blackreef has its own identity, it’s almost as significant of a character to Deathloop as Colt himself, with outfits ranging from bomber jackets, to recently revealed pre order bonus tuxedos.
Arkane has a vision, and the playground they have designed for the player is sure to present it in the most colourful of ways. Colt’s adversaries are sporting bombastic and relevant styles fitting to the decade it so heavily portrays. Comb-overs, Wolf Masks and Energetic Dresses are just the tip of the iceberg. The games ‘Deja Vu’ soundtrack boasts a James Bond inspired theme, whilst the developers have claimed many sixties/seventies Sci-Fi/Mystery TV shows fuelled the early thought process for Deathloop’s eventual birth.
Deathloop Quake-Con Deep Dive
3. Looking Over Your Shoulder
We’ve spoken about Colt and his 8 targets to some extent in the previous two points, but of them eight there is one that most definitely catches the eye. She goes by the name of Julianna Blake, and she’s not only a target, she’s an adversary. Julianna’s sole purpose is to keep Colt in the loop above all else, throwing her inconvenient spanner into Colt’s works at any given opportunity. Her motivations are as of yet, unknown, but not only have Arkane introduced an interesting antagonist, they have also found a way to keep things subtly fresh. Deathloop presents the chance to control Julianna yourself, joining other players in a multiplayer enviroment and wreaking as much havoc upon the thousands of Colt’s as you see fit. There is, of course, the option of having Julianna AI controlled, but where’s the fun in that?
4. Bethesda’s Making A Statement
Recently acquired by Xbox, for a price in the realm of 7.5 billion dollars. This is Bethesda’s first hat thrown into the next generation ring. Although Xbox’s acquisition of the publisher, Deathloop is a timed exclusive for the Playstation 5 and PC, the current plan is to release the title on Xbox consoles a year on from its initial release. One of the biggest reasons Bethesda are making a very powerful announcement with the release of Deathloop, is to start your first ever title on a next-gen platform completely new, many would assume a well know IP would be at the forefront, which would allow Arkane and Bethesda to start as they mean to go on. However, having the faith to create an entirely new IP and not adding a sequel to their Fallout/Wolfenstein counterparts is at most, a confident move. A move, which is for sure, going to grab gamers by the fingers and thumbs.
5. What’s Making Us Nervous
Out of the gate, Deathloop brings a breath of fresh air to the PS5 platform, as the last few months have been quiet on the release front. That said, one rather large concern would relate to the games length ands its replay value. Previous Arkane titles have ran up to and around the ten/twelve hour mark, on a casual, first attempt playthrough. The aforementioned concept of Julianna is sure to bring Deathloop’s sole purpose full circle, but if the content isn’t at the length some players expect, opinions may be divided. Furthermore, Arkane are seemingly going all in on a new IP with Bethesda’s backing. Whilst this is a positive , if Deathloop was to fly under many radars and not be as much of a commercial success as hoped, the possibility of new IP’s or even a sequel, may not be in the publishers plans for quite some time.
Deathloop comes to PS5 and PC, September Fourteenth 2021, and a year later to Xbox.