Deathloop Test & Performance Review
Arkane Studios are known for creative and supernatural action spectacles. Death loop takes this concept to extremes thanks to an enigmatic time loop. You can read in our test whether the game can continue the fascination of Dishonored games.
What is Deathloop?
In Deathloop you take control of Colt, who is trapped in a time loop. The same day is always repeated on the island of Blackreef, which is divided into four areas and four times of the day. As soon as you end a game day or die, the loop repeats from the beginning.
This means that all opponents are in the same place again, destroyed buildings can be re-entered and you can return to situations where you previously failed with new knowledge, better preparation, and more experience.
Death loop setting
The cool retro setting of Deathloop contributes significantly to the great atmosphere.
Your only chance to escape the loop is to knock out the eight visionaries who control the island. Easier said than done because after all, the eccentric personalities don’t go to the gun with Colt willingly. Instead, it is your job to study the visionaries’ daily routines closely, to find out their weak points, and finally to find a way to switch off all eight goals in just one loop.
So that you don’t literally start from scratch every morning, you will soon learn to take weapons and skills with you into the next loop. Defeated visionaries, as well as some objects in Deathloop, leave behind so-called residuum, with which you can enrich found weapons and upgrades. This makes Colt a little stronger with each loop.
Julianna is your direct opponent in Deathloop. While you are chasing the visionaries, she is after your life.
At the latest when Colt has learned a few of the supernatural skills, Deathloop then also gets the arcane finish known from Dishonored . Whether through teleportation, invisibility, or hurling helpless opponents around with carnesia, you can adapt your style of play from this point on to your own preferences.
So that the game is never too easy, you always have to keep your own back free so that you don’t get caught by Julianna. This is your opponent who wants to prevent you from killing the visionaries or therefore hunting you down. This results in an exciting game of cat and mouse as soon as Julianna penetrates your timeline, which means that even repeated passes through familiar areas do not become boring so quickly.
This is how deathloop plays
As soon as you have gained enough experience and know the island like the back of your hand, you can turn the tables: In the online mode of Deathloop , you can slip into the skin of Julianna yourself and hunt Colt. A random matchmaking system is available to you for this, but alternatively, you can also penetrate games from your friend’s list.
Test conclusion on Deathloop
It takes a bit of time to find your way around Deathloop. As soon as it clicks, however, there is a fascinating and motivating flow of the game. Orientation is almost too easy because the game evaluates every document found, every clue, every discovery, and every context independently and sends you directly to the next snippet of the story with a quest marker.
The independent development of the time loop and the associated aha moments, which worked so well in Outer Wilds, for example, are unfortunately the exception. As soon as you have found enough clues and followed the correct quest lines, the game will even explain the game to you literally how and where exactly you can find all visionaries in a single loop.
Instead of letting you combine yourself, the game, unfortunately, reveals most of the solutions to the puzzles in Deathloop.
Viewed the other way around, there is practically no-idling because on the one hand you always know exactly what to do next, and on the other hand, you always have the choice of which lane or which upgrade you want to chase after next.
You can also feel this freedom and versatility in your play style, because thanks to the special ability, called in Deathloop boards, you can customize Colt according to your wishes. Do you prefer to reach your destination secretly via teleport and invisibility, or rather aggressively with a combat shotgun and devastation board? Both and even more styles are possible, valid, and can be combined with one another as desired. Since you can also change your loadout between the times of day, your play style can always be adapted to the next quest goal.
Several boards can be connected to one another via Nexus. The various special abilities are the greatest strength of Deathloop.
Unfortunately, the characters are less varied. The cool retro setting of the island of Blackreef is absolutely convincing, but you don’t need to expect sympathetic characters. That the visionaries are unsympathetic stinky boots is without question on purpose. However, the fact that Colt and Julianna have not had more than vulgar language and annoying arguments for a long time rather cause eye rolls than curiosity.
As soon as you learn more about Blackreef, the visionaries, and the background story of Colt and Julianna as the game progresses, the situation will of course improve, but overall the story and its characters fall short of expectations. It’s a shame, after all, there is so much potential in the time loop concept for an exciting and original science fiction story.
With that, Deathloop is anything but a disappointment, but the great strengths of the game are clearly in the flow of the game from Arkane Studios and not so much in opening up the time loop. So if you expected a new Dishonored instead of a new Outer Wild, you can buy it without hesitation.
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