Deathloop comes out this coming September 14 as an exclusive to PlayStation 5 and one of the most anticipated games of 2021. It is no wonder, if we take into account that it is a game totally focused on the new generation of consoles and that it comes from the hand of Arkane Studios, a team capable of maintaining excellence in each of its video games already published. The arrival of a new intellectual property is always good news, and even more so if they are behind the parents of Dishonored or Prey.
The game is going to put us in the skin from Colt Vahn, protagonist of this action adventure that takes place on an island. The approach goes further and leaves no time for rest: everyone wants to kill you and you live the same day each time. And again. Like in a loop. But no, it’s not a roguelike. Although your learning makes you better for subsequent laps and finally you can, or should, break the loop. Like in the movie On the edge of tomorrow, by Tom Cruise, but with the mechanics and design of superb levels of Dishonored 2. And some surprises.
At the controls of Colt Vahn we will try to break the loop we are in, but there is a disruptive element in all this: Juliana Blake, our nemesis. The guardian of the loop. A top-notch assassin who is here to stop us from moving forward. And a character that gives another meaning to the multiplayer concept of the game: it can be an AI or it can be controlled by a player who will invade our world, as if it were Bloodborne and many other From Software games.
The new generation in the hands of Arkane
Although we have only been enjoying video games for a few months only PS5, if you wonder if the game offers all the benefits that the new generation brings, the answer is yes, clearly. Deathloop is presented to us as a title that if it were passed on to the previous generation, the experience would end up suffering. The first and most important thing has to do with the universe around us. The graphic resources of the new technology allow a unique artistic style to be seen in Arkane’s work, like never before. This retro-futuristic setting from the 60s is fully enhanced thanks to the possibilities of the machine, and this translates into endless details and visual elements around us, with a surprising contrast between areas, clothing, expressions or much more natural explosions. and worked and, of course, the next gen power: ability to play it to 4K with ray tracing or performance modes where 60fps are almost non-negotiable.
To all this is added the game changer What is the DualSense, which showed its potential in Astro’s Playroom and which shines here with its own light. The haptic vibration goes beyond offering us the recoil of weapons with mastery. We notice the blows that we give to it when it gets stuck, how a kick to an enemy hits our hands and how stones, jumps and sudden movements are passed through the control. Everything we do, whether it be sneaking around or running between rooftops, translates into haptic vibration that can only be defined in one way: next gen.
The adaptive triggers With its resistance when shooting with different weapons or using objects, or the highly necessary spatial audio –and that goes up a level with helmets that have 3D audio– add to an experience that takes steps forward compared to what we knew. In a game in which we can know where the enemies come from, what they are talking about, and know everything without seeing them, only with the sound. Details like these are simply final. And of course, the SSD that allows you to restart deaths, change locations and see load times that barely reach five seconds. The immediacy It is key to be able to repeat, improve and advance.
A matter of design: Arkane Studios on your line
Arkane Studios was born denying the greatest, throwing the linear and cinematographic adventures to the ground to give back to the player the power of decision. And with that idea Dishonored was born. Both this and Dishonored 2, and the structure of Prey, share two hallmarks that will be present in Deathloop. The first, Liberty when choosing the path. And that has an intrinsic reality, which is to have enough options for each one to go where they consider. This translates into a design of the world in which we find ourselves complex, without corsets of any kind and perfectly adapted to everything that the player’s imagination can give of itself. We can mislead enemies by hacking objects, attacking them head-on or using stealth. Or mix all this depending on each moment.
Naturally, a world is not rich in options if our skills are not up to the challenge. And that’s the second rule we learned from this study. Dishonored was able to give us a variety of the most amazing powers, combinable in unimaginable ways … but also a totally viable, challenging and measured to the millimeter game if we didn’t use any of them and focused only on stealth and weapons. Powers such as teleportation, double jump or others that allow you to break the deck: change the design of the scene towards something that was not possible before. Only a detailed title and posed to the smallest of questions can keep the guy without his core skills. And this is what Deathloop inherits: level design careful to the extreme (many paths to the same goal), freedom for the player and endless possibilities For the biggest killer we’ve ever known Colt Vahn. I mean, us.
Looping: learning from mistakes to be better
The proposal seeks to put us in the same loop forever. We have to kill a series of targets in one day. And that’s impossible the first time. But with polished gameplay and learning new abilities and weapons, we got better. We try again and fail. But we are closer. Information is power and that allows us to make shortcuts, keep certain objects, know the routines of visionaries, our great goals, and set the perfect traps. In this learning mechanics games like Hades, Returnal or even classics like Dead Rising made us better as we simply tried to go further and survive longer. Until we break the loop. And we can face new challenges, until we play the perfect game.
All this and much more is what the new of Arkane Studios. A game that wants to be the great bombshell of 2021. And that its predecessors (Dishonored, Prey) suggest the best. It comes out September 14 exclusively for PS5.