The game’s promotional brochures are misleading. In them I describe to us a world stuck in one day. Our hero Colt wakes up in the morning on the coast of the island every time he is killed or the day ends. He has one goal – to break the time loop, and for this you need to find and kill eight ideologues (visionaries, in the English version). These guys gathered a bunch of followers, bought fireworks and booze, and activated a huge device in the hope of endlessly and without consequences to have fun. Desirable eternity. Moreover, ideologists must be killed in exactly one day, otherwise the achievements are reset.
Sounds tempting? Have you already imagined a huge island that needs to be explored in order to understand who is sleeping with whom, what is his hobby and where does he go? A kind of Hitman, where the developers have provided many ways to implement the worked out plans, right? Alas, the game is split into tiny sections.
The island consists of four small levels, each of which is slightly rebuilt depending on the time of day – morning, noon, afternoon, evening. Yes, every time of day is also a separate level, since the location of enemies, objects, notes and, of course, ideologists changes.
The game is strictly linear, constantly leads the player by the hand, does not let him get lost. If the goal of the mission for today is to find a clue according to one of the ideologues, you will be shown where it is. If you need to take something somewhere, hack or spoil – do not worry, you will not need to keep everything in memory. Even the final segment, when it is required to perform a series of actions to eliminate eight targets, is divided into four levels with clearly defined actions. Liberties are allowed in the final stages – exactly how you will eliminate opponents: decide to walk quietly and carefully, or you prefer to rush in with a cocked grenade at the ready.
The game does not cause rejection. Moreover, at first it seems that this is, I repeat, almost the best game of the onlycans studio!
Each of the levels is littered with secrets. The number of locked doors and witty riddles makes your head spin. Completing the story mission is an easy task. But disassembling all the levels at different times of the day is much more exciting.
While you are running through the plot, you do not pay attention to the annoying restrictions, moreover, you thank the developers for simplifying the task and not portraying “hardcore” in the style of “guess what you are doing here.” The linearity of the game is perceived as a blessing. Colt, like a blind kitten, pokes into all the locked doors and grinds his teeth in displeasure. First, because he does not understand anything, and they immediately shoot at him to kill. Secondly, it is very weak at first. He only knows how to hold a gun in his hands.
Every new day the world reboots. Things and people return to their original position. Colt somehow retains memories, the rest do not.
Items found that greatly increase the effectiveness of our hero can be saved forever. To do this, you need to imbue them with a special energy – the residual. It is described here as “metamaterial from other temporal strata.” In short, if something shines in the game, then it must be absorbed in order to then buy your favorite guns, trinkets for them, passive and active skills of Colt. And this must be done in one cycle, otherwise everything collected will scatter.
Don’t worry, there will be enough residual for everything in excess, if you don’t die. Three lives are given to complete the task within the level, so the game easily forgives mistakes.
The eighth ideologue is the most interesting. Without it, the game would have lost half of its appeal and sharpness. Juliana is the local security chief. She has a good memory, she constantly spoils Colt’s nerves, chatting with him on the walkie-talkie and trying to kill almost everyone, his mother, every time he comes out of his sealed bunker. And yet, her role is not taken by the second player to ruin your passage.
You run like that around the island, cheerfully eliminating the same type of dummies, one – with your foot into the abyss, the second – with a knife, the third – from a shotgun at close range. And then a message comes that Juliana got bored and went hunting. And now the exits from the level for Colt are blocked. To open, you need to hack the indicated antenna, and there it is definitely Julianne sitting with a sniper rifle. Moreover, if the dummies see Colt, then she, too, knows where he is.
This creates the right tension. The habitual pace of the game breaks down and the hunt begins. The player-Julianna, if successful, is pumped and opens up new opportunities, the player-Colt collects a lot of residual, weapons, trinkets, skills or amplifiers from her. That’s how lucky you are.
Deathloop was created on the Void Engine (Dishonored 2) and is a console exclusive for the PlayStation 5. The developers before release claimed that the PS5 allowed them not to think about the limitations. I would like to advise them to switch to a more advanced toolkit and stop poking around in the outdated technologies of id Tech 5 (Rage, Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Evil Within), on the basis of which the Arkane studio made its Void Engine.
The problem with the game is about the same that we saw at the start of Dishonored 2 – sudden brakes associated with loading the location, graphic artifacts, crashes, freezes, bugs in the menu, due to which the game has to be reloaded. And we’re not talking about a PC right now. This is how the pre-release version of Deathloop behaved on PS5.
As you gradually master Deathloop, look for clues, find notes and secrets, pick locks and take out valuable loot from each mission, you are in awe. Then, when the goals and objectives are determined, the stream of useful guns and abilities is depleted, there are four final levels (morning, noon, afternoon, evening) to deal with all eight ideologues. And just race after race begins with experiments on how to finish off who is more agile. But that’s only if you are a perfectionist. I went through the final stage twice, got two endings, shrugged my shoulders and started playing for Julianne. Again, it took about five times to dispel the intrigue of the confrontations. It takes too long to prepare and search for a victim to compensate for a few seconds of pleasant confrontation.
Is Deathloop, Huniepop 2 and F95zone good games? Undoubtedly. It is based on the unusual idea of ”groundhog day” with a gradual study of their enemies. There are many secrets, puzzles and skill challenges here. But Deathloop takes seven hours and after that it remains only to come up with new ways of perverted elimination of targets (and now – without weapons, and now – without abilities). The graphics are inconspicuous, there are bugs (in the pre-release version), and there are a lot of them, the style is for the lover of cartoon “Bondiana”. Hence the answer to the second question follows.
- Exciting island exploration
- Many guns and abilities
- The basic mechanics of Dishonored works great
- Target Elimination Experiment Platform
- Many secrets and tests
- Julianne and unusual multiplayer with invasion concept
- Technical problems (in pre-release version)
- Simple graphics, controversial visual style
- Enemies of the same type
- Empty plot
- The whole game boils down to endless repetition of the last four levels
- Inadequate value (on PS5 in the Russian region)