On September 14, 2021, death will be redefined.
Normally, death in games means another boring reset that turns your accomplishments in the last few hours into dust. Hence, we all hate death, envisioning a smooth gaming experience from the beginning to the end. But what if death is no longer a barricade of the game? What if death becomes the only key that can unlock the pathways of the game?
Presented by Arkane via PlayStation 5 and PC, DEATHLOOP introduces a new world where players are forced to experience death in order to succeed. In the game, players will be transported to the mysterious island of Blackreef, a place haunted by an endless cycle of time loop that excludes tomorrows. As a first-person action, players will be controlling Colt to free the island from the eternal torture, while facing Julianna, whose sole mission is to obstruct Colt and keep the loop in its current state.
Indeed, the idea of time loop is not as ground-breaking as it was in the past. Movies like Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day, as well as anime like Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, all use the same concept to draw the audience’s attention. That being said, DEATHLOOP still manages to bring something eye-catching to the table: a hitman slash detective with supernatural powers.
In order to break the loop, players firstly will need to identify eight Visionaries hidden among the masked inhabitants. Easy as it sounds, players need to pay close attention to details and die repeatedly to solve the puzzle. For example, through a hands-off gameplay presentation, players can expect to go through confidential emails relevant to the identities of Visionaries.
But simply identifying them is not enough. Players will need to eliminate all eight of them before the day resets in order to put an end to the cycle. However, instead of racing against time, players are given the opportunity to choose what time period to explore the district in, either morning, noon, afternoon, or evening. Therefore, the process of solving the puzzle is much more emphasized. As Dinga Bakaba, DEATHLOOP’s Game Director acknowledges, “It is really about unfolding these mysteries and getting to the end of those investigation threads.”
While Bakaba explicitly discloses the importance of having big brains, players are also given some superpowers that Sherlock doesn’t have. In addition to the retro-looking, savage weaponry, players can also eliminate the enemies by telekinetically pushing them down the buildings. What’s more, players get to use the short-range teleport, known in the game as Shift, to land at hiding spots better for assassination or firefight cover.
Aside from amazing features in the game, DEATHLOOP also enhances the real-life experience during the game through the cutting-edge techniques like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Both features will turn the game more intimate and exhilarating.
Obviously, Arkane holds wild ambition about DEATHLOOP and its players. The complicated setting and gameplay might also put the players in a time loop in reality. Should it happen, don’t worry, just die.