Deathloop – Review

If at first you don't succeed, die and die again...

deathloop cover
Release Date
September 14, 2021
Bethesda Softworks
Arkane Studios
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
Bethesda Softworks

Deathloop is a unique first person shooter from the Arkane Lyon studios, the studio behind the critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise. Deathloop transports you into this world where time is irrelevant because it keeps repeating day after day. Is it a game worth reliving? Let’s find out.

Deathloop is a roguelite first person shooter game that takes on the elements of a good old fashion roguelite game but with its own unique flair. In Deathloop, death is just the beginning as you keep reliving the same day over and over again.

You begin the game as Colt, a person who doesn’t even remember his own name and why he is on the island. He first thought everything was a dream but then he soon realizes that he’s stuck in a time loop of death. He soon discovers that while he’s doing his own thing that someone is also out there trying to stop him.

Enter Julianna, Julianna’s only purpose in this game is to hunt you down and kill you. Throughout the game Julianna communicates with you and taunts you. She even sabotages your plans and takes things away from you. You get to play as Julianna at a certain point of the game and she’s only available in multiplayer mode. Playing as her nets you points to unlock cosmetics for your characters. The best part about this is that there are no microtransactions, so you will really need to play the game to unlock these.

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Colt will have access to equipments and guns to help him complete his mission. The permanent ones being the Hackamajig, the Machete, and the Strelak Sapper Charge. The Hackamajig lets you hack into anything that is automated including turrets, surveillance cameras, and doors. The Machete is your trusty melee weapon. If you want to be stealthy, this is the way to go. Lastly, the Strelak Sapper Charge is a unique explosive device that has three functionalities. You can use it either as a grenade, a trap or a tripwire.

As for guns, Colt will be able to pick up weapons in the island of Blackreef. The “Spiker” gun would have to be my favorite gun out of all of these. The “Spiker” gun is a unique gun to this game. It’s basically a nail gun that nails your enemies down silently. There are also four levels of rarity for the guns. They are grey, blue, purple and gold.

Grey rarity is the most common one that you can pick up throughout the game. As they are the common ones, they are also the worst ones to have as they can jam or stop working randomly. You would not want your weapon to jam in a fight. Guns of purple rarity has a unique weapon perk and these are completely random. So you’d want to keep a lookout to find that perfect gun with the weapon perk that you like.

Golden rarity guns are very few and you will have to search high and low in this game if you’d like to find them. Each having their unique weapon perk like no other. Of course you can complete the game without ever finding these but why not search for them if you have time to kill.

Aside from guns you can also pick up trinkets from enemies. There are two types of trinkets in this game, the Weapon Trinkets and the Character Trinkets. Both types of trinkets also have levels of rarity just like guns but they only have three which is grey, blue and purple.

Weapon trinkets will give your guns perks and abilities. Much like guns, weapon trinkets have levels of rarity. Some of the weapon trinkets that you can get are Increased Magazine Size, Weapon damage increase over distance and reduced recoil.

Character Trinkets will give your character a buff to your abilities. Examples of these are double jump, increased health/power bar, hack turrets and doors much quicker. One of the handy character trinkets I found was the Golden Harvest which allows you to get a large amount of Residuum from any sources.

Speaking of Residuum, Residuum is the game’s currency that will allow you to retain things per time loop. You will be able to collect Residuum after a certain point in the game. You can collect Residuum by absorbing this from objects scattered throughout the island and by killing any of the Visionaries.

The Visionaries are the bosses in the game that holds a unique ability item called a Slab. There are a total of 5 slabs in the game that you can collect from each of the Visionary. My favorite would have to be Shift slab as I like to be stealthy. The Shift slab allows you to teleport at a short distance. At the first time you get this, you can only travel a very very short distance. However, you can upgrade the slab to improve it. You can do so by grabbing more slabs of the same kind. There are two ways that you can get a slab of the same kind, either by killing the Visionary that has them or killing Julianna. Although with Julianna it will be more random since you can get a different kind when you kill her.

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I really love the gameplay of this game and it’s fun to be able to find the many ways to get to your goal. As the island is open for you to explore, you can go to almost anywhere given that you have access to the right equipment or ability to get there. The game gives you so much freedom that each encounter or time loop is unique.

One thing I noticed though is that the game doesn’t have a difficulty level. In that saying, I feel like the game is too easy for a roguelite game. I was expecting to die a lot and scream at my tv in anguish but it was the complete opposite. I find the AI to be less smart than they should be. They run around getting stuck sometimes and you get a free shot at them. Maybe it’s because the game wants to open itself up to casual players but I do hope this provides a challenge for the veteran players. Mind you, I still died a few times but with Cole’s unique slab ability that lets him rewind time, it gives you two chances to correct any mistakes you have made. I even feel like the two chances is too much, but that’s just me (Please don’t take this away Bethesda).

The island itself changes with the time of day. You can visit the island during the day, noon, afternoon or evening. You also have access to four locations in all four time periods. Should you wish to visit a certain location at a certain time, all you need to do is advance the time. Everything in this game moves forward so if you missed something during the morning, you will have to cycle back to morning to get it.

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One particular thing about the locations is that you can’t visit a location if you don’t have an objective for it. So basically you get locked out from that location unless you pickup another objective that will allow you access to that part of the island. This is probably problematic if you just wanted to go that location to explore. So you better explore when you have an objective for that timeline to not miss out on anything.

I really love the soundtrack as well. It gives you that jazzy 60’s vibe but with a futuristic flair. It’s very appropriate to the game and allows to get you into the groove. The music also changes each time you get into battle, so you know when it’s time to give up being stealthy and when to get back to it. The 3D audio is awesome as each step and each conversation can be heard in just the right distance they should be heard from. Sound quality is amazing in this game.

Overall, Deathloop is a satisfying game of cat and mouse. A great adventure in time and chaos letting you play the game how you want it. Whether you want to guns blazing or be quiet as a church mouse, Deathloop allows you all that. I recommend this game to casual and veteran players alike as it offers a lot to anyone who just wants to have an enjoyable and fun experience.

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Deathloop – Review
Score Definition
It’s a fun game that has its few kinks that can easily be ignored.
Totally unique and awesome gameplay
Great characters and story
Replayability is timeless
AI's are not as smart as you think
Game is not as challenging for a roguelite game
Chief Editor