23 Fast Facts And Cool Details About Deathloop
Deathloop is the next game from Arkane Studios, the immersive sim experts behind Dishonored and Prey. Playing as Colt Vahn, you’re stuck in a timeloop that resets when you die or reach the end of the day. The only way to escape is to assassinate eight targets before the sun sets on Blackreef.
It’s a violent investigation set across four locations that you can visit at four different times of the day. Study your targets’ schedules and line them up to pull off the perfect assassination run. Every loop is a chance to learn something new and you have to build up your understanding of Blackreef until you’re ready to break the cycle.
I recently got a look at Deathloop with a hands-off preview, but there’s also a bunch of stuff I learned from the event that I couldn’t crowbar into the feature. So here are 23 fast facts and cool details about Deathloop.
- Your targets are the eight Visionaries: Julianna Blake, Dr. Wenjie Evans, Aleksis “The Wolf” Dorsey, Fia Zborowska, Ramblin’ Frank Spicer, Egor Serling, Harriet Morse, and Charlie Montague. Julianna is the wildcard and can show up anywhere at any time.
- Colt Vahn is voiced by Jason E. Kelley, who also did the voice of Doomslayer in Doom Eternal. Julianna Blake is voiced by Ozioma Akagha, who plays Alyx in Half-Life: Alyx.
- You play through the story as Colt, but you can invade your friends and strangers as Julianna. The invasion mode is about fighting with style and leaving a lasting impression on your opponent, rather than killing them outright. You can even decide to help Colt players and play Deathloop like a co-op game if you want to. You can also turn multiplayer off in the settings if you find other players annoying.
- An angelic voice rings out as a warning whenever Julianna invades your game.
- Colt wakes up with a hangover. This being a timeloop, that means he’s hungover for the entire game.
- Everyone except Colt and Julianna believe that it’s the first day of the loop. Only the two leads know the truth, though exactly how long the loop has been going on isn’t clear at the moment. Colt also has no memory of who he was before the loop.
- Blackreef is a remote Northern European island based on the Faroe Islands – volcanic islands positioned between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic. Concrete bunkers and retro sci-fi structures contrast with pop art interiors and a rugged natural environment that’s fenced in by a violent ocean.
- The island of Blackreef is divided into four districts: The Complex, Updaam, Fristad Rock, and Karl’s Bay. Each of these areas is essentially four sandbox maps, since each can be visited at four different times of the day – morning, noon, afternoon, and evening. NPCs will travel between these four locations depending on the time of the day, and your actions in one district can affect what happens in another.
- At the start of the game, you lose all your stuff when you die. But as you progress, you find a way to keep your weapons and abilities. When you’re fully specced out, the developers describe Colt as a “superpowered John Wick”.
- Colt can find Residuum in the world. You can spend Residuum to keep hold of your favourite powers and weapons between loops.
- Cryptic messages pop up on the screen as you play, offering direction and advice. You can choose to ignore the messages if you like. The messages are just another one of the mysteries you have to solve on Blackreef – who is trying to help Colt escape the loop and why?
- You can carry powers and gadgets in your off-hand. During the demo, we got to see a hacking device that’s capable of opening doors, temporarily disabling security cameras, interacting with distractions, and even turning turrets against their allies.
- Colt is able to unlock shortcuts by remembering door codes and alternate routes between loops.
- Because you’re in a timeloop, enemies are erased from the loop and sent back to the start upon death. That means you don’t have to hide dead bodies. Bodies still ragdoll when they’re killed, so it doesn’t take away from the satisfaction of booting someone off a cliff.
- There’s an arcade machine in the gameplay demo (you can just make it out in the image above) that’s an homage to Dishonored 2. It’s called Super Honorless 2, and the screen shows the protagonist holding the time device from the A Crack in the Slab mission.
- Sapper Charges are Deathloop’s grenades. As well as being able to throw them like traditional grenades, you can also set them up as proximity and trip mines. Combine it with the telekinetic power Karnesis and you can throw enemies into your traps.
- You have to collect and upgrade Slabs to use certain abilities. One I’m shown in the demo is called Reprise and it’s basically an extra life system. With Reprise, you get two free deaths and you’re teleported back a short way before rejoining whatever fight you just died in. On your third death, you’re thrown back to the beginning of the loop. You can also collect any Residuum you lost by interacting with your frozen corpse.
- I got a look at some of the other powers as well. Shift is basically Deathloop’s take on Dishonored’s Blink ability – it’s a teleportation spell. Aether renders Colt invisible to enemies and security systems. Havoc allows you to absorb incoming damage and spit it back out like shrapnel. Karnesis allows you to throw enemies into the air like clay pigeons or sideways into a hazard. Nexus links enemies together so anything you do to one of them affects the entire group.
- Colt’s arsenal contains handguns, SMGs, machine guns, rifles, shotguns, and a silenced, pneumatic nail gun.
- You can equip Trinkets to your weapons, unlocking perks such as Shock Absorber, which reduces recoil; Straight Shooter, which increases accuracy across the board; Sure Shot, which increases accuracy when firing within a weapon’s effective range; Lightning Strike, which increases effective range; Mind Leech, which drains Power (read: mana) as well as health; and Hipster, which reduces bullet spread when firing from the hip.
- Trinkets can also be used to upgrade Colt’s physical abilities. One Trinket in the demo allowed him to double-jump over obstacles, adding a new layer of verticality to combat.
- Because the people on the island are living the same day over and over, there’s no need for concepts like money – that means you can help yourself to the ammo in those vending machines.
- Arkane’s Sébastien Mitton says Deathloop was inspired by James Bond, Quentin Tarantino, and the movie Point Blank.
Deathloop is set for release on September 14, 2021.
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