580: Deathloop

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580: Deathloop

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Deathloop for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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Re: 580: Deathloop

Post by Tolkientaters »

The best thing about Deathloop is its presentation, Arkane always knocks it out of the park with their visual choices and this is no exception. The choice to for a psychedelic blaxploitation aesthetic really makes it stand out. When you add some really cool music and standout voice acting there's little to complain about.

The gameplay is solid with a lot of carryover from Dishonored with unique satisfying guns and abilities, but it billed itself as a little more free form then it ended up being. I think multiple ways to engineer a close the loop situation would have made all the regular gameplay options you have a little more satisfying. As it stands you can get creative early game but you're fairly restricted if you actually want to see the ending.

The addition of asynchronous multiplayer with Julianna really worked for me. It was usually pretty easy to steamroll her, but with a clever player it turned into a fun cat and mouse game. Playing as Julianna was also fun, you pretty much had to get a little underhanded to beat Colt.

I Really enjoyed the game and I'm glad it was a success because the commercial underperformance of Dishonored 2 and Prey had me worried foe the studio. Really interested to get my hands on Redfall.
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Re: 580: Deathloop

Post by markfm007 »

Deathloop’s generated some interesting discussions for me, including on the C&R forums. At its core it has well crafted Arkane combat and level design, two great characters, and a fun soundtrack, even if it is a bit Austin Powers. This will be plenty for most to have a great time. And I did too, for a while.

However it falls down for me in two ways - it fails to live up to expectations, and it fails to live up to Arkane’s previous work. First, expectations. This game presents itself as ‘time loop Hitman’, where the goal is to take out multiple targets across multiple levels, within an in game day. Easy to grasp, endlessly replayable, and a step up in scope for Arkane.

Instead the game is a non-linear scavenger hunt, where the goal has been solved for you, you just need to find the pieces to it. The timeloop is just a framing device to ensure that you replay the levels, and to remove the morality system. It’s both less interesting and more difficult to understand than it could have been. Even Arkane have described how long it took them to get people to understand it.

That leads to part two, Arkane’s previous work. Changing from Dishonored’s personal story of revenge, to a constantly cycling island full of Knives Out style posers and wannabe geniuses is a nice idea on paper. In practice it wears out its welcome, and had me longing for the more compelling world and devious villains of Dishonored. I understand why people don’t like the chaos system, but without it, Blackreef quickly becomes tedious.

The end of the game presents a choice of ‘do you want to stay or leave the loop’, but it was never a question for me. I wanted out far before the game was done. Its far from a bad game, but it’s not a good sign when I’m so desperate for it to end that I shoot my favourite character, no questions asked.
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Re: 580: Deathloop

Post by ashman86 »

Deathloop was the first Arkane game I played that I actually stuck with through to the end. And, while I don't mean that as a knock against their past works or as glowing praise for Deathloop itself, I think it's important context for how I feel about the game today.

I fell in love with Deathloop almost immediately for three reasons: the characters, the different powers I could unlock, and the fact that, unlike Dishonored, the game didn't make me feel guilty for using my powers to take down enemies. Dishonored's nasty habit of locking all their coolest abilities behind a morality system is ultimately what always did those games in for me.

I loved Deathloop so much, that I tore through the game in a little over a week, giving it every second of time I had to spare. I was absolutely hooked. And then, the twist came.
Spoiler: show
Juliana being revealed as Colt's daughter
left such a bitter taste in my mouth, that it's impossible for me to look back at the game with the same fondness I once felt. It felt like such a betrayal to me as a player, and it spoiled everything I had enjoyed about the game's storytelling. After souring on the game's writing, I couldn't help but see the other flaws in its presentation.

Maybe it's unrealistic to have ever expected anything different, but the game's ending totally undercuts whatever sense of freedom or choice or agency I may have felt as a player who had once believed I could tackle its central puzzle in any number of ways. As it turned out, there's basically just one solution, and maybe that's an even greater betrayal of the player's expectations than the narrative twist.

There are some great game ideas here, to be sure, but I just can't recommend it to friends anymore without making some major caveats.
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Re: 580: Deathloop

Post by GlobalSaturation89 »

I enjoyed playing Deathloop. The presentation and the art style were top notch (although other forumites have hit this point already that Arkane know how to build a world).
I feel that the lack of consequences for absent mindedly murdering my way out of a failed stealth sequence appealed to me. I struggle with stealth games and the constant quick save get seen reload mechanic of the Dishonored series. It frustrates me greatly that I would get annoyed and end up murdering everyone which would then lead to the bad ending. However deathloop is more like a dishonored starter pack. You get similar powers and skills but are given a sandbox to play in and learn how to deal with different situations. You can go guns blazing dual fourpounders in hand and murder each and every person in sight however I enjoyed creeping around and picking people off.

I also liked that I could make a mistake without consequence. Mess up a side quest? I’ll just play out the loop and try again later.

The only negative I have is that once I learned about Colt and Juliana’s relationship (no spoilers here) it made some of the exchanges they had together a little unsettling to say the least. The one which makes my skin crawl is “F—- you Colt!” To which Colt replies “your place or mine.”
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Re: 580: Deathloop

Post by Alex79 »

I was initially excited by the idea of Deathloop and downloaded it as soon as it came to Gamepass. The opening hour or so was interesting, although I must admit I found it confusing with how many different systems you needed to keep track of, and wasn't really sure where I was 'supposed' to be going. The excitement soon wore off, however, when I realised it really wasn't the emergent, immersive sim I had been expecting. Perhaps it's unfair to criticise a game over what it's not, or what I had expected it to do, but nobody pays me for my thoughts so I will do just that! It seemed like there was only one true solution for each of the games puzzles, or targets, and the game totally holds your hand and guides you through the process, leaving little to experiment with as a player. Perhaps I have only scratched the surface and that freedom is there if you want it, but I ended up feeling very unsatisfied and uninstalled it after a few hours of play. My one positive is that the shooting felt very good, they got the guns spot on I think. Ultimately, this wasn't a game for me, although I appreciate I'm probably in a smaller minority than those who loved it.


Extra bit: I'm not blown away by any of Arkane's games. I thought Dishonored was ok, didn't like this or Prey, and am yet to play Dishonored 2. I feel like they have some amazing ideas, but actually playing them, the games never really hook me in fully. I think one day they'll come along with something I go all in on, but until then I'll keep giving them a try! They're an interesting studio, always trying something different, and that's certainly to be commended for sure.
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