Game news Deathloop: Does Arkane sign a timeless work?
Arkane Studios is known for making games whose principle is difficult to explain but which ultimately turn out to be very deep. Well Deathloop is no exception to the rule. We could say that this FPS gets the player caught in a terrible temporal loop. But does he miss what he undertakes?
When Colt, the main character of this adventure, wakes up on a beach, he has two problems. The first is that he has amnesia. The second is that he observes funny spectral phrases that twirl in the environment. In reality, there are much worse: Colt is locked in a time loop. This means that if he dies or waits for the night, the same day restarts tirelessly. The only way out of this quagmire is to kill the 8 psychopaths that rule Blackreef Island. The problem is, this is normally not possible due to different security protocols. Colt nevertheless has an advantage over the other inhabitants of the island who also live the same day repeatedly: he is aware of being in a loop and therefore has the ability to learn from his mistakes … and those of others.
Let’s start with what is perhaps the least glowing point of Deathloop. Graphically, Arkane’s title doesn’t do too much Next Gen. Some textures are basic and the special effects aren’t the most impressive. The lack of decorative objects with physics is obvious as soon as you start shooting at anything that moves. The app has three visual modes, Performance, Quality and Raytracing. The pure technique which lacks brilliance is counterbalanced by an original artistic direction where the sixties and the seventies are more crazy than ever. The aberrant outfits of the NPCs and the smoke bombs of all colors match the largely casual tone of the epic. On PC, Deathloop requires a very recent graphics card to run in 4K at 60 FPS. But, fortunately, there are many graphics options available, including AMD’s FSR, which significantly increases fluidity. In any case, the game remains very clean, even on a small configuration and you will be able to play without any problem at 1080p, even if your machine is already a few years old.
Deathloop’s gameplay is chock-full of details and rules to master before you get the hang of it. As in a Dishonored, the player has the choice between the soft method and the pure action to progress. Lots of customization elements exist in order to create a character that matches our playstyle thanks to charms and modules to pick up on enemies. Little by little, Colt goes from being a prey to that of a hunter. Telekinesis, teleportation, invisibility, berserk, there is something for everyone and it is your adversaries who are morfler. An Arkane game with satisfying fights, that’s fun! Too bad, however, to note that AI has many concerns. In terms of structure, the player must complete different objectives at specific times of the day until the perfect loop is offered to win. Basically, it’s pretty classic, even if the game does everything to make us believe otherwise. Finally, the parties can be invaded by a character led by another human player who plays Julianna. It adds salt to the adventure and brings a totally pleasant dose of randomness.
Deathloop is the school of gameplay. The scenario is told by various documents or via the many dialogues that there are between Colt and Julianna at the beginning of each loop. Do not expect to see beautiful cutscenes when you kill a boss, almost the whole adventure is lived without a cutscene taking the hand. Arkane obliges, the environmental narration is present and the scenario can be followed with a certain pleasure, especially since some surprises are on the program. Too bad the end is so abrupt and doesn’t make us feel like we are rewarding ourselves for all the effort we put in. What we really regret is the interventionist side of the adventure. The player only has to follow his objective markers to reconstruct the final loop. We would have liked to rack our brains a little more to produce the perfect loop in our own way.
Although Deathloop only offers four main areas of play to explore, the level design, certainly, devilishly successful, the content is still consistent. There are a whole bunch of weapons to pick up in different styles with shotguns, sniper rifles, pistols, submachine guns. There are also items to hack, turrets to transport, upgrades to pick up and multiple mods to steal from the boss to become overpowered. Mastery of the Residuum allows you to keep skills and weapons from one loop to another, which generates an exhilarating rise in power. Although there is a PvP mode thanks to Julianna, the reasons to return to Deathloop once the campaign is over are not obvious. No, no new game + appears after viewing the end credits. As for the missions, some are more successful than others, but overall they remain classic.
The musics of the work of Arkane are successful and stick well to the actions of the player. This means that she is calm during phases of infiltration and that she comes alive during clashes. The sounds adequately cover the action and the French voices, quite theatrical, make it possible not to be forced to read subtitles. The replicas of the opponents are still lacking in naturalness, especially when they detect us, but this is only a detail.
Comfortable in the exercise of style imposed by the time loop, the artists of Arkane sign with Deathloop a very good FPS. More action-oriented than a Dishonored, the title of Bethesda leaves us a lot of freedom in the way to succeed in the missions, even though the main plot would be interventionist. Deathloop encourages experiments of all kinds in a universe that contrasts drastically with what the people of Lyon have already produced. Too bad the AI is not famous and nothing really invites us to relaunch the app once the campaign is over. For all these reasons, we give it a score of 16/20.
Deathloop is available on PlayStation 5 and PC