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REVIEW: DEATHLOOP — Groundhog Day X Dishonored



Published by: Bethesda Softworks
Developed by: Arkane Studios
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows PlayStation 5
Genre(s): FPS, Roguelike
Mode(s): Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Game Type: , ,
90/ 100

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Tense multiplayer 1v1s, Unique game meta, satisfying gameplay progression and loop


Too much info for casual players, long matchmaking times, disappointing weapon and power variety

Posted November 13, 2021 by

You can almost never go wrong with time loops as a plot device in movies. And though the idea isn’t new, no game has managed to fully capture the concept’s appeal quite like Deathloop. It’s a game that felt very familiar to play yet still a very unique experience mixing bits of various gameplay elements to create the ultimate timeloop videogame.

Déjà vu


You play as Colt, a very confused man who wakes up with a nasty hangover and in the center of a timeloop, in an island where everyone’s out to kill him. In a nutshell, the only way to break the loop is to assassinate all 8 visionaries before the day ends. That is, if Julianna doesn’t kill you first. It’s a pretty simple setup, but don’t let that fool you. There’s tons of lore and exposition to experience as you play. Be it in the countless banter between Colt and Julianna, or the dozens of notes and audiotapes that you find during gameplay. The game doesn’t have your conventional main campaign with cutscenes and cinematics and such, but it has some of the best voice acting and some of the funniest and most interesting conversations I’ve ever heard in games in recent time. Colt is a super likeable protagonist and likewise, Julianna is a super interesting villain, too.



The objective is simple. Kill the 8 visionaries and win the game. The challenge is managing to do so within a single loop. The day is divided into 4 segments, Morning, Noon, Afternoon, and Night. This means that statistically, you’d need to kill 2 visionaries per segment. However these visionaries are hardly ever together, and are usually spread evenly across the 4 different parts of the island. Now, only you (and a few other characters) can remember the loop, which means everyone else is bound to repeat their same patterns and tendencies. You’ll have to somehow influence their actions such that at least 2 of them can be found in the same area at each time of day.


This is where Deathloop is most interesting, granted the first few hours can be jarring and a bit of an info overload. Information is the name of the game. Each bit of information (Leads) you find literally brings you closer to the endgame. Here’s an example (without spoiling anything): Your actions in Area 1 at Morning, could cause a change in Area 2 at Noon, or a change in Person 1’s action pattern throughout the day.


A loop is reset when either you die, or the day ends without all the visionaries killed. When the day resets, all (save for a few special cases) actions and changes made are also reset, including your loadouts. Thankfully, you can retain some of the weapons and upgrades you’ve found in between loops using residium, a resource found by killing visionaries, or by absorbing certain objects. Unfortunately, there’s only a handful of weapons and you’ll likely stick to 1 or 2 of the most effective weapons you’ll ever find throughout the game.


As interesting as this gameplay meta concept is, It can understandably be quite intimidating to get into as it seems too complex and open ended. And though the game lets you tackle each loop however you want, its still technically linear. Leads directly relating to all visionaries will eventually lead to a string of actions you can take to enable you to kill all visionaries within a single loop. Each lead you find are all logged and can be referenced, and they’re also trackable, which definitely helps make the whole setup a little easier to manage.


The core gameplay loop above is already super fun as it is, but Deathloop also has an incredible multiplayer aspect in it’s sleeve, too. Similar to soulslike games, Deathloop lets players invade other players. It’s worth noting that you can switch to singleplayer mode to prevent other players from ruining your run, but given the fact that a loop resets when you die, this makes for a very, VERY tense multiplayer experience. The only real issues with multiplayer is the incredibly long matchmaking, due to multiplayer being entirely dependent on other player’s progress playing as Colt, and the rollback lag when connections aren’t great (imagine blinking to a point only to snap back right where you were).



Deathloop’s art style is akin to all past Arkane games, but with a more 60’s style aesthetic and some retro sci-fi themes. Character models for NPCs outside of the visionaries are a bit underwhelming but somehow fits the game’s direction. There’s only 4 maps throughout the entire game and 4 different times of day, but these regions can have subtle to grand changes depending on your actions during the loop. For instance, one building ends up completely burnt and inaccessible later on in the day, if you don’t find out and stop what triggers the fire sometime earlier in the day. Visiting these 4 places have never felt dull in my entire playthrough as there are lots of things to discover and details to admire.



Deathloop is an incredible concept and a unique piece of game. It’s a game I would urge all my friends to experience, even the ones who aren’t fans of the first person genre. It’s an incredible value too, with lots of replicability and content, and a super tense multiplayer system that I found myself spending over a hundred hours in, even if most of that was just waiting in matchmaking. Deathloop is like pulling of a time heist, only you’re assassinating instead of thieving, but outside of killing visionaries, there’s lots of secrets and events to trigger and discover. I don’t care if you want to buy this now or wait for a price drop, so long as you make sure to play this game within your lifetime…loop.

[Review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the Publisher]

Dian Raval

Dian is a writer for Flipgeeks who, in his spare time, stares at a wall in his basement. If you'd like to discuss music, video games, or the infinite wisdom of concrete, follow him on twitter @iburnandfume or subscribe to his YouTube channel @iburnandfume. He's pretty much iburnandfume in everything. Apparently he... burns and fumes.


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