Arkane Studios, the developer behind the likes of Dishonored and Prey, has been teasing Deathloop for quite some time now, and the wonderfully stylish recursive stealth shooter has looked captivating at every turn. And the tantalising glimpses continued tonight with nine new minutes of gameplay footage, as shown during Sony’s latest PlayStation State of Play.
First, the basic premise for those unfamiliar; in Deathloop, players take on the role of Colt, an assassin who finds himself trapped in an endless time loop on the mysterious Blackreef island. In order to escape, he’ll need to take out eight targets known as the Visionaries before the day ends – but if he fails (or dies) time rewinds and he’ll need to start over.
All isn’t lost, however; by exploring further in each successive loop, players can gain valuable clues they’ll be able to use next time around to locate and eliminate their targets before the day ends – and Arkane’s latest gameplay footage focusses on an attempt to bring down the Visionary known as Aleksis “The Wolf” Dorsey.
As the segment begins, players have already learned that Aleksis is planning to make a speech at his masquerade party that evening – and with the when and where figured out, all that’s left to do is infiltrate the party and work out a way to kill him.
Most of the latest gameplay focusses on Colt’s journey to the party, as he uses a combination of fire arms, stealth, and supernatural-like abilities to eliminate enemies along the way – giving Deathloop the air of a super stylish, high-octane Dishonored. Notable abilities shown in the extended gameplay footage include Colt’s short-range teleport skill – useful for zipping around the environment away from prying eyes – and Karnesis, enabling him to hoist enemies up into the air from afar and wave them around, often lethally, like rag dolls.
Perhaps most useful of all, though, is Reprise, which can be unlocked early in the game and enables Colt to die twice without the timeloop restarting. Whenever Reprise is used, Colt rewinds time a little until he’s ready to go again – but Arkane notes that everything else on the island is unaffected by this rewind, meaning downed enemies will stay dead.
As the gameplay segment continues, Colt eventually stumbles across a group of wannabe gatecrashers, eager to get into the masquerade party themselves. By eavesdropping, Colt learns that an open window to the rear of Aleksis’ mansion will provide a useful entry point and get him a step closer toward completing his objective. Arkane says there are always multiple ways to complete a mission and you’ll uncover more possibilities if you explore.
Soon, however, Colt is interrupted by his rival Julianna, who’ll intermittently spawn into the game and – either controlled by AI or another human player – attempt to kill him. In this instance, though, Julianna is dispatched with little trouble and Colt enters the mansion where guests are regaling their comrades with tales of their evil deeds from up on stage.
It quickly becomes clear that those who fail to sufficiently impress their peers will find themselves dropped through the meat grinder beneath their feet and served up to guests as food. And with Aleksis preparing to make a speech on that very same stage in the near future, players may start to formulate a plan on how to finally bring him down…
I’ve been getting just a little bit more excited about Deathloop with each new viewing, and tonight’s showcase was no exception. Thankfully the wait’s almost over and Deathloop will, following a brief delay earlier this year, be making its way to PC and PS5 on 14th September.