Deathloop, As Told By Steam Reviews

Deathloop, As Told By Steam Reviews
Image: Arkane / Kotaku

It’s safe to say that Deathloop stood tall as one of the most anticipated games of the year. Amid a release slate flush with sequels and remakes, here was a brand-new concept from Arkane, a studio that hasn’t missed in nearly a decade, making creative use of its time-loop feature to deliver a truly fresh experience.

Deathloop has been out in the wild for a few weeks now. So, among players, how’s it stacking up to the hype?

Read More: What Deathloop Does Differently From Dishonored and Prey

On Steam, one of two platforms (Deathloop is also out on PlayStation 5 and the Bethesda launcher, but c’mon, that’s not relevant), the game has racked up more than 8,000 user reviews. Of those, about three quarters are positive. Many of those reviews liken Deathloop to Arkane’s previous hits Dishonored and Prey, and the stellar standalone expansions for both. And then there are those who riff, with horrible puns, on the game’s name, saying that an absence of support means “we will forever be stuck in a deathloop of mediocre games.”

In the other corner, you’ll find folks slamming the game’s poor technical optimisation, which has resulted in some distracting instances of stuttering. There’s no shortage of critiques about its fundamental design, either — with some saying it’s little more than a lesser Hitman, albeit with magic powers and a first-person perspective — or a narrative that’s so undercooked it bears a high risk of salmonella. (For more on that, Polygon’s writeup of the ending’s pitfalls is a fantastic read.)

And, of course, some reviewers land squarely in the centre, saying Deathloop is fine but very “been there, done that” — perhaps, a jokester could argue, the highest accolade one could give a time-loop game. Here, in totality, is Deathloop, as told by the cyclical nature of Steam reviews.

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku
Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku Screenshot: Valve / Kotaku

 

Comments

  • It was a fun little game, but the hype it got seems to have more to do with how light-on it’s been for big AAA games recently. I had no performance issues at all on my machine (just a 3070, no problems with most settings maxed out).

    It had a great sense of style, the soundtrack was heaps of fun, and the minute-to-minute combat was solid and entertaining with lots of variations in powers to use to keep it interesting when taking down the same group of fools for the 20th time.

    I think what left me a little disappointed was that the promise of having to solve a ‘groundhog day’ mystery, where you needed to come up with a plan to take out all the targets on the one day, was waaaay too simple. Maybe I’m a little spoiled by the freedom given in the recent Hitman series but it’s actually all very linear when it comes down to it, with the game holding your hand and telling you exactly what to do next. I was expecting a big puzzle to unravel but instead it was all mansplained to me by Colt.

    The other disappointing part was the ending – after all the in-loop world building and time spent getting to know the antagonists, it all just….stops. It’s hinted that there’s some good reasons for Colt and Julianna’s varying viewpoints on the loop, but you don’t get to see those play out. What’s the state of the world after Colt breaks the loop? Did the world end a long time ago? Did he really break the loop at all, or has he just changed the nature of the anomaly (since they’re still on the same site at the end). There should have been some tangible consequences for Colt’s decision.

    But still – I had a fun time with this and I’d definitely recommend it on PC on special. On PS5, not so much due to the ridiculous FOV settings.

  • Reviewer ‘Awpteamoose’ had a great point about the tools and tricks and traps. None of them are ever as expedient as just sending some bullets into your enemies’ skulls, which remains the fastest, most efficient, effective way to dispatch enemies. At best they’re something to use after you empty your weapon and still need to kill or distract something before you reload then kill them with more bullets.

    I also agree with Darthsutius about the hand-holding of resolving the loop ‘mystery’. When the concept was introduced, I thought, “Ooh, this could be tricky.” Then the game said, “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll guide you through it. Couldn’t be simpler.”

    With that level of problem-solving taken out of the equation, you’re really left with the fun of figuring out how to complete your puzzle/weapon collection and find as many lore logs as you can.

    In the same way as some meetings could’ve been emails, this game could’ve been a movie. Probably should be.

  • I enjoyed the game overall but it’s in no way perfect like some game reviewers have said. Playing on PS5 I ran into no framerate issues running in performance mode.

    As a shooter the gameplay was enjoyable, there’s a variety of weapons to use and the perks on rarer weapons add a fun twist. I was worried the game would rely heavily on stealth, but soon learned that wasn’t the case. I liked that stealth was an option, but I could also just shoot my way through just as easily. The biggest let down regarding gameplay was how early and frequently the game hands you the rarest of gear (excluding the few unique guns). Not even midway through the game I had too many top level trinkets and weapons that I struggled to organise them in my inventory. The urge to hunt for rare loot only lasted a few hours, instead finding rare gear would have been a great way to keep end game players interested.

    The main and side stories were quite difficult to follow. I often had an overall idea why I was doing something but keeping track of the finer details was tough. You often find clues or side story content in the wrong order, due to the semi open nature of each level. Which I can accept, and would even welcome if it wasn’t for the terrible UI. Sorting through all the documents and clues you’ve found is a massive headache and isn’t organised in a way that makes sense. For example I had a side quest involving some eternalists, a gas device and a room with a 3 code lock. I’d found several clues around the place on how to progress, but had no easy way of reviewing this information at various times of day, it simply wasn’t in my menu. So many interesting side missions like this went unfinished because I had no way of efficiently tracking them.

    My only other gripe is the online play. I tried a handful of times to play as Julianna and invade other players games but out of the total 1 to 2 hours I’ve spent waiting while matchmaking, I’ve had 3 games actually connect. 2 of those had lag so bad it was unplayable. I shot a Colt twice in the head several buildings away, he then vanished and appeared behind me to knife me in the back, all in about 5 seconds. On top tier NBN you’d expect better. The problem here is all of Colt’s and Julianna’s skins are locked behind progressing as Julianna in online play. So I guess I won’t be doing that.

    The ending was pretty meh, but feels ripe for a DLC.

  • Illeos review was pretty much the same as mine. It’s another Arkane game that focuses more on loot and guns, but still plays the same.

    It does sacrifice environmental storytelling, Arkanes inmersive sim specialty, for a character story that is good but hurts replayibility in a game that’s about replayability.

    The players power outcomes the difficulty of the NPCs and . It lacked randomness and tougher NPCs at the end like Prwy Mooncrash or any roguelite has.

    I rate it third behind the Dishonored and Prey series. Still great game, but it really had no innovation that sparked excitement like their other games.

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