Deathloop, the latest game from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks, puts players on the island of Blackreef as Colt Vahn. While others aren't aware of what's going on each time the day ends or you die you wake up again on the beach at the start of the same game.
Pairing together similar combat and abilities from the popular Dishonored franchise with a non-linear story where your ultimate goal is to break out of the Deathloop. Deathloop is currently available for PC via Steam and PlayStation 5.
Deathloop Guide for Beginners - What is Deathloop?
What is the gameplay loop of Deathloop?
As Colt Vahn, you’ll wake up on the beach of the island of Blackreef that you’re stuck in a loop on. The day is divided into 4 parts that you’ll progress through as you visit each of the four different levels. Once you’re in a level there’s no running time so you can spend as much time there as you want. Time will progress to the next quarter of the day when you leave a level and enter a new one.
When leaving a level you’ll also be offered a chance to spend your residuum, this will allow you to upgrade your abilities or be able to retain weapons and abilities throughout the Deathloop. This will allow you to continue tailoring your Colt to your own playstyle.
You’ll want to explore each of these levels at different times of the day as different characters will appear, and you can acquire new information related to other levels and important characters. You could visit the same level 4 times in a row just to get to know its ins and outs and learn as much information as you can on your targets. This information can be knowing their location at a certain time of day, or you could also learn about secret paths into buildings.
Using the information obtained through each of your playthroughs you’ll then be able to plot a course through the levels so that across all four daily levels you’ll run into all 8 Visionaries and escape the Deathloop.
Who are the Visionaries?
There are eight targets, known in the game as “The Visionaries,” that you’ll need to kill before the loop reoccurs to complete Deathloop. One of the Visionaries, Julianna, will be actively hunting down your character on each loop. The Visionaries are all listed below:
- Aleksis "The Wolf" Dorsey
- Charlie Montague
- Egor Serling
- Fia Zborowska
- 'Ramblin' Frank Spicer
- Harriet Morse
- Julianna Blake
- Dr. Wenjie Evans
By exploring you'll not only learn about these characters including their daily path and motivations, but you'll also learn about the different ways you can alter their course. For example if you destroy the inventions of Egor Serling but don't kill him you'll find him later at Aleksis "The Wolf" Dorsey's masquerade party.
How do I deal with Julianna?
Julianna’s entrance will be signaled to players by an audio queue of a woman singing. Once you hear that you’ll know that you’ve turned from the hunter, into the hunted. Julianna can either be AI-controlled or controlled by another player “invading” your world. She and the player character have some kind of history together that you’ll learn more about over the course of the game. Once Julianna appears in the district she'll also activate a jamming signal that stops Colt from leaving the area, you'll need to locate and hack the antenna to make your escape.
Deathloop Guide for Beginners - The Mechanics of the loop
What triggers the Deathloop?
The time loop is triggered if you’re unable to kill all eight of your targets and reach the end of the day or you die then you’ll wake up on the beach at the beginning of the game ready to start the loop once more.
What abilities can I find around the world of Deathloop?
Through your adventure on the island of Blackreef you'll find all kinds of special abilities, these can be upgraded granting you extra effects or added duration. The powers that we currently know about are:
- Karnesis - This allows you to pick up and throw items/enemies
- Shift - Short-range teleport, you can combine this with melee weapons to be able to perform quick stealth kills
- Chain Link - This will tie the fates of two characters together, if you inflict a status effect or kill one of them the one that they’re tied to will also perish
- Aether - Turn briefly invisible
- Havoc - Create a large amount of destruction
- Masquerade - Julianna's slab allows her to turn herself into a different NPC or even into another Visionary. Colt is not able to use this power.
What do I lose on each loop?
That depends… through the game you can earn residuum, this will allow you to save your favorite weapons and abilities between loops. This will allow you to speed up each playthrough and allow you to mix and match abilities as they’re needed for each task. Paying residuum to keep a weapon is also a permanent purchase.
Residuum can be obtained by killing certain enemies, finding rifts in the world, or by re-collecting your Reprise Ability rift where you died the first time in a loop. You'll earn the most Residuum from killing and absorbing it from Visionaries.
Is it possible to get lost or stuck? What if I forget something?
There’s an in-game menu that as you explore the world different information and leads will be filled in. This ensures that even if you’ve put down the game and pick it back up you can see information that you already know such as when certain characters are together, or what tips you’ve heard about that you have yet to follow up on. You can use this menu to keep filling in the blanks to find out what the “optimal” path is.
Will I enjoy Deathloop if I liked Dishonored?
In this game, you play as a powerful main character proficient in ranged weapons as well as melee attacks. You can obtain special abilities that allow you to teleport short distances or throw enemies around with ease. You’ll be tasked with taking out a variety of targets but due to Arkane’s open level plan, you’ll find a number of ways to approach or accomplish your goals. Whether you enjoy back alleys and secret entrances or walking through the front door guns blazing there’s an option for you.
If you’re not sure if I just described Dishonored or Deathloop then you might have just solved your own answer. The big differences are that Deathloop does have sandbox levels that there is no set narrative order and that while Dishonored has a dreary steampunk aesthetic there’s a lot more color and chaos in the world of Deathloop.
That being said a big aspect of Dishonored was the idea of “pacifist” playthroughs, which is not possible in Deathloop.
When is Deathloop coming to Xbox?
Earlier this year Xbox acquired Bethesda, the publisher of Deathloop, but it was announced that all contracts and agreements that were in place would be upheld. At present, there is no announced release date or window on when or if Deathloop will be releasing on Xbox consoles. Current speculation is that Deathloop will release on Xbox Series X|S consoles September 14th, 2022, a year after its PS5 release, but at the moment this is speculation