A Deathloop review bomb is currently underway on Steam, highlighting player frustrations with the performance of this new Arkane Studios game on PC.
Deathloop is a first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of one of two rival assassins who are trapped within a time loop. First announced back in 2019, the game finally launched yesterday after multiple delays. Unfortunately, it appears that a subset of players are having issues with the game and they're making their voices heard through the medium of negative reviews on Steam.
Why the Deathloop Review Bomb is Happening
The cause of the Deathloop review bomb seems to be mainly centered on microstuttering and other performance issues which some users suspect may be caused by the game's usage of Denuvo DRM on PC.
Denuvo potentially being the source of the problem isn't an unreasonable assumption on the part of these players; Tekken Director Katsuhiro Harada stated that Denuvo was behind Tekken 7's performance issues back in 2018. More recently, Amplitude Studios removed Denuvo DRM from its new 4X game Humankind following reports of poor performance during its Closed Beta test. The suspicion of Denuvo being behind Deathloop's performance problems is reflected in many of its negative Steam reviews.
"Since publishers insist on pushing the envelope with anti-piracy at the cost of your customer's value for money... this review will only list the negative as a warning: The game stutters. It does so because your computer is not strong enough to run both the game and the anti-piracy at the same time[,]" read a popular negative review on the game's Steam Store page.
Complaints about performance have also been voiced in this @BethesdaSupport Twitter thread. However, further investigation by Digital Foundry's Alexander Battaglia reveals that Denuvo might not be the source of the problem at all.
"There is no direct evidence at the moment in all my testing that there is microstuttering/that denuvo is at fault for anything," Battaglia said in a tweet. "There is an issue though with something that looks like stutters though, but is not actually performance related. I think it is best to report on that."
Arkane Studios faced similar performance issues with the PC release of Dishonored 2. This led Bethesda to publish a blog post apologizing for the problems and promising a fix. Notably, Deathloop was created on the Void Engine -- the same engine used to make Dishonored 2.
For now, Bethesda Support has published an article with some tips you can try to improve performance; as for Arkane, it's likely working on resolving this problem (and any other Day 1 issue that may have popped up). You can buy Deathloop for PC and consoles via its official website starting at $59.99 or your regional equivalent -- make sure to check out our Beginner's Guide to help you get started!
Have you experienced any Deathloop performance issues? Do you think the Deathloop review bomb is justified? Let us know in the comments below!