Here’s Where Deathloop Went Wrong

Ryan MarinStaff Writer

Deathloop, the newest game by developer Arkane Studios and released exclusively for PS5, is a game that had the potential to be a masterpiece.  While so much of the game feels like it was planned out and created with painstaking detail and care, the story misses the mark and fails to take it over the edge as a masterpiece. 

To start, you wake up on a beach and it is quickly explained to you that you’ve been here before. You learn that you are stuck in a time loop where you are living the same day over and over; everyone forgets what happens after that day ends except for you and Julianna, a rival assassin you communicate with and learn from throughout the entire game. After the day ends, it resets itself, and you are stuck in a time loop. The goal of the game is to create a “perfect day,” where you use the time loop to kill the leaders in charge of protecting the island and end the loop.

Deathloop is incredibly fun to play. The game feels smooth and incredibly responsive to your actions and decisions. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like the controller is an extension of your mind. Whether you are using magic powers to teleport around the map to get to an enemy, engaging in a gunfight with ten enemies, or kicking an enemy off the side of a mountain, it felt like I was always in control. 

You can roam the world in stealth or get aggressive and run and gun like you’re in in the middle of a Call or Duty match; this provided me with a considerable amount of flexibility for how I wanted to get through a level and allowed me to experiment with my loadouts and how my decisions impacted the environment around me.

The game’s premise was incredibly interesting and fun to uncover. Moving through the island and uncovering the secrets of the island was engrossing and addicting. Throughout the game, you are given bits of information and promised a full explanation of what is going on after you kill everyone you need to and have your “perfect day.” As I continually uncovered more and more of the story, I was excited to find what was waiting for me at the end of the day and uncover the answers I had been desperately searching for.

Sadly, the game never gave me the closure I was looking for. While I was engrossed in the narrative, it needed that final story beat to really tie everything together and help make sense of it all. However, Arkane promised me an explanation that it never actually provides. The ending felt underdeveloped and rushed, which disappointed me due to how much I had enjoyed the game.

I’m all for player interpretation, but Deathloop’s story simply feels unfinished. After an incredible buildup, Deathloop fails to stick to the landing. It left a bad taste in my mouth, which is sad to say considering how great every other part of the game is. With a more satisfying conclusion, this could have been an all-time great, but after my 16 hours I was left thinking about what could have been.

Rivals engage in a deadly shootout. Image courtesy of PlayStation

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