Reprise This: The best (and worst) of Deathloop

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There are some games that you see coming a mile away. You know the ones, those AAA games that get announced and 3/4 of the game is spoiled before release but you play it anyway. In the case of Deathloop, we kept hearing the name and bits and bobs of what it might be, but I went in with ZERO expectations and came out pleasantly surprised. Granted, Deathloop isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination but given all the flops that have come out in the past year, this is one of the good ones, the really good ones. Upgrade your slabs and infuse your gear because here are ten of the best (and worst) things about Deathloop.

But first, let me pop in for a little review of the story. You play as Colt Vahn, who wakes up on a chilly beach after having a dream of getting crazy-murdered. Don’t you hate it when that happens. It turns out that Colt is stuck in a time loop on an island. Eight people called Visionaries take advantage of a temporal anomaly (plus a little science) to live forever by resetting the clock every night at midnight. There is no aging, no worries and no consequences. If you die, you wake up to the same day over and over again. The only person who remembers each day is your murderer, Julianna and then eventually yourself. She knows that you want to bust out of that time loop and she has made it her task to have everyone on the island of Blackreef try and stop you.

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10. Worst – The Random Freezing in Updaam

Deathloop can be pretty confusing at first and it took about 3 hours before I really got into the groove of this game. It took only 20 minutes, however, for it to start freezing on me and it only ever happened in Updaam…at first. Most of the time, the freezes would come and go in bursts and last a minute or so and then everything would go back to normal. Eventually the freezes stopped all together until later in the game when the entire game would glitch to a stop and I would have to restart.

9. Best – Weird Inspirations

When I say inspiration, I can’t know for sure what Arkane Studios was inspired by but in my head, if The Outer Worlds and We Happy Few had a weird threesome with Dishonored at a 60s themed party and then someone got pregnant but we don’t know by who but all three of them raised the baby, Deathloop would be that baby. The game is set in the 1960’s and all of the Eternalists are wearing masks, so the We Happy Few feels make a lot of sense.  One of the first things I ever said to myself about Deathloop was that it feels like this is Bethesda’s clap back to Obsidian. I still feel that way.

Deathloop - PS4 and PS5
Bethesda /

8. Worst – Colt is a delicate flower

I know when you begin a game that you will always begin as a weak little bird and you must play and grind to get that health bar to get hearty but it just feels like Colt is a little too delicate to my liking and for a little too long. He takes damage like it’s his favorite thing in the world and in combination with the ever frustrating save system, there were times that I had to turn off the game to keep myself from throwing my PS5 directly out the window.

7. Best – Looking Groovy, Baby, YEAH

I will give it to Arkane Studios when  I say that Deathloop looks awesome. They did a great job to create this world that looks like the 60’s but also not. It feels futuristic and retro at the same time. The character models look great and the environments (while limited) all look like their own little separate piece of the island. MY favorite place on Blackreef is Charlie Montegue’s mansion in Updaam. He is a mad video game designer and his building looks straight out of an arcade. I just wish there was a little more variety in the map but hey, what are you gonna do?

6. Worst – Multiplayer

This multiplayer was an afterthought. You can play as Julianna and invade your friend’s game which sounds awesome…in theory. Except that you can only do it once per period of the day: morning, noon, afternoon and evening. If your bro kills you, you have to wait until the next period or a new day to invade again. Or if you invade a random game, they can just stay in the spawn point until you give up and leave. On the opposite side of the coin, you can randomly have Julianna come into your game and if she (or anything) kills you three times EVEN IF IT’S RIGHT AS YOU HAVE ATTAINED YOUR GOAL, you are dead and have to start over. If I could have reached through the dualshock and headbutted that player, I would have.

Deathloop Strelak Verso
Bethesda Softworks /

5. Best – Infuse Me, Baby

Killing Wenjie and getting the ability to collect Residuum and infuse your gear is literally the best thing when playing Deathloop. When I say that the first 3 hours were rough for me, it’s because I was working to infuse everything. When you infuse a gun, a slab or a trinket, that means that even if you die, you don’t lose it. In a game where you will die…a LOT…being able to keep your favorite guns and abilities can mean achieving your goal or waking up soggy with sand in your butt crack all over again.

4. Worst – Playing the Same Maps….a lot

Because you are playing the same day over and over again, you will play the same four maps over and over again. Granted, the environment of each map changes a little depending on what time of day you visit that location, but it’s not enough to not make it feel like you are playing the same thing. You begin to feel Colt’s frustration at seeing the same a-holes over and over in the same spots. While the repetition can be used to your advantage later on, it would be nice for a little variety, you know what I mean?

3. Best – The Investigation

How do you make the same four maps over and over again seem playable? You make it a mystery, of course! So, your main goal in Deathloop is to kill all eight Visionaries in one day to break the loop and the only way to do that is to figure out how to get them all together. Every time you play a map during a particular time period, you may find a new clue, a new paper to read, a new tape to play or a way to manipulate a Visionary to get them where you want to go. You will use that new information you gather to manipulate something in their environment so on the next loop, they move where you want them to. It’s a strange little game of chess and I like it.

2. Worst – Reprise This

Oh, it seems like fun and games. If you die, you rewind a bit and get to try again. Die a third time and you can suck it. Goodbye everything you have picked up and not infused with Residuum. Goodbye to any progress. Goodbye to your sanity. I have to tell you that this mechanic caused me to teach my child new cuss words involuntarily. Until you get things infused, you’re screwed. It sucks. THIS right here is the reason why it took such a long time for me to really get into Deathloop. I had to grind the same map on repeat until I got all my favorites to stick around.

1. Best – The Dialogue

There’s something so delicious about a good game that has incredible dialogue. Sure, sure, a good story is important but if you have terrible banter, then it can really take you out of the moment. Every time you enter a map, you get this little bit of banter between Julianna and Colt and it was just *chef’s kiss* perfect every time. While the dialogue of the random Eternalists are pretty boring, the tapes that you can play recorded by the Visionaries are awesome. Not only that, the writing in the computer messages is worth a read every time. Arkane Studios gets an A+ in creative writing.

Overall, I feel that the high ratings that Deathloop has been given are worth it. Would I give it a perfect 10? No, but it’s easily an 8.5 or even a 9/10. There are some issues but none of them are because the game wasn’t finished (aside from that excruciating multiplayer). The story and writing is solid, the graphics are solid and we finally have a game that functions the way it’s supposed to. It arrived in our hands finished and unique and I definitely would give Deathloop a big recommendation.