As much as I like using my PS5, I’ve long harped about Sony’s stellar console lacking a major exclusive game. The PS5 needs a title that justifies enduring the rigors of finding where to buy the PS5, and getting your hands on a console before it sells out in mere moments. Sure Demon’s Souls is great, but it's a remaster of an old game. Deathloop, on the other hand, may be just the game the console needs.
Developer Arkane Studios has already shown off this PS5 timed exclusive before. But the trailer it had for Sony’s latest State of Play was simply killer, both literally and figuratively.
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Before I go on, let me recap what we know about Deathloop so far. The game puts you in the boots of Cole: a man who must kill eight elusive targets within 24 hours, on the mysterious island of Blackreef. That seems like a simple-but-challenging objective.
However, there are two twists. The first is Cole is trapped in a time loop, where he repeats the same day over and over. Each time you die or run out of time, it’s not game over, but you’ll go back to the start, where you wake up on a beach.
That loop is only broken once you dispatch all eight targets in a single time loop. You don’t start from scratch with each loop; rather you get to keep the weapons and skills you’ve acquired, as well as the knowledge of your targets. Each new loop should see you inch ever-closer to taking out all eight antagonists before the 24 hours are up.
But things get trickier still. You’re being chased by a counter-assassin called Julianna Blake, who can disguise herself as any character in the game. Furthermore, real human players can take control of her, and effectively invade your game, much like the in FromSoftware’s Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
I can see this being a good gaming anecdote generator. Imagine one player, just about to end the life of the last target, only to be stopped suddenly by an invading player's sniper shot.
This premise alone makes a solid foundation for an interesting and exciting game. But this is an Arkane game. And Arkane made the critically acclaimed Dishonored and Dishonored 2, both of which are firm favorite games of mine.
As such Deathloop, doesn’t just see Cole sport a mix of guns and garottes, but also magical powers that allow him to ‘blink’ across environment and propel enemies through the sky. Clearly, there will be a lot more ways to kill the eight targets than just a well placed headshot.
Drawing further from Dishonored's DNA, the island of Blackreef is divided into four unique districts, much like Dishonored 2’s Karnaca. These locations mix an art-deco aesthetic with the color palette and visual style of a 1970s spy comic.
Add in the retro-future stylings inspired by Arkane’s Prey, and ray tracing for realistic lighting, and you’ve got a very slick and stylish game, in my opinion.
The latest Déjà Vu trailer adds in a Bond-style theme tune and a dollop of fresh gameplay footage, which ramps up my excitement for Deathloop up to a fever pitch.
Mixing Dishonored-inspired action with a 70s-style spy narrative and aesthetic is gaming catnip to me. But add in the multiplayer element and, potentially, the promise of advanced haptic feedback from the DualSense controller, and you're looking at a game that could be a must-have for the PS5.
All that means as we near May 21, I’ll probably shift my stance from “you don’t need a PS5” to “my goodness, go out and get one as soon as you can.”
Yes, I’m fickle, don't @ me.