Arkane’s previous series Dishonored is loved by its fans but many people bounced off it and were left with a bad taste in their mouth. Here are 4 reasons why you should still be interested in Deathloop despite not enjoying Arkane’s backlog.
1. Gameplay is more free-flowing and the Gunplay is satisfying.
Perhaps something that puts people off Dishonored is the game is very punishing towards mistakes. Dishonored feels like a stealth game first and foremost. Whilst it can be played as more of a shooter its design feels more tailored towards sneaking about. Kicking the door down and shooting everyone on sight is a viable strategy on lower difficulties but leads to a higher chaos rating and a more sinister ending.
Deathloop is much more approachable towards shooting, and as such, it is an even more viable option. There is a variety of guns to obtain with trinkets which provide buffs to their abilities. Combined with the Dualsense haptic feedback they feel much more powerful than the one pistol from Dishonored.
Additionally, in Dishonored when you are trying to do stealth and fail, your only choices are to reload your save if you are going for a ghost playthrough, or try hiding or fighting your way out of the encounter. The latter may set off nearby alarms and cause even more enemies to come running to you.
Deathloop is much more free-flowing and when being seen it is much easier to take the enemy out without them alerting every enemy in the area. Even if there are a lot of enemies in the area shooting yourself to safety is more satisfying and less punishing than in Dishonored.
Additionally, because of the PlayStation 5’s SSD, there is less waiting after death. No longer will the player be forced to wait thirty seconds between attempts for the game to reload. Deathloop starts the player with a reprise ability, which on death rewinds time to the last safe point. After the third time, you will have to restart the loop but there is still room for errors. It is much more player-friendly than being forced to watch a loading screen because you tried something risky.
2. Gripping character development from voiced protagonists and antagonists
The original Dishonored featured a silent protagonist. In the game’s DLC The Knife of Dunwall the team experimented with having Daud, the new protagonist, be fully voiced. Daud was one of the main antagonists of the main game with an established personality so having him be the new voice of the player was a risk that ultimately paid off. Daud was much cooler than Corvo and consequently, he and his band of merry assassins became fan favourites. His inspiration is felt in Arkane’s later work.
Deathloop from the outset has the character Colt be fully expressive and talkative. His personality is fully established right from the outset. His back-and-forth dialogues with Juliana are witty and funny. Players are going to be more likely to want to see how Colt finds his way out of the loop compared to the ‘will the masked hero find the girl and save the day’ plot of Dishonored.
Deathloop’s world-building is also a treat to the eye, with visually distinctive and colourful inspirations from the last century. Dunwall was also a masterclass in world-building but with a more expressive protagonist comes a much more intriguing world you’ll want to explore.
3. More fun on the first playthrough
If you have not been able to tell by now, I personally am I big fan of Dishonored. The biggest issue I have with the series though is it took me more than one playthrough to fully understand and appreciate the director’s intention. I can understand why other players may not enjoy it. There is a bit of time investment needed to understand how to play it. The enjoyment of the series for me comes from replaying levels in different ways and seeing the same mission play out in completely different ways and feeling like I mastered the levels.
Because of Deathloop’s Groundhog Day time loops, you naturally have to replay sections many times. This isn’t repetitive as you will do it at different times of day whilst achieving different objectives. No longer is exploring levels in new ways with different abilities something that is relegated to a second or third playthrough, but instead ingrained into the DNA of Deathloop’s gameplay. It’s all the better for it.
Between time periods you can change your arsenal of guns and powers, allowing you to tailor your approach. Trial and error is still part of the gameplay, however, it is much better integrated. You are always learning new information and acquiring new weapons to make each loop worthwhile.
4. It keeps the things you thought you might like about Dishonored
When fans of Dishonored talk about the game, they normally mention the nonlinear level designs, the awesome power-ups, and the ability to make each playthrough unique.
Deathloop has all these things in droves. The Level Design allows for different routes and areas to be taken each time. Deathloop straight out steals a few of Dishonored’s supernatural abilities. Blink, the short-range teleportation ability, is so clever and opens up so many avenues for vertical exploration, stealth and has a use in combat. To see it appear in Deathloop, albeit under the new name of Shift, is joyful and opens up the same opportunities in this world as it did in Dunwall. Honestly, I am surprised it hasn’t been stolen by more games.
It is clear to many Dishonored players that Deathloop is built upon the same game philosophy as the previous Arkane Studio’s titles. I feel personally that Deathloop is the most player-friendly and aproachable title they have made to date.
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