Arkane Studios has built an impressive reputation for itself, regularly releasing quality titles like the Dishonored series and the Prey reboot. Arkane’s latest game is the PS5 console exclusive Deathloop, and it’s a Game of the Year contender that’s just as good, if not better than the studio’s best games. In Deathloop, an assassin named Colt finds himself stuck in a time loop on Blackreef Island, which keeps replaying the same day. Colt’s goal is to kill the leaders on the island, known as the Visionaries, but the twist is that he is being hunted at the same time. A rival assassin named Julianna is out for blood, relentlessly pursuing Colt and killing him repeatedly as he does everything he can to try to close the loop. Julianna and Colt have an entertaining conversation, with Deathloop using the DualSense controller’s speaker to good effect as the two joke around with each other. Both characters have great personalities and fun dialogue, with their relationship standing out as the highlight of Deathloop’s story. The Visionaries isn’t very memorable and the narrative doesn’t really do anything exciting, but the Colt and Julianna dynamic is intriguing enough and the gameplay is of such high quality that most players probably won’t care. missing story. But what’s even more interesting about the rivalry between Colt and Julianna is that she’s not just an NPC. Conversely, Julianna is controlled by another player who invades Colt’s game. Deathloop’s Julianna raids are a revelation that pushes the game to the next level. Deathloop Julianna’s invasions takes a fun first-person single-player adventure and injects it with a healthy dose of adrenaline that can only come from competitive multiplayer games. Players will feel intense dread, excitement, and panic every time a notification pops up on the screen that Juliana is “looking for.” Julianna’s fights are both intense and hilarious, leading to watercooler moments that will no doubt result in endless streamer clips and compilation videos. When player-controlled Julianna invades a game of Deathloop, Colt has no real idea where she might be hiding. The person playing the Colt has two different ways they can get out alive in the confrontation with Julianna. One way is to hack her antenna and escape through the tunnels, and the other is to fight Julianna directly and kill her. Julianna has a serious tactical advantage since none of the enemies in the level will attack her, but since Colt has multiple lives and she only has one, it balances itself out. On paper, Julianna’s attacks seem annoying and disruptive, but Colt’s many lives ensure that they are rare. There are definitely high-stakes moments when players wish Julianna hadn’t invaded, but it usually makes the whole invasion mechanic more exciting. Players have the option to turn off Julianna’s player-controlled invasions, but Deathloop is more fun with it on. Colt’s three lives and the game’s relatively small maps ensure that these Deathloop raids never get frustrating. There will likely be times when players will get behind thanks to an invading Julianna killing them and making them lose all their leftovers (Deathloop’s in-game currency), but it won’t take long to get back on track right away . Of course, Deathloop players can also play as Julianna and do some raiding themselves. The heart of the game is Colt’s adventure, but playing as Julianna has a lot of thrills as well, and it uses a completely different progression system. Instead of collecting leftovers and spending points to maintain equipment like Colt had to, Julianna gains experience, levels, equipment, and abilities by performing well when chasing Colt and being creative along the way of his killing her. Playing as Julianna isn’t as much fun as playing as Colt, but it’s still enough fun to give Deathloop a boost in replay value. Basically, Deathloop takes game mechanics from traditional roguelikes, keeping the cool things about them while removing what makes them inaccessible to the more casual crowd. Players have to deal with PvP invasions like in Dark Souls, but they have multiple attempts to fight their invader instead of one. Deathloop players have to return to their fallen bodies to recover their remains when they die, but Colt usually has three lives to do so, compared to Dark Souls where there is only one chance to recover one’s lost soul. Ending a day means starting again from “scratch” like in a roguelike, but Colt can spend the rest to unlock permanent upgrades that make each run easier. Some may find Deathloop too easy. After players obtain Deathloop’s Aether slab, which allows Colt to become invisible, they can abuse it to get out of almost any sticky situation they may find themselves in, including confrontations with player-controlled Juliannas. Slab upgrades make Colt’s abilities even more overpowering, and combine that with an ever-growing arsenal of increasingly powerful weapons and players will soon find themselves nearly unstoppable . Enemy AI is also remarkably stupid, enemies can sometimes be seen mindlessly walking through doorways and are rarely a threat. Players can easily pick them off one by one with silenced weapons and clear entire levels without breaking a sweat. Making too much noise and being overbearing won’t end well for Colt, but Deathloop makes it easy to play the game stealthily. Not to punish the players, but rather let them live a power fantasy by giving them incredible powers and let them escape the four main levels of Blackreef. Blackreef Island consists of four stages that have all kinds of interiors to explore along with plenty of outdoor space. And even if it doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s worth pointing out that each area has four variants – one for each cycle of the day. Deathloop’s time loop features a Morning section, a Noon section, an Afternoon section, and finally, an Evening section, where it all starts and players find themselves back in the Morning. It’s fun to see how the Deathloop levels change from one time of day to the next. For example, it might be snowing somewhere at a certain time of day, or there might be a party going on that Colt might crash. Certain rooms are only accessible at certain times of the day, so players will have to spend days exploring each area for loot and clues on how to accomplish Colt’s ultimate goal, which is kill all the Visionaries and break the loop. One might think that all this would be overwhelming, but Deathloop keeps track of all the important details for the player, and thus always has a clear goal to strive for and there is no need to write anything down. The game automatically remembers the passwords and codes Colt collects, and it tells players exactly where the next objective is and what time of day it takes for them to complete that objective. Some may find it a little too hand-held and it goes back to Deathloop a little too easily, but the alternative is likely to leave a lot of people confused and frustrated. Even though the game lets players know when they’ve figured out how to deal with a Visionary and the method they can use to kill them, there’s still plenty of room for experimentation. By studying Deathloop’s Visionaries, players will learn secret ways to kill them that they may not have thought of before. It’s fun to figure out how to best use Colt’s abilities to take down each Visionary as efficiently as possible. Deathloop pulls off the time loop gimmick very well, though there is a downside to it. Since the day keeps resetting, Deathloop players will find themselves having to repeat tedious sections of the game, which can hurt its pacing. Players can try to make these repetitive sections more entertaining by using different weapons and abilities, but it can still get old. It’s something that’s inevitable over the course of Deathloop’s time, though the positives of the premise certainly outweigh the negatives. Deathloop is one of the best games of 2021 and one of the best PS5 console exclusives so far. Arkane has once again hit it out of the park, with the PS5 getting another must-have title for its growing library of exclusive games. Deathloop may be too easy and there’s definitely a bit of tedium tied to the time loop, but players will usually be happy enough to overlook some of its shortcomings. Today Technology reviewed Deathloop on the Neuron 4000D from Origin PC. Origin offers a variety of customizable PCs that can meet any gamers’ needs. Read more about Neuron here. Deathloop launched on September 14 for PC and PS5.