Published on September 13th, 2021 | by Chris O'Connor
Death Loop PS5 Review
Summary: Stuck in a time loop, the only way out is to kill eight key targets... but to figure out how to kill them all within one day you're going to have to die yourself... many times!
I’ll get this out of the way early, Death Loop is like Groundhog day if it involved a game of hide and seek… with extreme violence. You start the game (and soon learn your name is Colt) on a beach and messages appear to help you relearn who you are and what you are doing. Your apparent nemesis Julianna is ever present, taunting you and deriding you. After some exploration and possibly a death or two, you learn that you are stuck in a time loop. Everytime you die you are reset back to the beach, starting the day again. At the end of the day you also find yourself back on the beach starting the day again. You need to find out what is going on and ideally how to stop it.
Visually… it’s clear Bethesda and Arkane Lyon wanted to really use the extra oomph in the Playstation 5. You can adjust the visuals depending on how you like to view your game:
- Performance mode to prioritise a steady 60 FPS framerate at a dynamic 4K* resolution.
- Visual Quality mode to prioritise a higher resolution image, whilst still targeting 60 FPS.
- Raytracing mode to add cutting-edge visual effects whilst targeting 30 FPS at a dynamic 4K.
If your screen supports it… you might as well make the most of it because a lot of effort has gone in to making this world quite stunning. In some ways it reminded me of the game “We Happy Few” but if it had a far more serious and realistic tone to it.
Now I will admit… I’m not a great controller gamer… I much prefer my keyboard and mouse, especially with first person shooters, but I kind of don’t mind the controller here. The way the game is set up, you really can approach your tasks with stealth or sheer force and either can work (I ended up going for a mix of both). The fact that you have locations where you have a bit of space means I didn’t feel quite as fiddly when lining up my shots… of course when all hell broke loose and enemies showed up that I hadn’t taken the time to spot… then my shooting got sloppy. But extra kudos for the fact that all this action is felt via the haptic controllers the PS5 have provided.
As if all of that wasn’t fun enough, the multiplayer element fits perfectly into the story, in more ways than one. The main game sees you as Colt trying to break the loop… but after you have completed the first portion of the game you can choose to play as Julianna and try to protect the loop. Multiplayer allows you to jump into someone else’s game and try and stop them achieving their goals. The drip feed of information is great too. As you progress you uncover new clues, clues that can lead to access to locations that were previously shut to you, knowledge about when a key target is at a given location or when an event is happening that you need to be at. Just like in Groundhog day, it will take a few deaths to figure out the best way to complete the day in order to accomplish your mission.
Weapons and abilities are also crucial here. Often loadouts are more about personal preference than anything else and here that is also true but they can also mean the difference between success and failure. You have some key weapon types, silenced weapon, machine gun, shotgun and long range… but you can only take three weapons (plus a melee) so you have to find the combination that works best for you. You also have access to grenades and a hackamajig that you can use to control or shutdown some of the defenses or security devices you encounter. Tracking enemy movements enables you to learn what weapon they have and where they patrol which leads to helping you decide if you can afford to sneak up to them and take them out quietly or if you are better off going in guns blazing.
There’s a lot to enjoy here and the banter between Colt and Julianna is entertaining in and of itself… Colt starting out being very unsure of himself (not even knowing who he is to start with) to (re)gaining his confidence and going on the offensive. There’s a lot of swearing and a lot of blood shed so this clearly isn’t for the younger gamers or those who are sensitive to such things… but for the rest of us this is a lot of fun!
Grab a copy and start dying as soon as you can!