The Top 10 Games Of 2021: DEATHLOOP
If you like Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day and also have a penchant for blasting enemies in the face with a shotgun without having to worry about the consequences, chances are, Arkane Studios' DEATHLOOP is for you.
The concept of time loop games are nothing new, but coming from the studio that also gave us the Dishonoured series as well as Prey, there was more than enough to get us parting with our cash. Add in a dash of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with a bit of Skyfall, and you've got the almost perfect first-person shooter cocktail.
DEATHLOOP injected plenty of Arkane's signature humour into things, while Colt Vahn is a comedic and collected hero everyone could get behind. Alongside this, we had the antagonistic Julianna Blake, who is constantly hunting Vahn but still maintaining her own personality. What sets DEATHLOOP apart from the competition is the fact you'll die a lot - which is only part of the fun.
Each time you wake up on the beaches of Blackreef and get ready to tackle a new day, you learn something new about Colt's mission and how he ended up in the time-trapped turntable of terror. There's no real linear path to how you tackle toppling the eight Visionaries, meaning you can enjoy the sights and sounds of this immersive world at your own leisure.
The voice acting in DEATHLOOP is unparalleled, so each character is more diabolically crafted than the last. Few stories let you get as lost in them as DEATHLOOP, so it's sometimes easy to forget you have a list to get through. Either way, there's more than enough time to get to grips with Blackreef and its rotten rogues.
There's a lot that feels familiar in DEATHLOOP, with the aesthetic giving the vibes of Monolith's underrated No One Lives Forever. It's also easy to see comparisons with 2K's beloved BioShock games. Blackreef's colourful backdrop isn't too dissimilar to the dystopian Rapture, while blasting enemies with your various abilities conjure up memories of using Plasmids.
Even though Microsoft's purchase of ZeniMax Media now means Arkane falls under the Xbox umbrella, DEATHLOOP feels like a perfect love letter to bow out Arkane's PlayStation exclusivity. We can easily imagine where a DEATHLOOP sequel could go, but with the story currently lying dormant, we'll have to wait and see whether DEATHLOOP 2 will be an Xbox exclusive.
Since the PlayStation 5 released, there have been complaints there isn't much reason to stump up the cash. Thankfully, DEATHLOOP joins the like of Returnal and the Demon's Souls remake as a more than valid reason to pick up your DualSense controller.