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Deathloop - Tales from the Loop


Mr Do 71
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I'm still playing this, and still waiting for it to reveal its greatness to me, if I'm honest. It's intriguing and I want to keep playing it, so it must be doing something right, but at the moment it's lacking a particular something that's stopping it from being special.

 

I can't say I like the environments that much compared with earlier Arkane games, and due to the very nature of this game they lose a lot of their initial novelty on repeated visits, to the point where you just want to get from A to B quickly and don't really pay attention to where you are anyway.

 

And I'm still not sure about the game's entirely non-linear approach. I know that this is kind of the point of immersive sim games, but it still feels like I'm missing out on the best the game has to offer because the game doesn't require you to take that approach.

 

Last night, for example, I went to take down the wolf guy for the first time. It was obvious as soon as I arrived in the level that I'd need some kind of item (I'm presuming a wolf mask) to get into the party, but I didn't have one and I didn't find one from the journey from the tunnel exit to the party entrance. When I got there I noticed the bouncers outside and a turret, and seeing as there was seemingly only one way in, I just remote controlled the turret from behind a rock, which immediately killed the two bouncers. Once inside I got the pop up to say that I needed to figure out which of the wolves was my mark, but instead of doing that I just set up the three turrets that were in the little room immediately to the right as you come into the party, then I started shooting people and lobbing grenades. About thirty seconds later, the real wolf guy appeared, immediately got shot, and that was that. It was only once he was dead that I explored his area and noticed the various things I could have done, but ultimately I didn't need to.

 

I like that the game doesn't hold your hand too much, but at the same time I think it would be cool if it forced you to kill each visionary in the Hitman way first time, then let you experiment later. At the moment I feel like I'm missing out.

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Am I right in thinking 

Spoiler

You have to take down the eight and grab their slabs multiple times for that quest line graphic to be completed with the orange tick thing at the end of it?

 

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

I like that the game doesn't hold your hand too much, but at the same time I think it would be cool if it forced you to kill each visionary in the Hitman way first time, then let you experiment later. At the moment I feel like I'm missing out.

It's just doing it in the reverse order really. I think the first run through is supposed to be a series of noisy shootouts. Next time you'll know more, or find a different way in, or be equipped with different powers, and you may find the previous approach doesn't work as well.

 

This is why I really like the loop format. It's a common problem I find with these kind of games that I clear out an area in some ham-fisted way and then only afterwards see all the other options that were available. Here, the accumulation of knowledge is built into the structure, expecting me to go back and use what I've learned.

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3 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

It's just doing it in the reverse order really. I think the first run through is supposed to be a series of noisy shootouts. Next time you'll know more, or find a different way in, or be equipped with different powers, and you may find the previous approach doesn't work as well.

 

This is why I really like the loop format. It's a common problem I find with these kind of games that I clear out an area in some ham-fisted way and then only afterwards see all the other options that were available. Here, the accumulation of knowledge is built into the structure, expecting me to go back and use what I've learned.

 

That's true. Although, I imagine by the end of the game, once you're trying to get all of them in one loop, you'll just be wanting to take them down as quickly as possible, not setting up all the elaborate traps and so on. I'll find out, I guess. I'm looking forward to a longer session on it later.

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43 minutes ago, macosx said:

Am I right in thinking 

  Hide contents

You have to take down the eight and grab their slabs multiple times for that quest line graphic to be completed with the orange tick thing at the end of it?

 


Yep, I think you have to unlock all the upgrades for each. 

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

That's true. Although, I imagine by the end of the game, once you're trying to get all of them in one loop, you'll just be wanting to take them down as quickly as possible, not setting up all the elaborate traps and so on. I'll find out, I guess. I'm looking forward to a longer session on it later.


You are more likely to want to use the elaborate traps etc as they are usually a lot quieter. Time is on your side as you never run out of time during a period, but if you have to complete multiple objectives it’s a lot easier to do them quietly instead of having everyone shoot at you (the guns blazing route is still always possible though!)

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On the topic of the wolf masks, there's an optional objective to get one but I never figured out how to do so. What did I miss?

Spoiler

I did rescue the mask maker guy but only got a gun and a note about some of the visionaries and their masks. Was that a hint that its in the missile silo or something?

 

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5 hours ago, Jamie John said:

When I got there I noticed the bouncers outside and a turret, and seeing as there was seemingly only one way in

 

There are at least 3 distinct ways to get onto the grounds of that house.

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Hmm. I'm just not sure about this game.

 

My experience of 2 hours play this evening:

 

- Following on from yesterday, I finished my first Alexis run after getting two slabs (from killing him and Juliana) and a load of trinkets, and exploring the party house. I go to leave via the tunnels, get to the menu and encounter a bug where I can't sacrifice any stuff, then just get stuck on a screen saying 'Press X to continue'. I have to restart the game. Luckily, it saves my slabs and trinkets and restarts me at the end of day menu, so I spend some time sorting them out before closing the loop.

 

- Start a new loop. I don't seem to have too much to do in the morning slot so I decide to stop the firework shop from burning down. Half-way through the level on the way there, however, I get a random hard crash and am booted back to the PS home screen. Reloading the game, this time my progress wasn't saved so I have to start the day again. I destroy all of the electricity stations supplying power to the firework shop, get a pop-up to say come back later, fight/sprint my way back to the tunnels and leave.

 

- I return to Updaam immediately for the noon slot, again, because I don't have anything else to do at this time. Before heading to the firework shop once more, I stop by the library and open a safe I got a code for somewhere else, only to find that there's a talking wolf doll inside who doesn't tell me anything and is literally there to be annoying. I also find a rigged machine for a smoking contest, apparently, but I've got no idea what that's about. Anyway, I make my way to the firework shop again, expecting to find a new message on the computer terminal so I can continue Frank's story, only to find that it's burnt down. I look this up and discover it's another known bug: apparently, the shop sometimes just burns down anyway, even if you've taken steps in the morning to stop it from doing so. 

 

...

 

- While I'm in Updaam, I decide to kill Charlie again to upgrade my shift slab. I creep through his game house, stealthing through windows and so on, but then happen to get caught. As soon as I do this everyone is on me immediately. I die once, get rewound to the outside of the building where the game drops me down a cliff and I die again instantly. Luckily, after that, I'm rewound somewhere safer, make my way back inside and kill Charlie, nab his slab upgrade and try to make my escape, but now I've got very low health and everyone shooting me. I manage to get outside, only to step near a mine which I couldn't see, so it's goodbye Colt, game over screen, and back to the start.

 

It was a bit shit, and not much fun. I really want to like this, but I'm wondering whether I should wait for the Xbox version next year instead. The bugs are a massive pain, and I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't feel like I'm making much progress and more like I'm scrabbling around in the dark.

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The Wolf doll is not literally there to be annoying, although when you find out why I'm not sure you're gonna like it.

 

I had 2 hard crashes in my entire time playing, I don't recognise those other bugs to be honest.

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1 hour ago, Dudley said:

The Wolf doll is not literally there to be annoying, although when you find out why I'm not sure you're gonna like it.

 

Well, I was being a touch facetious there. I listened to everything he said, though, and didn't seem to get any useful information from him, apart from that Alexis is an arsehole, which I knew already. It felt like a dead end.

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

Well, I was being a touch facetious there. I listened to everything he said, though, and didn't seem to get any useful information from him, apart from that Alexis is an arsehole, which I knew already. It felt like a dead end.

 

I'd be on the edge of spoiling but you WILL be seeing it again.

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It's taken me about twelve hours, but I'm bang into this now, although I feel like I'm coming towards the end with six out of eight of the visionary quests fully done. It's been a slow burn, and even with the lengthy tutorial it's very overwhelming to begin with, in both the systems and the amount you're required to learn. But, it's coming together at last, and I can't wait to see how Colt's gonna take all of these motherfuckas down.

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Something to note - as I'm not sure it has been mentioned much before and sort of ties into some of @Jamie John's comments earlier in the week.

 

Don't feel like you have to play every time slot of every day, the loop mechanic is there to be looped. If you feel like on one day there isn't anything meaningful to do until the evening just skip the time slots ahead. Similarly, if you pick up a piece of equipment or slab you really want don't feel you have to battle through levels and risking death, just skip to the end of the day to infuse it and loop again. I religiously played each slot to begin with but after a while I was much more selective about which bits I played each time and found it eases any sense of meaningless repetition.

 

Re: Bugs... @Jamie John Sorry to hear you've had issues. The PS5 version was rock solid for me the entire play through so not sure why you are getting such a different experience.

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9 hours ago, FiveFootNinja said:

. Similarly, if you pick up a piece of equipment or slab you really want don't feel you have to battle through levels and risking death, just skip to the end of the day to infuse it and loop again.

You can infuse 4 times in a day, whenever time progresses. It’s available from the load out screen. 

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Just rolled credits on this. I thought the ending was very disappointing.

 

Spoiler

When was I supposed to have learnt that Juliana was my daughter? Maybe I'm thick, but I missed that entirely. The first I heard about it was when Colt mentioned it over the radio when he speaks to Juliana on the morning of the final day. I got that he was originally involved with the military personnel who came to the island, but that's about it.

 

Looking at Wiki, it seems that he was sent into the future and then wanted to get back to the past to be with Lila, his girlfriend, but most of that completely escaped me. I figured out who Lila was, but that was about it. Who were the other Colts? Why did they look different from me? Why was Juliana on the island in the first place? I thought I was being pretty thorough, but evidently that wasn't the case as I didn't find the answers to any of these (and other) questions. As such, the plot reveals felt like complete damp squibs and a failure of storytelling, overall.

 

As for the last day itself, I managed it on my first attempt without breaking a sweat, and it was wholly unsatisfying. I didn't have to engage with any of the Hitman-style kills at all:

 

  • Frank - followed the objective markers and sabotaged his fireworks. Done.
  • Harriet - snuck into the hangar, shifted through her laser alarms, crept up on her as she was delivering her sermon and point blank shotgunned her in the back of the head. Fled the scene.
  • Fia and Charlie - crept into the pumping station, Nexused both of them and then snuck up and double tapped Charlie with the shotgun, killing them both instantly. Ignored the flooding mechanic. Fled the scene.
  • Egor and Wenjie - snuck into the party house and shifted onto the roof, Nexused both of them (and the other party members they were with), shot Charlie twice with the Rapier with exploding bullets, killing him, Wenjie and everyone else. Juliana spawned immediately afterwards and investigated the scene. I turned invisible, waited for her to get nearby, then shot her in the back of the head. (Although, apparently, this doesn't count as she turned up again later, very much alive. I'm not sure how that works, except because the game needs it to.)
  • Alexis - I've no idea what happened but he just randomly died after I'd killed Egor and Wenjie. I don't know how. Friendly fire, maybe? He seemed to know I'd infiltrated his manor and was taunting me over the loudspeaker, and I was preparing to hunt him down, but the next minute I'd got the pop up to say he'd been killed. I fled the scene and then followed the objective marker to the rocket car.
  • Juliana - Shot her in the head with the pistol after the cutscene, blew myself up with a grenade, spawned again on the beach, she disappeared. Credits.

5lD.gif.a0973532df120e2f557782d06b18423e.gif

 

 

It was just rubbish. I had been planning on getting all the secrets and doing the sidequests, maybe even going for the Platinum, but the ending has just turned me off doing all of that entirely and I've decided to just sell this on instead. It's a real shame, as despite thinking I was going to abandon this a couple of times early on, once it had finally got its hooks into me I found it really compelling. The anticlimax of the ending has just really irritated me, however, and I don't want to spend any more time with it at all now, because what's the point?

 

Ultimately, there is some fun to be had here, but if you're going to make the path of least resistance through the game the most boring one, then I imagine this will be the path that most players will take. Moreover, by the end, Colt's glibness had grown tedious, the other characters are all caricatures who you never really get to know properly anyway, and Juliana doesn't seem to have any arc whatsoever.

 

For a game that's this overwhelming at the start, it becomes incredibly underwhelming by the end. Like @Moz, I don't understand how this has been as critically acclaimed as it has been. Presumably those reviewers didn't finish it.

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6 hours ago, Jamie John said:

For a game that's overwhelming at the start and then underwhelming by the end. Like @Moz, I don't understand how this has been as critically acclaimed as it has been. Presumably those reviewers didn't finish it.

Why would you assume that rather than put it down to other people having a different experience to you?

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49 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Why would you assume that rather than put it down to other people having a different experience to you?

 

I was being facetious; I'm sure those reviewers did finish it. I just can't understand how any of them could have found the ending satisfying. From reading about the 

Spoiler

other endings, they sound even worse: either the loop just restarts again, or you end up allying with Juliana to hunt the other visionaries for sport for all eternity.

 

Moreover, for me, the ending in no way earns its narrative ambiguity. And regardless of a lack of closure, it's just so abrupt. 

Spoiler

I was envisioning a tense game of cat and mouse through an entirely new area with loads of weird time travel stuff happening once I'd arrived at the loop, maybe involving the other Colts you'd run into along the way. I was predicting there would be several different Julianas to kill in a big showdown (and this would explain how I was able to kill her earlier that day but another version of her was still alive in the loop building, pulling all the strings).

 

Instead, I walked down two corridors and got a cutscene.

 

You don't even see Colt flying the rocket car properly. He just sits in it, makes a few profane observations, the screen fades in and out, then suddenly you're (apparently) crashing into the side of the loop. The entire thing felt rushed and cheap, as if the developers weren't given time to finish the game properly.

 

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10 hours ago, Jamie John said:

Just rolled credits on this. I thought the ending was very disappointing.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

When was I supposed to have learnt that Juliana was my daughter? Maybe I'm thick, but I missed that entirely. The first I heard about it was when Colt mentioned it over the radio when he speaks to Juliana on the morning of the final day. I got that he was originally involved with the military personnel who came to the island, but that's about it.

 

Looking at Wiki, it seems that he was sent into the future and then wanted to get back to the past to be with Lila, his girlfriend, but most of that completely escaped me. I figured out who Lila was, but that was about it. Who were the other Colts? Why did they look different from me? Why was Juliana on the island in the first place? I thought I was being pretty thorough, but evidently that wasn't the case as I didn't find the answers to any of these (and other) questions. As such, the plot reveals felt like complete damp squibs and a failure of storytelling, overall.

 

As for the last day itself, I managed it on my first attempt without breaking a sweat, and it was wholly unsatisfying. I didn't have to engage with any of the Hitman-style kills at all:

 

  • Frank - followed the objective markers and sabotaged his fireworks. Done.
  • Harriet - snuck into the hangar, shifted through her laser alarms, crept up on her as she was delivering her sermon and point blank shotgunned her in the back of the head. Fled the scene.
  • Fia and Charlie - crept into the pumping station, Nexused both of them and then snuck up and double tapped Charlie with the shotgun, killing them both instantly. Ignored the flooding mechanic. Fled the scene.
  • Egor and Wenjie - snuck into the party house and shifted onto the roof, Nexused both of them (and the other party members they were with), shot Charlie twice with the Rapier with exploding bullets, killing him, Wenjie and everyone else. Juliana spawned immediately afterwards and investigated the scene. I turned invisible, waited for her to get nearby, then shot her in the back of the head. (Although, apparently, this doesn't count as she turned up again later, very much alive. I'm not sure how that works, except because the game needs it to.)
  • Alexis - I've no idea what happened but he just randomly died after I'd killed Egor and Wenjie. I don't know how. Friendly fire, maybe? He seemed to know I'd infiltrated his manor and was taunting me over the loudspeaker, and I was preparing to hunt him down, but the next minute I'd got the pop up to say he'd been killed. I fled the scene and then followed the objective marker to the rocket car.
  • Juliana - Shot her in the head with the pistol after the cutscene, blew myself up with a grenade, spawned again on the beach, she disappeared. Credits.

5lD.gif.a0973532df120e2f557782d06b18423e.gif

 

 

 

I have literally no idea how you could have missed this.  It's revealed incredibly loudly and mentioned constantly for the remaining several hours of the game before the finale.  

 

The ending I will agree is weak but endings are weak in virtually everything. No-one ever likes endings.

 

For the record I've certainly finished it and with 2 months to go it's my game of the year by a country mile, unless Forza 5 does a lot more than the Forza 4 with a lovely new map I'm expecting (and very much looking forward to)

 

You've missed several other things too, it almost seems like you played the thing muted and went out of your way not to read anything tbh.  But the short version (and this isn't a spoiler literally after the tutorial), there are several Julianas in exactly the same way there are several Colts.

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21 minutes ago, Dudley said:

 

I have literally no idea how you could have missed this.  It's revealed incredibly loudly and mentioned constantly for the remaining several hours of the game before the finale.  

 

Really?! Where? As I said, the first time I heard it mentioned was on the morning of the final day. I'd reached the credits about thirty minutes later. 'Mentioned constantly for the remaining several hours of the game before the finale' is a massive stretch, and doesn't reflect my experience at all. Is it mentioned when you go to one of the 

Spoiler

Horizon stations, the one where you hear Lila's voice? I thought I was being thorough in my searching and reading through the audiologs, etc., but I must have missed it. I can't think where else it would have come up. There definitely wasn't anything on screen to hammer home the revelation, like there was with every other plot point.

24 minutes ago, Dudley said:

(Ignore)

 

 

26 minutes ago, Dudley said:

You've missed several other things too, it almost seems like you played the thing muted and went out of your way not to read anything tbh.  But the short version (and this isn't a spoiler literally after the tutorial), there are several Julianas in exactly the same way there are several Colts.

 

I'll give you that one - I forgot there were several different Julianas - but I can't remember it being mentioned at all after the beginning of the game, and seeing as it was over 15 hours after it was first mentioned that it came up again, I think I can be forgiven for forgetting. Moreover, if there are several different Julianas, why don't they just all gang up on me to prevent me from closing the loop? And

Spoiler

why is there just the one Juliana at the very end? Surely, if they really wanted to stop me, they would all team together and battle me and the other Colts. This is where I'd thought the ending was heading.

 

31 minutes ago, Dudley said:

The ending I will agree is weak but endings are weak in virtually everything. No-one ever likes endings.

 

This I just plain disagree with and it's a poor argument. Off the top of my head from the games I've completed over the last couple of years, The Last of Us Part 2, God of War, Hades, Death's Door, Half-Life Alyx are all similarly narrative-led, single-player games like this one where the endings have been excellent and have elevated the overall story. Other games I've played this year, like Metroid Dread, Resident Evil Village and Returnal have had endings which aren't quite as effective, but which aren't as actively to the detriment of the game, like Deathloop's is.

 

If the ending had been better, and if the final run, which the entire game has been building up to, weren't quite as completely anti-climactic as it is, then I would have looked back at the game a lot more fondly and wanted to carry on exploring. As it is, however, I'm not interested in giving it any more of my time at all. With no PS Plus, I can't do any of the Juliana stuff, either, and, from the bugs I've experienced (and continued to experience, right up to the end), I don't trust Arkane to get things fixed properly, especially as I experienced bugs when playing through both Dishonoreds and Prey, too, years after release.

 

I'm glad so many people enjoyed it, but I can't see it troubling my game of the year list at all. Without wanting to sound wilfully contrary, I don't understand why this is as acclaimed as it is.

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