After the Lyonnais d’Arkane double (or triple) the immersive Sim with Dishonored and Prey, they’ll switch generations with Deathloop. Her new license will be unveiled as Embers during Fire E3 to the cheers of a hot audience. It is an understatement to say that we wanted to discover this universe in more detail in the form of a loop, from those who turn heads.
Those who managed to get that far aside briefly remind us that Arcane’s new license plunges us into the turtleneck of Colt Vahn, a well-lured assassin who is permanently in a time warp from those of a particular one Phil Connors were experienced a few decades ago. In order to get out of this very bad situation, in which death is just an eternal restart, he is only offered one solution: to put down eight goals, the visionaries, that are at least as dangerous. But to carry out this mission well it will take … time and more or less suffered some deaths, that goes without saying.
The code has changed
It’s in the director’s company Dinga Bakaba and the artistic director Sbastien Mitton that we were able to experience the beginning of this adventure in the first person, beginning with a sequence worthy of a James Bond, with breathtak ing transitions and a themed song in support. “It’s still the beginning of the end, a DJ-VU in this survival game that never ends”: this introductory sequence with the sweet scent of the seventies heralds the color and allows to spread the artistic direction of the title, unique and breathtaking in more than one title.
The tenth art quickly takes over the seventh, while poor Colt wakes up with a twist and forgets everything that happened in the previous loop. But this abrupt prologue leaves our hero short of time, despite being forced to suspend his identity questions while enigmatic messages appear above them, evoking a mysterious code. Which ? Still, what can it be used for? “I don’t know the damn code!” replies Colt when he immediately discovers a tendency to wield firearms, like a certain XIII in his day.
North to northwest
Fortunately, the comparison stops there, and with some miracle we discover the first environments outside of Death loop, consisting of saturated reddish stones that make it possible to benefit from devilishly effective lighting. Unfortunately, this is hardly the time to think about it, as Julianna, the antagonist who reveals at the same time as the game, invites us to move forward quickly with our eternal butts because there is still work to do.
A few cracks and noises of leather later – Colt’s coat is very expressive on the helmet – here we are near a mansion on stilts that could be occupied by any great bad guy from the work of Ian Fleming: orange lacquered paper with plump Notches made of dubious plastic everything smells of flower power and the aesthetic codes of the time.
TP de MP
But it’s high time to take action: to infiltrate Colt can harness a number of powers inherited from previous Arcane productions, starting with teleportation where enemies are now flying, gravity and relief weighing on the rest. In the same way, one of the many powers – the trinkets – allows quipers to dodge the opponent’s trap for a few moments, which leaves time to drive them into the void, against a wall, or to send them a sticky pomegranate paws, before you admire the result.
On the flip side, phases of shootouts may still lack a touch of impact, a je ne sais quoi that would enhance the visual impact of the explosions and make it feel like you’re not fighting NPCs. Too malleable. Even so, the variety of tines promises a good number of approaches and shows the care down to the smallest detail, like with this charger that lets you swing a handful of balls at will and let the technology do its thing for the rest. To imagine that With Arkane hoping to fuel infiltration and exploration during the agonizing stages of a classic FPS, there is only one step. But still.
Pause in between
The palm of the most attractive power undoubtedly goes to the nexus that binds close enemies between them: a single headshot is enough to get rid of the group, good value for money. Unfortunately, the rather short shootings (Death loop seems to opt for damage that is close to reality, and therefore the elevated enemies have no HP pockets.) We get better in the end, and like a villain of families, the game urges us to find our carcass in the place of Death just to win back the bonuses and trikets that come with it.
Whatever: Colt was able to gain some valuable clues about his goal, and therefore it is necessary to go to the right place at the right time to achieve the goal: divided into four zones (Complex, Updaam, Fristad’s Rock and Karl’s Bay )) and four times a day (morning, noon, afternoon and evening) the game actually takes on the atmosphere of the puzzle, since ultimately it will be necessary to successfully defeat the eight visionaries in a single day, which implies knowing their motivations and find as many ways as possible to bring them together to save time. Arkane stays true to its latest productions and gives the player a lot of freedom to find their way around.
And it goes on and on
The first example we are given here is that of Aleksis Dorsey, a celebrity who can just as easily be killed with a bullet in the head once identified or trapped, for an undeniable extra cost. If we prefer to keep the surprise on the elements that allowed us to get there, approaches are numerous, as are the surprises, and it is certain that the game will benefit from an even deeper replayability than the two and a half Follow Dishonored, that is, you will agree and say a lot.
WE ARE EXPECTING IT … COUNTING THE DAYS!
It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by excitement after discovering the first few minutes of Deathloop. Arkane Lyon’s new license not only promises a visual and acoustic aesthetic that grabs you right away, but it also promises a rather insane playful and narrative richness that brings us this sad observation steeped in bitterness: the game won’t come out until September 14th on PC and PlayStation 5. That’s far.