Deathloop might take place in the same universe as Dishonored, according to a clue presented at the very end of the game.
This article contains narrative spoilers for Deathloop beneath the image below, so consider this your spoiler warning.
In the scene, protagonist Colt comes face to face with antagonist Juliana, who's clearly waiting for your arrival. On a table between you is an ornate wooden box, in which are stored a pair of duelling pistols that she describes as "vintage pieces," and "completely unique," fitted out with their original oil cartridges. Later on, she says that "they're museum pieces, part of history. Worth preserving."
For die-hard Dishonored fans, that might ring a bell. In the world of Arkane's 2012 release, oil extracted from whales is a major source of fuel, and barrels of the stuff act as a handy way to cause explosions. With essence of whale apparently so easy to come by, pistols don't use gunpowder, but ignite tiny cartridges of oil to fire their projectiles instead.
That's a strong link to the Dishonored universe, but the connection may run to the game's silent protagonist Corvo as well. The dueling pistols that Juliana provides bear an uncanny resemblance to those used in the game's iconic 'Lady Boyle's Last Party' mission, in which Corvo can engage in a duel with one of the party guests.
The guns even come out of a similarly ornate wooden box, suggesting that these are, in fact, the exact same weapons. Not convinced? You can check out an image of the weapon as it appears in Deathloop below, and as it appears in Dishonored at the top of the article.
Arkane has never confirmed that the two franchises take place in the same universe, but Juliana's comments about the age and historical value of the weapons make their existence here seem like more than a nondescript easter egg. With Deathloop launching tomorrow, it'll be interesting to see whether players uncover more clues as to the connection in the coming days, but if Dunwall and Blackreef are truly part of the same timeline, there could be some fascinating details to uncover.
Check out our Deathloop review to see what we made of Arkane's latest.