Bethesda E3 2019 saw Dishonored developer Arkane Lyon announce Deathloop, a new first-person game that’ll take us on one mind-bending ride. It looks like an deadly, alternative take on Groundhog day, replacing Bill Murray with two assassins who are absolutely determined to kill each other. It takes place in the mysterious Black Reef “during a time of madness.” The area is caught in an unending cycle and the two assassins, who have different motivations, keep killing each other over and over again.
Game director Dinga Bakaba and art director Sébastien Mitton took to the E3 stage to reveal that the new experience will offer players something innovative, stylish, and unlike anything the studio has done before. The trailer introduced us to the two main characters Juliana and Colt, and also gave us a glimpse of the mysteriously dark Black Reef. While details about Deathloop are still quite thin on the ground, we’ve gathered together everything we know so far about Arkane Lyon’s latest project. Read on below to find out more.
The Deathloop release date is yet to be announced
The Deathloop release date was absent from its E3 2019 debut, and Bethesda didn’t give any indication of a release window, or even what it will release on. Since the cinematic trailer was our first look at the game, with no gameplay in sight, we could even be looking at seeing it release on next-gen consoles like Xbox Project Scarlett or PS5, maybe even Google Stadia could get a look in? At the moment, it’ll likely be quite some time before we see more of the looping, mind-bending action, so an official Deathloop release date is probably pretty far off. But you never know, Arkane Lyon could surprise us again.
The Deathloop story follows “two deadly rivals trapped in an endless, eternal cycle”
The cinematic trailer introduces us to the main protagonists of the Deathloop story. Bakaba said they are two extraordinary rival assassins called Colt and Juliana who are both stuck in the unending cycle on the frozen island of Blackreef. In the trailer, it becomes clear the two assassins have opposing goals: Juliana wants to protect the cycle, while Colt hopes to break it, and the only way to do that is by killing each. And they do. Over and over again. We're also shown a strange circular structure that emits an ominous glow. We don’t know why they're stuck in this death loop, but it could have something to do with that.
Deathloop has lots guns, explosions, and...are those powers?
We see the assassins wielding lots of weapons, from snipers and shotguns to machetes. There’s also a healthy dose of explosions, and...hang on a minute, did Juliana just teleport? And did we just see Colt use some form of telekinesis to send an enemy flying against a wall? This must be why the pair are described as "extraordinary." There’s definitely some strange powers at play here, and both assassins appear to have their own ability. This certainly suggests there's plenty of ways to take down our rival. Not to mention all those strange masked figures who also appear to be set on fighting them. How intriguing.
Deathloop gives you the freedom to play however you want
Bakaba and Mitton closed off the presentation by revealing that Deathloop will have “Arkane’s signature gameplay that lets you approach every situation however you want.” In Dishonored, the storyline and outcome of events hinged entirely on how you approached every situation. You could even try to avoid killing anyone throughout the entire game, but it’s certainly isn’t the easy route. I’m willing to bet the passive choice might not apply so much here, given that the two main characters are so set on killing each other. A lot. But it’ll be interesting to see just how this works in the Deathloop world since “how you play is up to you.” It might refer to the strange powers the assassins appear to have, which could suggest there are several different playstyles and approaches you can take.
Deathloop will feature meticulously designed levels
In Deathloop’s press release, it states that we’ll be able to “explore stunning environments and meticulously designed levels in an immersive gameplay experience.” And as Bakaba said, it will also feature “mind-bending storytelling.” The idea that the lawless island of Blackreef is made of levels seems to lean into the idea that we could be seeing a main story-driven campaign with PVP elements. And this is just speculation, but it could even let you and a friend take on the role of either assassin and fight it out. We don’t exactly how it works just yet, but it’s certainly shaping up to be a very interesting upcoming release from the studio.