Deathloop as we know it probably wouldn't have been possible on last-gen consoles, according to game director Dinga Bakaba.
Bakaba described the PS5 as a "breath of fresh air" in a recent interview with PLAY Magazine. Deathloop is built on a four-part map, and you can explore each part at four different times of day to explore and experience different areas and opportunities. That's good for the variety that developer Arkane is known for, but it requires a huge amount of detail which can weigh down the game. With Deathloop launching exclusively on PS5 and PC, however, Bakaba says they've been free to hit the "level of ambition" that they wanted without worrying about common development constraints.
"It's always heartbreaking when you get to the end of a project, and you have to optimize things, and now you have to cut your map in half and you have to justify why it's in two parts," Bakaba says. He adds that, "I don't think that we would have been able to preserve the level of ambition of this game were it not for the move to next-gen."
Art director Sebastien Mitton echoed Bakaba's sentiments and explained that working with PS5 hardware allowed Arkane to push for environments that are "as big or bigger than Dishonored 2, with a huge density." Dishonored 2 is arguably Arkane's masterwork, and it's indisputably a top-shelf immersive sim, so that's a pretty high bar to clear, especially for a game that essentially has to deliver four versions of each environment.
We spoke to Bakaba for a Deathloop preview in May, and came away impressed with a game that looks like much more than Dishonored with even more guns and assassins.
"We wanted to challenge ourselves with something fresh," Bakaba said at the time. "This is a rare occasion for us to be able to work on something so atypical in the AAA space. Deathloop is a project we will never forget, and we're doing our very best to make it so that players won't forget it either."
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