Phil Connors thinks he has it tough in the film Groundhog Day, but that is NOTHING compared to Colt Vahn in Deathloop.
Phil, trapped in Punxsutawney, keeps reliving the same February day and learns how to ice sculpt and play the piano as he tries to romance Rita Hanson and break the cycle by living the perfect day.
“I want to drink to world peace,” says Connors at one stage, knowing from a previous failed toast that it was the right move to strike a chord with Hanson.
And Deathloop is a lot like that. It’s only reliving the same day over and over again that Colt gets the information he needs to progress.
He’s stuck on a fictional island called Blackreef, which has a very trippy look. And everyone wants to kill him.
The challenge is to assassinate eight key targets before the day resets. Each has a special power and you can absorb that after offing them.
The ‘shift’ ability teleports you over short distances, ‘aether’ makes you become almost entirely invisible which the aptly-named ‘havoc’ allows you to inflict increased damage in a fit of rage.
There are four different areas to explore – The Complex, Updaam, Karl’s Bay and Fristad Rock – and the areas accessible change depending whether you visit in morning, noon, dusk or at night.
Any clues and information you uncover is retained on the next loop.
You can also infuse weapons and trinkets with residuum, found in certain items, to ensure you keep them if you die.
Julianna, a rival assassin, can suddenly appear in your game and try to take out Colt. You can also play as her, invading another player’s game.
One nice touch is the way her dialogue comes out of the PS5 controller’s speaker.
What Deathloop gives you is options. It has a heavy Dishonored 2 feel about it, and that’s no bad thing.
You can sneak through levels or take a more aggressive approach, although I found the former the easier.
It’s got to be said, the AI of enemies can be pretty dumb – which is a small gripe.
Knowledge is power, sometimes you don’t even need to be near one of the eight ‘visionaries’ to take them out.
4/5 Richard Cawley
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