Arkane explains Deathloop’s Groundhog Day-like mechanics

Deathloop is one of the more confusing games coming to PlayStation 5 this year. It looks similar to developer Arkane Studios’ other game series, Dishonored, but Deathloop’s structure might be a little hard to wrap your mind around. Thankfully, game director Dinga Bakaba from Arkane Lyon explains the entire thing in a new trailer, appropriately titled “Deathloop explained.”

Bakaba starts off by explaining Deathloop as “a murder puzzle where you play an assassin trapped in a time loop.” To illustrate his point, the trailer uses a time-loop gag for the rest of the trailer, with Bakaba appearing in multiple outfits, with an array of props, and explaining different things while walking onto the set.

Deathloop is, essentially, Groundhog Day, the Bill Murray classic, but with murder. Players wake up on an island called Black Reef every day. The characters and NPCs all repeat their actions daily, and it’s up to the player to kill numerous targets in the most efficient way possible, before the day is over. When the day ends, the time loop starts over and everyone comes back to life.

For those familiar, this may sound like the anxiety-inducing time mechanic from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Unlike Majora, Deathloop isn’t on such a harsh deadline. Players have the freedom to approach different scenarios and eliminate eight targets without having to worry about an actual ticking timer (it’s currently unclear how time passes in the game).

Deathloop features an arsenal of weapons and cosmic powers that should look familiar to Dishonored fans. Players can upgrade these during their Deathloop journey, and the upgrades stay intact when the time loop starts over. More crucially, players gain knowledge about each target’s movements each time they play, which will help them plan their next day and their desired kill order.

Deathloop does have a twist, which featured heavily in its original announcement. Juliana is a rival assassin, and she’ll hunt you down while you play. If players opt into multiplayer, an opposing player can invade their world as Juliana, making the cat and mouse game a bit more stressful.

This trailer comes only a few days after Deathloop’s “Deja Vu” trailer from Sony’s latest State of Play, and does a much better job detailing how the game actually works.

Deathloop will come exclusively to PlayStation 5 and Windows PC on May 21. It won’t come to other platforms until at least May 2022.

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