Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Infinite Loop is not a hooligan, it is a supernatural killer

The concept of time loop has become synonymous with one thing in video games: hooligan style. It’s easy to make a connection; if you lose your life in these games, you will immediately go back to the starting point and have to start again. As Tom Cruise did in “The Edge of Tomorrow”, you will use the lessons taught by death to avoid danger next time. But Arkane is a developer who has never walked the obvious path, so its time loop game Deathloop is not like a gangster. On the contrary, it is a supernatural killer (Hitman). The recent preview event showed IGN a game demo without intervention, which allowed me to better understand how Deathloop works. You can assassinate eight targets one day-known as “Visionaries”, they live on Blackleaf Island inspired by the 1960s. Killing all these people within this day will break the cycle and free the protagonist Colt from eternal torture.

It is easy to expect Blackreef to be an open world with a continuous cycle of day and night, similar to Outer Wilds’ freely exploreable solar system and its 20-minute cycle. Instead, divide the island into four areas and choose from the main menu, just like you would choose “killer”. You can even select equipment before entering the location as you would in Agent 47. Morning, noon, afternoon or evening. You don’t need to choose the time, but you can choose the time, similar to deciding day or night when racing in a driving game.

These time periods will change your expectations in the area. The demonstration given to us by Arkane proved that in the morning in the Updaam district (an area dominated by towering mansions), construction workers gathered together. However, I still have to go to Updaam in the evening, there is a grand party. These changes, and the opportunities for change they provide in all locations, mean that there are 16 map changes to explore.

Exploration seems to be the most urgent part of Deathloop. Just like in “Hitman”, investigating every square inch of a location will reveal new opportunities for exploitation. However, unlike “Hitman”, the location is not an independent story. The opportunities you discover may not be useful until later, or simply inform you of actions that you must perform in a completely different location. These findings can help you piece together what Arkane calls the “murder puzzle.”

To solve this dilemma, you first need to determine which of the many hidden residents of Blackreef are visionaries you must eliminate. Then you have to figure out how to kill all targets in one day. At the beginning of the game, they were too scattered among the 16 map variants, so they couldn’t kill all 8 before the time ran out. In your morning, noon, afternoon and evening hours, too much ground is covered. After all, you cannot be in two places at once.

In this way, you will have to go through multiple cycles of doomed failure at each time of the day to explore each area to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to bring the goals together and slaughter them at the same time. Arkane’s example is that you might find that you can perform some actions in an area in the morning to ensure that visionary people attend a party at Updaam in the evening, and your other goal is already there. As they said: two birds, one stone. Apply this method to all eight visionaries, and you can eliminate the last of each of them in a loop.Enough structure; how does the Deathloop actually work? Dinga Bakaba, Deathloop’s game director, sums it up neatly: “If you add powerful guns and simple abilities to games such as Dishonored, you will get core gameplay.”

Just like Arkane’s most famous series, the world of Deathloop seems to be densely packed, with both exquisite artistic choices and ingenious level design. The presentation only showed a small part of the Updaam district, but the eye-catching 60s buildings provided many high vantage points to climb up, forming clever flank routes, and paved with unobstructed paths covered with objects. , Used as a hiding place or fire bunker.

Because the time is manually set instead of a clock, you have enough time to explore the level. Bakaba explained to IGN: “This is not a battle against time, to quickly kill eight targets.” “This is actually to unravel these mysteries and get to the end of those investigation clues.” These studies seem to contain from Immersive sim DNA extracted from the purest Deus Ex strain. The presentation showed that Colt browsed through computer emails to learn more about the “visioners”, eavesdropped on NPCs to learn new routes into the target building, and broke into the safe to obtain a piece of information to clearly identify the Updaam party. Which of the people must be killed.

Information seems essential. Not only can it help you set your next goal, but it can also be retained after the time loop is reset. For example, at night, you may find important items in buildings that are only open during the day.This area may be right now It is locked, but now you know that to progress, you must go there in the afternoon in the following loop. This means that the end of the time loop will not reset your progress, only your position in space and time.

Deathloop screenshot

Deathloop may not be like a rogue, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t borrowed from this genre. Bakaba said: “After you die, you will lose everything.” Although he did point out that you can solve this problem to some extent. By collecting a resource called Residium, you can not only ensure that information will survive the cyclic reset, this resource can be used to permanently unlock weapons and powers.

Zhasi seems a bit like the soul in “Dark Soul”. If you die, you will lose everything. However, a special feature called Reprise can rewind time on death instead of resetting the loop. This not only provides you with an opportunity to continue exploring a certain area, but also gives you the opportunity to return to your corpse and pick up the precious Residium.

Deathloop’s PvP intrusion system is also similar to Dark Souls. Arkane did not show her actions, but Juliana (the main opponent of Deathloop’s story) can be controlled by another player. When Julianna enters the area, there will be a musical reminder that you should proceed with caution.

The reason for dealing with the deceased Julianna and any other enemies is that the Ring of Death pays more and more attention to fashion, heavy weapon fighting. The unattended demo program means that it is impossible to immediately judge whether the battle feels good, but when the cartridges are ejected around, these weapons will definitely appear heavy when kicking and beating. From automatic pistols with double magazines to belt machine guns with huge handles, Arkane has combined some cool retro bombs. For the “shame” purists, there is a silent nail gun-and a suppressor attached to the pistol-but I am eager to play an immersive simulation game that truly supports the rushing war against the pacifists .

However, this does not mean that Arkane has abandoned his iconic wisdom. Since death will reset the time loop, you must play the game carefully. At least from the beginning. Arkane promises that the trajectory of the death loop will make the player a “super power John Wick” who can control the loop. This means that supernatural forces will return from Dishonored, including short-distance teleportation Blink (here called Shift). Dominoes are back, now called Nexus, and it will allow you to link multiple enemies together so that the damage done to each enemy is distributed to all enemies. Arkane shows that this is mixed with the ability of long-range Karnesis, which can lift and throw enemies onto the bridge, and their three connected partners also get caught up with them. abyss.

Deathloop concept art

Combining the environment, your guns and power, and the information you learn from exploration, will result in the death of the target. Arkane explained that in the end, there is only one solution to the murder problem. But within this puzzle, players have enough leeway to kill in their own way. Speaking of Aleksis, a special visionary, Bakaba said: ” [method of eliminating him] Just killing everyone on the island, this is a very crude way. However, if you can do it, it will work. “But he promised that there are “three other customized methods to attract him.” One of them is to push him from the stage trap door into the meat grinder. But if you understand his conceited love for speeches, then You will only be able to do this.

After laying out all this content, I was fascinated to see how Deathloop works when I was in control. Bakaba said: “In terms of genre, this is a story-driven first-person shooter with stealth and adventure elements.” “This happens to be in a world that resets every day. This is still a linear story. .” This shows that the game is closer to “Shame” or “Prey” than the adjacent system of “Rogue” suggests. But the structure clearly provides something, if not special, at least strange and unique. The linear level of Dishonored clearly shows what your goal is, and the confusing and free-form exploration of Deathloop makes things more attractive.

The idea of ​​killer games is fascinating, and the idea is undeniably fascinating, not to kill the target, but to discover how to force them to move to another location so that they can be blown up at the same time as other people. . But combining it with Dishonored’s supernatural assassin gameplay and top-notch design quickly made Deathloop one of the most exciting proposals of the year. However, folding everything into a time loop system-even a system that does not exert real time pressure-could make it one of the most complex games of 2021. Complexity can cause damage easily, or it can cause huge damage. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the Ring of Death can stand under ambitious ambitions. However, if I want to convince any developer of such a task, it is Arkane.

Matt Purslow is a British news and entertainment writer for IGN.