Dishonored developer Arkane Studios is back with an all-new game in development, Deathloop. The new title throws players onto an island stuck in a time loop, where they have to assassinate eight targets in a single day while being hunted themselves by a mysterious adversary who will stop at nothing to protect the cycle.
Deathloop appears to have two main characters. One of them is named Colt, who appears to be the main PC in the game, and Arkane has already given fans a few peaks at his overall design and character.
Colt, also known as “The Captain,” is a man trapped on Deathloop’s island, named Blackreef. He only has one goal: trying to break the cycle and break out. To do so, he needs to kill 8 “visionaries” across the island before the day resets. However, as revealed in the “Two Birds One Stone” Deathloop trailer, Colt is unable to complete his task in time if he chooses to track down his targets one by one.
As such, he has to use the knowledge he gains from each loop to manipulate events, causing his targets to be in the same place at the same time. It’s heavily implied that Colt may be one of very few people on the island of Blackreef who is able to retain his memory from previous loops. In one trailer, for example, he talks about one of the visionaries, a scientist, making the same breakthrough every day unless Colt stops them. This would only make sense if that scientist forgot their breakthrough every time the loop reset.
There appears to be one other character who is able to retain knowledge from past loops. Juliana “Jules” Blake hunts down Colt every cycle to protect the loop and the island. Any further details about their relationship has yet to be revealed, though she is not one of the 8 targets that Colt tries to take out each day.
Colt is able to use traditional weapons like guns as well as a variety of powers; in many ways, the gameplay resembles Dishonored’s combat and stealth. Colt is able to use one ability to teleport within a short range, for example, which resembles the Dishonored ability “blink”. He is also able to use his powers to lift enemies into the air and throw them, and it seems likely that players will have access to a wide array of abilities as they try to eliminate their targets.
Colt is a pragmatist in both character and gameplay. Unlike Dishonored, Deathloop doesn’t appear to have a Chaos system or anything that disincentivizes player pragmatism. Arkane developer Dinga Bakaba has commented that “because people don’t really die per se, because of the time loop, he [Colt] just goes for the fastest option, which is either sneaking past them, or eliminating them through stealth, or action.”
Colt could be one of Arkane’s most compelling protagonists to date. With every in-game death a canonical resetting of the time loop, Deathloop could be a massively immersive game where far less suspension of disbelief is needed for players to put themselves directly in Colt’s shoes, even as they try and fail to take down their targets. What the game’s story has in store for Colt and how he got on the island to begin with remains to be revealed.
Deathloop is set to release May 21st, 2021 for PC and PS5.