Arkane’s Deathloop is shaping up to be one of the studio’s most ambitious releases. The upcoming first-person action game is set in a time loop, combining single player and multiplayer elements. One player will be tasked with assassinating a group of NPCs before the loop resets, while the second player will hunt down the first (if in MP).
Deathloop’s concept presents a lot of challenges, but those challenges aren’t just limited to its gameplay. Based on what’s been revealed so far, Deathloop’s premise will raise a lot of questions that its story will have to answer.
Arkane has revealed several details about Deathloop’s story. The main character is a man named Colt, AKA "The Captain", who is stuck in a time loop on the island of Blackreef. The island was bought in the 1960s by a group of eight young self-proclaimed “Visionaries” from an organization named the AEON Program. These Visionaries are using the strange temporal phenomena on the island to achieve a form of immortality by controlling the time loop.
To break Deathloop’s time loop, Colt must kill all of the Visionaries on the island before the day resets. If even one Visionary survives, they are able to reset the loop, bringing everyone back to life. The Visionaries are guarded by their followers, known as “Eternalists." While Colt is hunting down his main targets, he too is being hunted by a woman named Juliana “Jules" Blake. Jules wants to protect the loop and is optionally controlled by a second player.
In the Deathloop gameplay trailer “Two Birds One Stone,” it’s explained that Colt doesn't have time to kill all eight of his targets before the loop resets without manipulating other events to get targets in the same places. In the trailer, for example, Colt sabotages the work of a scientist Visionary named Egor Serling to prevent a breakthrough that would otherwise stop Egor from accepting an invitation to another target’s party that evening.
Egor clearly makes his breakthrough again every time the loop resets, which means that he is likely unable to carry over knowledge between loops. It’s clear that Colt is able to remember previous loops, and it seems likely that Jules can as well, which might explain her unique motivation to protect the loop. What Arkane will need to explain is why the AEON Program members don’t seem able to remember previous loops, and why they would consider repeating the same day with no memory of previous loops immortality.
It's possible that the AEON Program’s project went wrong in some way, and that only Colt and Jules are experiencing the loop as intended. It’s also possible that the Eternalist cult and the Visionaries believe that repeating the same day without memories is a form of immortal bliss, allowing them to live guilt-free. Whatever the characters' views on it, it remains unclear why the majority of Deathloop’s villains aren’t able to remember previous loops.
Deathloop's story will also need to explain why Jules wants to protect the time loop if that time loop also means that she is fated to spend an eternity hunting down Colt. While Colt might be able to escape and live a normal life away from Blackreef, Jules ensures that Colt is also effectively immortal by protecting the loop , which means that she'll have to keep hunting him until he eventually succeeds.
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