Exactly one year to the day after it launched on PlayStation 5 and PC, Arkane’s roguelite FPS, Deathloop, has released on Xbox Series X|S. The game is available to purchase or play as part of your Xbox Game Pass subscription.
It’s one of the more peculiar instances of game exclusivity. Bethesda and Sony had struck a timed exclusivity deal for the game before Microsoft acquired the Maryland-based game maker’s parent company, Zenimax, in 2021 to the tune of $7.5 billion.
Despite now owning the makers of Deathloop, the game would still be a Sony console exclusive for a full year (though it’s also been available on PC). That year is now up, and you can take the game for a spin.
Arkane is a Bethesda-owned studio that’s made some of my favorite games, including the wonderful Dishonored and older classics like Dark Messiah Of Might & Magic.
Admittedly, I don’t think Deathloop is quite as good as Dishonored, but that’s partially my own bias against roguelites, which I find can feel a little repetitive or frustrating compared to more linear narrative-based games. Like Dishonored, the game features stealth, parkour, first-person combat and plenty of exploration.
In Deathloop you play as Colt, a man stuck in a time-loop that resets every day, wiping Colt’s memory along with it. You make gradual progress through the story but every time you die, or the day progresses to midnight, the day restarts a la Groundhog Day.
There’s a fun multiplayer twist as well. Players can also take on the role of Julianna and invade other players’ games as a hunter tasked with preventing Colt from ending the time-loop. This is a welcome addition since the actual bad guys in the game are fairly tame in comparison.
Colt gradually builds up his arsenal of weapons and powers—similar but distinct from the powers you accrue in Dishonored—as you explore the remote, mysterious island of Blackreef across four distinct times of day: Morning, Noon, Afternoon and Evening.
In any case, I won’t spoil any more of the game’s story but I do think it’s very much worth your while, especially if you have Game Pass. Here’s the trailer: