Deathloop may not feature as many levels as the Dishonored games, but each level still has the same number of intricate variations which can quickly add up towards “infinity” based on the players and their will to explore.
Speaking with Edge magazine for the latest issue, campaign designer Dana Nightingale, the veteran responsible for designing the ever-shuffling Clockwork Mansion of Dishonored 2, stated that Deathloop loses its linear campaign structure right after the first couple of hours.
The game for starters has only four levels, each of which lasts for a single day split between four parts: morning, noon, afternoon, and evening. The four levels hence become 16 and even that does not account for how each of the eight targets players must assassinate vary depending on the time and place.
“Certain routes and activities are open only in the morning and not in the afternoon, and others vice versa,” explained art director Sebastien Mitton who further added that player-actions can influence these changes as well.
Every situation has been designed to branch off in multiple directions. Hence, even with the same four levels, players should not undermine the amount of replay value lying in wait, which is an important design aspect because most players are never going to spend time to explore every crook and cranny. How does developer Arkane Studios then intends to draw players to think outside of the box or else designing such complex levels would more or less be a waste?
The answer according to game director Dinga Bakaba is a feeling of completion which holds true for the Dishonored games as well. Arkane Studios is perfectly fine with players following a straight, beaten path. The perfectionists though will find it greatly encouraging to familiarize themselves with how Deathloop works. That however will be easier said than done because the developer has purposely removed support for quick-saves/quick-loads to force players to live with their mistakes and improvise accordingly.
Deathloop will be releasing on September 14, 2021 after being recently delayed from its previous May 21, 2021 release date. The game will be coming to PlayStation 5 as a timed console exclusive and PC.