How Deathloop emboldened this boring player to take risks •

How Deathloop emboldened this boring player to take risks •

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I know what happens next. I know because it’s Deathloop, and what happens once here will happen a thousand times, with each enemy dancing to a predestined script that they have no idea exists. As I watch they are doing exactly as they did the last time I was here. An eternalist turns left. The other goes right. The third settles down on the steps in front of her. I raise my weapon until her head fills the little red circle of my reticle, but my attention briefly falls on the Eternalist right in front of her.

Is it far enough, do you think? I have a silencer, sure, but if I shoot now will he hear the breath of displaced air as the bullet rushes towards his skull? And if he hears it, he’ll call the others, right? And the eternalists around him – I know there are at least three in front of him – will come running. I hesitate, giving her one more second to walk away and …

Argh, I erased it. During that three second period of hesitation, the eternalistic woman literally slipped out of my sight. She has moved, and the Eternalist who had calmly wandered to the left comes down quietly. Again, it seems the real antagonist here is my own insufferable inaction.

I’m such a confident (read: boring) gamer, my friends. I spend so much – too much! – time studying enemy patrol routes and trying to line up the perfect shot that I inevitably miss and spoil, and what should have been careful, stealthy, and – if you’ll allow me to refer to another Arkane classic, Dishonored – The Low Chaos Race becomes a bruising of bullets to the wall. It’s not that I’m not trying; It’s just that I’m so scared of ruining everything, it becomes kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is why Deathloop’s 24 Hour Reset is so intensely satisfying for a boring player who is dying over every little thing she does. Its chemistry is that it doesn’t matter if I fix it; in just 24 hours, that too will pass. What happened today will be erased, what happens tomorrow is (largely) preordered, and I’ll be free to try again. And this time – pre-informed with sufficiency of the movements of these eternalists – I can be a little more courageous. A little faster maybe. A little more confident.

Dishonored told me I could play My Way, but considering My Way was stealth-stealth-stealth-oh-shit-he-saw-me-help-HELP-SHOOTYSHOOTSHOOTSHOOTY, I felt like that My Way was the wrong path, not least because My Way gave fewer trophies and a considerably less favorable ending.

Deathloop’s infinite resets, however, give me complete freedom to indulge myself. I no longer have to play the “safe” way and watch the “hot” on YouTube. My own moral system no longer dictates what I should and shouldn’t try. Curious what happens if Harriet is eliminated before she finishes her speech? Ooh, let’s stop and find out, okay? Wondering what will happen to the evening’s fireworks display if you stop at the Ramblin ‘Rock Club first? It also sounds like a plan, doesn’t it? Do it. Does everything. Do it again, or do it differently. It doesn’t matter, is it? This is the magic of Deathloop.

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