The campaign sees players take on the role of assassin Colt, who wakes up on the lawless party island of Blackreef each day to find he’s the subject of an island-wide manhunt.
To escape the loop, players have to kill a group of eight targets called the Visionaries before the day resets.
During his adventure, Colt periodically comes up against antagonist Julianna Blake, who can be AI or player controlled.
When a player chooses to control Julianna, they begin by customising her appearance and picking a loadout, before choosing whether to invade the game of a random player or a friend.
Both characters have access to the same powers and weapons, excepts Colt’s signature power Reprise, which allows him to die and come back to life twice. Julianna only has one life, so generally invaders will be “a bit more careful, a bit more devious, and use things likes traps, deception and misdirection”, according to Bakaba.
Players controlling Colt can hide or extract from the map if they don’t want to face Julianna, but the rewards on offer for killing her are great. Loot she could drop upon death include powerful weapons, a power or power upgrade, and Residuum, a resource that allows players to keep weapons and abilities across loops.
“What drove us to add that [PvP] to the game was not the competitive aspect of it really, that’s why there’s no leaderboard, nothing like that, it was really the fact that it is an anecdote generator,” said Bakaba. “Two elements of chaos in a simulated world definitely creates some interesting moments, those moments of ‘I really didn’t plan for it to go that way but that was so awesome’, and you will hit record on your PS5 and save that clip and send it to the other player in case they didn’t save it and maybe add them as a friend.”
He added: “In a more developer centric approach, it’s an opportunity for us to interact with the player and the community in a different way. The way we usually interact with them is asynchronously – we build the game and then we watch on Twitch and YouTube and this interaction doesn’t really happen, but now we get the chance to invade players or get invaded by players, we can share those moments with you all and that’s exciting for us. I go by Sidrath by the way, so if you ever get invaded by me, do your best.”
Deathloop will be released for PS5 and PC on September 14. A message at the end of a Deathloop gameplay walkthrough released in July confirmed the title will not be available on other consoles until one year later, when it can be expected to be released for Xbox platforms including Game Pass.