All going to plan, we would have been playing Arkane’s latest game, Deathloop, in just a couple of days. The ambitious title places players in the shoes of Colt Vahn, an amnesiac who’s stuck in a timeloop and the only way to escape is to assassinate eight targets in a single day. Every time he fails, the loop resets.
The game takes place across four locations that you can visit at four different times of the day, so each level is essentially four levels. NPCs move between areas depending on when you visit, the sun sinks in the sky, and places are either teeming with activity or abandoned. It’s a violent investigation that you have to piece together. Oh, and one of your targets is also hunting you down and can be controlled by another player who can invade your game.
Arkane has always made complex games, but Deathloop is looking like its most complicated project to date. It’s no surprise that it’s been pushed back to September 14, then.
“We’ve made the decision to delay the launch of Deathloop to September 14, 2021,” Arkane posted on Twitter at the time. ”We’re committed to quality and preserving our team’s ambitions for Deathloop while ensuring the health and safety of everyone at Arkane. We’ll be using this extra time to accomplish our goal: create a fun, stylish, and mind-bending player experience.”
During a recent preview event for Deathloop, we got the chance to ask game director Dinga Bakaba about the delay and what it means for the game and team.
“I think we were honest when we made that message,” Bakaba explained. “We said we have cool ambitions for the game, we want it to be special. It is not an easy game to make, to say the least. Especially not in this period. But we didn’t want to enter a painful crunch where we are already in this weird situation where we are developing at home – that’s already something on your mental health and your cognitive load.
“We just said, ‘Hey, if we want the best quality game that we can deliver, we need more time’. It was a difficult choice to make, but we didn’t want to have to choose between our health and the quality of the game. And you know, everyone seemed to agree that that was the right choice with our partner Sony and of course, our publisher.”
Judging by what we’ve seen of the game already, Arkane should take all the time it needs – in the end, team health is more important than video games, and a complex project such as this needs as much time as the developer can spare.
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