An Arkane Studios production is unmistakable. Despite often dealing with wild and dark themes, Arkane titles often also dabble in the macabre. Dishonored left an indelible mark on the stealth-action genre. Now, Deathloop is the developer’s biggest foray into first-person shooting yet.
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Set in an alternate vision of the 1960s, Colt Vahn is thrust into a nightmarish Groundhog Day. On a remote Northern island named Blackreef, Colt relives the same day constantly, whether he finishes out the day or is killed in the process. Weird experiments are afoot, and you must put together the process in order to escape the loop. The characters maintain Arkane’s signature design style, albeit with a unique spin on this strange alternate 60s era. In fact, Arkane should really take home the gold for creative and vibrant character design.
Colt is at the center of this swirling time-travel mess. As former security detail for the mysterious AEON program, Colt embodies the style, whimsy, and panache of the 60s. The maroon turtleneck is where it all starts, but that is complimented by a killer brown leather coat decorated with markings from Colt’s past endeavors. Tucked underneath Colt’s jacket is a holster.
As far as character design is concerned, Colt is ripped right out of a spy or espionage thriller from that era. Tactically, he has everything he needs. But none of that sacrifices any flair this debonair killer has going for him.
9/10 Julianna Blake
The prime antagonist of this story might have you believe that she’s actually the hero. Julianna has taken over the security gig and has a pretty nasty chip on her shoulder regarding Colt Vahn. In fact, she loves to see him die over and over again. Why? Well, you’ll have to play the game to learn that twist, but let’s just say that she and Colt go way back.
As a character, her complete 60s civilian attire clashes with her deadly sharpshooter skills on the rooftops of Blackreef. With skinny jeans, a button-up yellow shirt, and a yellow headband to match, she’s the embodiment of 60s style. But, put a scoped rifle in her hands, and her whole design gets infinitely more fascinating.
8/10 Charlie Montague
Colt’s mission at hand is to find a way to assassinate the eight Visionaries of Blackreef Island in a single day. These Visionaries, Julianna included, are the minds behind this time loop that enable them to live in perpetuity without fear of a true death. Charlie Montague is one such Visionary who fancies himself a genius game developer.
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Charlie is younger and far more arrogant than the other antagonists of the game. His business casual attire coupled with a beanie and a cigarette hanging from his mouth completes the picture. It is quite humorous to think that actual video game developers at Arkane made the decision to place a completely obnoxious video game developer in Deathloop.
7/10 Egor Serling
Truthfully, all of the Visionaries are rather arrogant like Charlie. They just all display this trait in different ways. After all, they do consider themselves “Visionaries.” Egor Serling is no exception. His contribution to the program is his scientific research in psychometry — the ability to infer information based on touching an object among other things. While he fancies himself a scientist, he’s really dabbling in pseudoscience.
In keeping with the 60s style, Egor slicks his hair to the side and wears thick-framed glasses and a gray sweater. His portrait and profiles are unmistakable lending a different shade of color to this league of villains. Oh, and watch out. He’s a bit trigger-happy on the ol’ shotgun.
6/10 Fia Zborowska
If you are wondering about the origins of the eclectic architecture, furnishings, and decor throughout Blackreef, you have Fia to thank for this wondrous arrangement. As an artist, she usually focuses solely on herself and her work. She is also the chief logistical coordinator and procurement officer for materials being sent to the island.
She is rather clean-cut with a short red jacket that she wears over a sleek black dress. But don’t mistake her virtuosity for a lack of combat competency — when she gets down to business, especially after her Havoc Slab has been engaged, she’s downright ruthless and aggressive.
5/10 Dr. Wenjie Evans
Wenjie Evans might seem like she’s the smartest cat in the room, but in reality, her unscrupulous behavior has granted her more accolades and recognition than she truly deserves. As a physicist, she is known to steal the research of her cohorts but still manages to lead the AEON team in their unsavory time loop program.
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As the perceived “brains” of the operation, she appears unassuming in a white research uniform and a short, but neat hairstyle. However, her fingerless gloves indicate that she’s ready to jump from a keyboard to manning a deadly energy-based rifle dubbed the HALPS Prototype.
4/10 Harriet Morse
There’s one ingredient every stable operation needs: a Human Resources department. That’s Harriet Morse’s role, at least according to her in-game lore. But she’s also the leader of a weird cult of extremists who don’t necessarily believe in the science of the work at hand on the island. Instead, they regard the time loop as something more supernatural. The cultists prove to be a royal pain for Colt.
Harriet dons a bowl cut and a strange high-collar black and white overcoat. It’s a weird style fit for a cult leader like Harriet. But she most assuredly looks like a classic Bond villain. So, don’t underestimate her or her crew of misfits.
3/10 Aleksis “The Wolf” Dorsey
While most of the Visionaries come from wealth, Aleksis is AEON’s primary investor. Money isn’t a problem for the man who refers to himself as the Alpha Wolf. As expected, his ego is over-inflated.
His appearance in the game lends credence to his haughty nature. He’s seen wearing a wolf mask and a black three-piece suit while throwing the island’s biggest party at his own manor. That’s right: he’s claimed his own section of this eternal life on the island and had a massive mansion constructed there. Still, he’s created a stylish little “wolf” brand for himself.
2/10 Frank Spicer
Deemed a famous musician by the fictional world of Deathloop, Frank Spicer joined AEON as a recruiter. Despite his musical talent, which you can hear throughout the game, he has a short fuse and extremely violent tendencies.
Even though he is musically gifted, he comes across as a mobster in style. He wears a polo-style shirt with a white suit coat and pants to complete his attire. He’s also clean-cut with a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee. By all appearances, he’s a suave fellow; that is, until you get to know him.
1/10 Other Colts
In a game about mixed-up timelines and a time loop, there are undoubtedly other variations of Colt who appear to him throughout the game. We really couldn’t just choose one in this scenario, and they are all labeled in-game as “Other Colt.”
In one instance, you approach a version of Colt in a bunker that lacks the leather jacket and is sporting a larger afro-style hairdo. Later, in an apartment, you see a version of Colt with a black leather jacket lined with ammunition. When coming across the aircraft Colt uses to fly into the Loop, he sees “cult” version of himself donning blue and gold body paint who clearly is wearing a disguise to infiltrate the weird crew on Blackreef. Finally, a Colt exists at the top of a tower who is bald, clean-shaven, and shirtless showing off a torso full of tattoos while out in the blistering cold. All of Colt’s other variations show the creativity invested by Arkane in this title.
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