We are cursed, it seems, to revisit the question of whether games can be art every couple of years. An opinion column published recently by Bloomberg warns that video games are “eroding mass culture” because, the author claims, they are closed, self-contained worlds that are not in conversation with broader culture. By either happy coincidence or providence, we are now blessed with Deathloop, a game that could – all on its own – break us out of this endless recursive cycle.
Deathloop – which you can buy here, coincidentally – is a stealth action game that draws from Arkane Studios’ heavy-hitting Dishonored series, while also cleverly weaving in ideas from across the modern gaming landscape. It’s brought to life with a sense of style and presentation that explicitly references the visual language of the Bauhaus movement and Dadaism, and ends with a dedication to the legendary film director Robert Altman. It’s without a doubt among the best games of the past several years.
In Deathloop, you awake on a windswept beach as Colt Vahn, a man with no memory of who he is or why he’s found himself on a remote island in the chilly north Atlantic. His only recollection is of being brutally murdered by a woman named Julianna, and he staggers up from the beach to start putting the pieces back together.
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