In Bethesda’s latest game, Deathloop, players repeat the same day until they’ve gathered enough information on eight targets in need of assassination. Deathloop combines the frustrations of Dark Souls with the atmosphere of Dishonored and Bioshock, all while keeping things light-hearted with witty dialogue exchanges between rival assassins Colt and Julianna. If you’re just getting started with Deathloop, here are some pointers to help you get started.
Die, die, die
Deathloop, as previously stated, harnesses all of Dark Souls’ frustration. That’s because, at least for the first few runs, it’s not a game you’re supposed to win. You’ll wake up on the same beach you died on every time you die. You will, however, be armed with whatever knowledge you gained from the previous loop. You’ll eventually start saving your weapons, Trinkets, and Slabs through Infusion, which will make the next loop a lot easier.
So don’t be afraid to take chances at first. Don’t be afraid to run guns blazing into Aleksis’ party on your first night in Updaam, as there is no penalty other than wasted time. Kick down the door to Charlie Montague’s alien invasion game, or challenge all 15 Wengie clones to a shoot-’em-up battle. While pure gun skill may win out, you’ll get a good sense of where you’re going in these areas. Enemies will spawn in the same spot and move in the same way as in Dark Souls. It’ll be much easier to sneak your way through and take them all down one by one once you’ve figured out these patterns.
Colt comes equipped with the Reprise Slab by default, which grants him three lives per loop. Remember that these don’t reset between times of day (morning, noon, afternoon, and night), so if you die twice in the morning, it’s better to die a third time and start over.
You’ll recognise this if you’ve played Red Dead Redemption or Call of Duty Zombies. When you turn on friction/ironsight snap, your camera slows down slightly when it gets close to potential targets (aim assist). When you aim down sights with your crosshairs near a target, they will snap onto the target. Why would you put yourself at a disadvantage by not playing with these settings, especially since Deathloop is primarily a PvE experience? To turn this setting on:
- Press Start while exploring Blackreef or at the central hub.
- Selection Options.
- Under Controls, scroll down to Auto Aim Model.
- Toggle Friction/Ironsight Snap on.
This aim-assist setting makes your life so much easier, especially in the early stages of the game when all you have to your name is a jam-happy LIMP-10.
In Deathloop, the most important thing you can do for yourself is grind until you unlock Ubiquity, an arsenal lead. The Wenjie storyline begins with Ubiquity and ends with you unlocking Infusion. The ability to keep your gear between loops is due to infusion. Each loop will begin with a base LIMP-10, the double jump personal Trinket, and the reprise slab before Infusion.
You can save your favourite weapons, slabs, and trinkets between loops once you unlock Infusion. While speedrunning Deathloop isn’t possible at first, the infusion mission can be completed fairly quickly. Just make sure to sneak into Wenjie’s complex lab and assassinate every Wenjie clone. Thankfully, they’re all labelled with a waypoint in threes. Because there is no such thing as a “main Wenjie,” you must kill all 15 of them to officially “kill her.”
So, how does Deathloop’s Infusion work? Throughout Blackreef, you’ve probably noticed glowing objects. There’s a lot of Residuum in these, which is essence left over from loops. You can suck up Residuum from these objects and collect it from dead visionaries once you’ve unlocked Infusion. You’ll use Residuum to keep items in your inventory between loops by infusing them. Of course, the more Residuum an item costs, the better it is. You can get extra Residuum by sacrificing duplicates or unwanted items. Residuum, on the other hand, does not carry over from loop to loop, so make sure you spend it before restarting your day.
Residuum is the equivalent of your soul count in Dark Souls. You’ll have to return to your body and suck up the Residuum you left behind if Colt dies. You can die again without losing anything, but you’ll have to go back to both bodies to reclaim the Residuum. If you die a third time and restart the loop, you will lose all of your Residuum. Falling to your death in this game isn’t as harsh as it is in Dark Souls. Colt’s body will remain in a safe area for several steps before you jump off a cliff by accident.
Julianna’s is the first lead you should complete now that you’ve unlocked Infusion. Radio Silence is the first mission in her questline. We won’t say much more about these missions because we don’t want to give anything away. We will say, however, that they answer several questions you will have if you choose to skip this mission at first. Radio Silence teaches you how to unlock those Horizon Doors you keep seeing all over Blackreef, the ones with the “requires power” switch nearby.
This lead also delves into Colt and Julianna’s relationship, and it’s worth watching first to set the tone for what’s to come. Last but not least, you don’t want to learn the proper order of operations for killing the other visionaries before finishing Julianna’s lead. Remember, she, too, is a visionary.
In Deathloop, slabs are your ticket to incredible abilities. Except for Wenjie and Frank, every Visionary has one, and you’ll have to kill them with Slabs to get your hands on one. You should have unlocked Infusion before going Slab hunting, so you won’t have to go back for your favourite one between loops. Don’t be afraid to kick in the door on each Visionary and kill them for their Slabs before you start piecing together the right sequence.
Nexus, Shift, and Aether are the three most important slabs to get first, in our opinion. In Karl’s Bay, you’ll claim the Nexus Slab from Harriot’s body. If you kill Charlie in Updaam or Fristad Rock, you’ll find the Shift Slab on his body. When Julianna invades you for the first time, you can find a Shift Slab on her body. You’ll find whatever slabs other players or the A.I.-controlled Julianna use when they invade your territory.
Egor wields the Aether Slab, which allows the user to become invisible for a short time. Aether is excellent for sneaking past guarded areas or hiding from Julianna as she approaches. Egor can be found by his lab at The Complex late at night. Find and upgrade these three Slabs first because they can get you through the entire game.
While Frank does not have a Slab, he does have one of the game’s best weapons. The Constancy Automatic is a machine pistol/submachine gun that fires and reloads at the same time. While it’s a strange mechanic to get used to, it’ll come in handy when you’re cornered by a horde of enemies or a human-controlled Julianna.
The reload feature is included in every version of Frank’s gun. With each passing loop, however, you’ll find different iterations. We’ve found that the one shown above is the best. The increased fire rate combined with the damage buff makes this a Julianna killing machine when combined with the Hailfire trinket. Because the other Visionaries’ health is so basic, we call her Julianna. Except for Fia, who can be killed with a single headshot if she activates her Havoc Slab.
The multiplayer mechanic in Deathloop leaves a lot to be desired. Invaders are more annoying than fun most of the time, because you’ll have to hack the tunnel jammer whether or not you kill Julianna. While killing Julianna early in Deathloop unlocks Slabs and upgrades, there’s nothing more to gain once you’ve gotten everything you want. Set invasions to friends-only or single-player to keep random players out of your game.
To switch, go to the top-left corner of the screen and click the banner that displays your Gamertag or PSN, then select your desired invasion rules. There’s no penalty for not invading, and nothing is more annoying than a human-controlled Julianna interrupting your loop.
Harriot’s Nexus Slab is the best bang for your buck. The Nexus Slab connects enemies, so whatever you do to one has an effect on all the others in the chain. So, if you use Nexus to connect a group of Eternalists and then shoot one in the head, they’ll all die. Nexus paired with a silent Tribunal is the best combination in the game for clearing rooms and keeping quiet.
By repeatedly killing Harriot or discovering Nexus upgrades on Julianna’s body, you can upgrade the Nexus Slab. Parasite and Influence are the two best Nexus upgrades. When you kill someone who is infected with Nexus, the parasite regenerates health. Influence will connect to other enemies on its own, effectively extending the range of your Nexus blast. Because enemies aren’t aware of the Nexus blast, you can remain undetected while taking out a room full of Eternalists with a single bullet. When you come across Fia and Charlie’s love nest, you can link them together to loot their bodies instead of flooding the pumping station.
As you explore Blackreef, you’ll come across dozens of personal and weapon Trinkets, each with its own rarity scale. Gray trinkets are common, green trinkets are uncommon, and purple trinkets are extremely uncommon. There’s no reason to keep the common or uncommon Trinket in your inventory once you find a rare Trinket. However, there are three essential personal Trinkets that will see you through the game.
Spring Heeled: Double-jump in mid-air
Spring Heeled is the first rare trinket you’ll come across, and it’ll be with you for the rest of the game. Unless you have the Shift Slab equipped, Colt can access areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Shift combined with Spring Heeled, on the other hand, greatly increases Colt’s movement and is essential for breaking into Dorsey Manor and navigating Blackreef in general.
Creeping Death: Silent movement
Creeping Death will be the first item in the game to be nerfed by Bethesda in an emergency. Assassinations are easier than breathing because you can sprint up to and jump around behind an unaware Eternalist without them noticing. There’s no reason why Creeping Death shouldn’t be used.
Sprinter: Run much faster
Sprinter and Creeping Death is probably the best trinket pairing in the game. With the two of these, you’ll never have to crouch again.
Colt’s loadout won’t change much from one area to the next. You’ll find weapons that you like, and you’ll quickly learn which weapons are essential and which aren’t. So, once you’ve unlocked Infusion, how should you build Colt’s loadout?
To begin, ensure that you have a silent weapon on hand. A suppressor mod on a rare Tribunal can carry you through the entire game. Because you’ll be running Creeping Death and the Nexus Slab, a powerful MG-1 or Rapier isn’t necessary.
Shotguns and LIMP-10s will help you get away if you’re detected and need to shoot your way out of a situation. It’s a toss-up for your third weapon, but make sure you don’t have three guns with the same ammo type. There are four different types of ammo in the game: small, large, shotgun, and nails. In an ideal world, you’d arrive in Blackreef with one gun of each type of ammo.
Highlight the weapon and assign trinkets to see what kind of ammo it uses. Look in the bottom-right corner of the trinket screen to learn more about the gun. You’ll see the weapon’s jamming proclivity, ammo type, and dual-wielding capability. You’ll never have to worry about rare weapons jamming once you start unlocking them.
Dual-wielding is something we don’t recommend. Instead of charging in guns blazing with a LIMP-10 in each hand, you should snap-target enemies and kill them quietly.
When it comes to weapon trinkets, you’ll want to play to the strengths of the weapon. Straight Shooter, Lightning Strike, and Shock Absorber are all equipped on the Tribunal shown in the previous section. The Tribunal’s Lightning Strike and Straight Shooter abilities make it as lethal and accurate as a sniper rifle. Meanwhile, Shock Absorber keeps you on track if you miss a headshot and need to make a second attempt.
We’re using Speedloader, Hipster, and Crack Shot for the shotgun shown above. Hipshooter plays to a shotgun’s strengths, while Speedloader refills the magazine almost instantly. The Crack Shot trinket effortlessly snaps between targets and one-shots them.
The better the loot, the more visionaries you kill. Kill a handful of them once you’ve figured out how, and then go Trinket-hunting. Visionaries drop rare Trinkets, weapons, and Slab upgrades in addition to 10,000 Residuum. Before exploring Updaam at night, you should be able to kill Charlie, Fia, Harriot, and Frank. When you’re taking down Harriot in Karl’s Bay, make sure to set up Frank’s fireworks. After you arrive in Updaam later that night, Frank will die. You can also take down Aleksis, Egor, and Wenjie at the party if you’ve set everything up correctly.
The Hackamajig is Colt’s best friend. Use it to hack motion detectors and turrets as he sneaks his way through Blackreef. One thing you may not realize at first is the ability to hack from behind cover.
You’ll come across a number of items that require a battery to function. Batteries are difficult to find, especially when they’re tucked away in dark corners. Turrets and field jammers, on the other hand, require batteries to operate, and you’ll always find one fully charged on them. Remember where the last turret you hacked was if you need an emergency battery.