After a year of waiting, Xbox owners can finally play what is arguably the best game of 2021. Death Loop, which enjoyed a year of exclusivity on the PlayStation 5 console despite Microsoft buying Bethesda a few months before its release, arrived directly on Game Pass yesterday (September 20). Frankly, it’s the best game on the service right now, though Metal: Hellsinger, The gate of death, It takes twoand house pinball are absolute firecrackers.
After a few hours of trying it out on Xbox Series X – and inevitably getting hooked once more – it’s clear that the latest port of Death Loop looks, feels and plays exactly the same as its Sony predecessor. Granted, the user interface is slightly improved, though most of it is a product of Microsoft predictably tying the Memories menu to the display button, rather than the DualSense’s touchpad.
Yet the same DualSense – which I think is by far the console’s biggest tech selling point – is responsible for making Death Loop all the more engaging on PS5, basically delivering the definitive experience of last year’s GOTY contender.
It’s also not because of those adaptive triggers, but to his credit deathloop can give this feature its most fitting FPS outing yet, thanks to a light combat environment that often sees you spending more time lining up your shots under pressure than considering your initial tactics. It also makes the quiet yet deadly and necessary PT-6 Spiker all the more real in your hands.
Instead, it’s all about the PS5 controller’s tiny mono speaker. Whereas Astro’s Playroom was basically designed to showcase all of the incredible functions of the DualSense, no PS5 game has come close to including this pint-sized noisebox in such a flawless way as Death Loop.
Early on, you’re contacted by main antagonist Julianna Blake (voiced to perfection by Ozioma Akagha), who plays with you from the very first moments of the game. She also chooses to stalk you on a regular basis, usually when you’re expecting it or you least want. She contacts you via a rickety radio, mostly at the start of each section of the game. For Xbox owners Death Loop newbies, these direct and often brutal conversations happen as intended: through your TV.
However, on the PS5, his voice comes from the DualSense. It takes you deeper into Death Loopis a beautiful and delightfully daunting civilization, forging an even stronger relationship with your familiar but confusing enemy. His voice is an eerie experience when ripped from your screen, filled with sarcasm, condescension, and hate. It’s like she’s right behind you, or closer than ever, all the time.
The speaker, which isn’t half as bad as on the DualShock 4, is still on the tiny side, which makes it disappointing in other games, sounding squeaky or downright weird. In Death LoopThe technologically weird world of , where incredible scientific advancements have been made on a grand scale, but simpler things like walkie-talkies are still firmly rooted in the same 1960s from which it derives its beautiful art style – the sound quality couldn’t be not be better suited had it been actively planned between Sony and Arkane.
This perfect convergence of real-world technology and in-game restrictions is reminiscent of 2019’s iconic “Clean House” mission Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, when the game’s visuals offered the perfect “meet-in-the-middle” effect. While the MW the reboot was inevitably held back by a weird graphically anticipated vale, it was more than enough to exceed gamers’ expectations of the monochromatic green limitations of night vision – to me this is the most realistic console game ever seen , even if it was because of real technological constraints. The same rules apply here.
Death Loop is still a real treat on Series X, and can’t be missed by anyone with Game Pass who has yet to explore the lost paradise of Blackreef. Next year red fallalso created in partnership between Arkane and Bethesda, will hopefully provide an equally compulsive pseudo-successor, even if it doesn’t look half as elegant.
If you have the luxury of choosing, pick up a cheap used PS5 copy from Death Loop, or get it via PlayStation Plus Extra or Premium. Having Colt’s many lives in your hands is one thing, but having Julianna’s voice is almost essential.