Here's what reviewers think of Deathloop, and why it skipped Xbox

Deathloop just launched to praise and rave reviews - so why isn't it on Xbox despite being owned by Microsoft?


Deathloop, the latest release from the developers of Dishonored and Prey and new masters of the immersive sim, Arkane, just launched worldwide. The time loop assassin game strands players on a strange island where the same day keeps repeating itself unless you are able to 8 specific targets while being hunted at the same time. Here's what reviewers are thinking - and why the game skipped the Xbox entirely.

Deathloop is Arkane Studios' next project.

Not quite sure about what Deathloop is, exactly? We got you covered.

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Review Roundup

Ever since it was announced, Deathloop has almost always been regarded with cautious hope. Arkane hasn't really done any wrong before, and the bold style of what we saw of the game intrigued many players. It certainly seemed like one of the games to keep an eye on.

However, while unique, the game's premise and content also seemed strange and many didn't quite know what to make of it. The relatively modest marketing campaign also failed to instill a sense of confidence among those interested. There almost was an unspoken expectation that it won't hold up.

The neo-70's setting and stylish art direction gave Deathloop an unmistakable identity.

Well, now that the game an its reviews are out, we know how most critics feel - they love Deathloop. Currently sitting at a healthy 88% on Metacritic, let's see what some of the big names have to say.

Polygon - Unscored

'Arkane Lyon’s latest sandbox adventure deploys a time mechanic like no other game. The studio has created the equivalent of a finely tuned watch. And it’s truly one of the most incredible video game experiences of my life.'

PC Gamer - 89

'Deathloop wants you to be pressured into slipping up; to cause a situation that you're forced to react to. And then, when you do, it lets its weapons and powers feel fun to use, and, crucially, never punishes you for taking advantage of them.'

Eurogamer - Unscored, 'Essential'

'Appropriately for a game about time travel, Deathloop can be read as a game both for newcomers and old hands - an accessible introduction to Arkane's grittier immersive sims, or a triumphant refinement of the Dishonored style.'

IGN - 10/10

'Despite its seemingly endless complexities, Deathloop is one of the most confidently designed games I’ve ever played.'

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Gamespot - 10/10

'But what's most impressive about Deathloop is that it's also an introspective game. It's Arkane deconstructing its own brand of open-ended action and laying bare all the pieces crucial to it. The systems are presented as digestible on an individual level, but then the game subtly pushes you to put the pieces together so you can truly appreciate how the clockwork world ticks, before bringing a swift fist crashing down on it.'

Gameinformer - 9/10

'Paradoxically, this feat is an intricate clockwork of planning, preparation, and execution that feels impossible at first. It all culminates in one of Arkane Studios' best games to date.'

Apparently, most people love Deathloop, and view it as the tried and true but flawed Dishonored gameplay formula honed to perfection, with a unique but intriguing implementation of a time loop mechanic that genuinely adds to the experience while inherently encouraging players to break out of the 'stealth OP' mentality that almost all immersive sims cultivate.

If all of this has convinced you that Deathloop is worth your time, you can pick the game up on PlayStation 5 and PC.

Why isn't Deathloop on Xbox?

Wait, what?

Again, Deathloop is now available on PlayStation 5 and PC - despite being developed by Arkane and published by Bethesda, who are now owned by Microsoft. So why would a game created by a company owned by Microsoft skip the Xbox while being a PlayStation 5 title?

It's sort of like Dishonored with guns - a lot more guns, that is - but also much, much more than that.

The answer lies in the past - basically, Deathloop has been in development since before the Bethesda acquisition, and was announced before it too. At a time when Microsoft was not yet in the picture as owners, Bethesda partnered up with Sony and penned a console exclusivity deal, meaning that aside of PC, the only other platform Deathloop would be released on would be the PlayStation 5.

When Microsoft went and bought up Bethesda and all its studios, it pledged to make good on all previous agreements an honor all previous deals, even if it resulted in odd situations like this one. The exclusivity deal also means that the PC version won't be hitting Game Pass anytime soon.

The good news is that the exclusivity deal is timed - and it expires in 2022. We do know that Deathloop is coming to Xbox, just approximately a year after launch and with no clear release date yet given.

In an odd twist of fate, Arkane's next game called Redfall will only be launching on PC and Xbox Series X|S, mirroring the release of Deathloop entirely.

Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. When not writing, editing or playing, you can find Aron on Facebook.