Sunday, 26 May 2024

Arkane Studios’ Evolution from Dishonored to Deathloop

Arkane Studios

Arkane Studios, known for their critically acclaimed Dishonored franchise, has taken a different approach with their latest game, Deathloop. While the DNA of Dishonored is still present, Arkane has learned valuable lessons from their previous titles to create a unique and empowering gameplay experience.

Learning from the Past

Before starting each project, the team at Arkane Studios goes through a discovery process to evaluate what elements have worked and what needs improvement. Game director Dinga Bakaba explains that the team constantly challenges themselves, ensuring they are happy with the answers. This approach allows them to evolve and not simply rely on what worked in the past.

Player Agency

One of the key lessons Arkane carried from Dishonored to Deathloop is the importance of player agency. They believe in entrusting the player with the freedom to shape their own enjoyment of the game. This philosophy is a defining aspect of the Dishonored franchise and is carried forward in Deathloop.

Balancing Design and Player Experience

Arkane takes pride in their approach to level design, striving to create spaces that are both player-centric and artistically pleasing. They’ve learned from the Dishonored series that striking a balance between design and player experience is crucial. The team at Arkane is dedicated to improving and refining this aspect in Deathloop.

Embracing Choice and Freedom

Arkane’s world design allows for multiple approaches to objectives, and Deathloop takes this concept even further. The time loop mechanic allows players to witness and interact with different events in the game, without the fear of missing out. The level of freedom and choice provided in Deathloop is unprecedented, giving players the autonomy to circumvent combat and confrontation if they wish.

Two Playable Protagonists

Following the success of Dishonored 2, which introduced a second playable character, Emily, Arkane decided to continue exploring this concept in Deathloop. However, they took a different approach, making the gameplay style of the two protagonists, Colt and Julianna, completely asymmetrical. This adds a new layer of depth to the game, allowing players to experience different perspectives and playstyles.

Familiar Powers with a Twist

While Deathloop introduces new gameplay mechanics, it also incorporates familiar powers from the Dishonored series. The Shift ability in Deathloop is reminiscent of Dishonored’s Blink, but with the added twist of not stopping time. Similarly, Deathloop’s Nexus ability bears similarities to Dishonored 2’s Domino, but with a different execution. These familiar powers provide players with a sense of familiarity while exploring new gameplay possibilities.

Building on Past Successes

Arkane Studios believes in the importance of retaining some familiarity in their games. While Deathloop is a new and innovative experience, the team wanted to maintain a connection to their previous works. By incorporating elements from their past projects, such as Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Arkane continues to evolve while staying true to their DNA.


Arkane Studios’ journey from Dishonored to Deathloop showcases their commitment to innovation and player-centric design. By learning from past successes and embracing new challenges, they have created a game that offers unprecedented freedom and choice. Deathloop is set to release on May 21 and promises to be an immersive and unforgettable experience for players.


Q: What is Deathloop’s release date?
A: Deathloop is set to release on May 21 for PlayStation 5 and PC.

Q: Does Deathloop feature multiple playable characters?
A: Yes, players can choose to play as either Colt or Julianna, each offering a unique gameplay experience.

Q: Are there similarities between Deathloop and the Dishonored franchise?
A: Yes, Deathloop incorporates familiar powers and gameplay mechanics from the Dishonored series, while also introducing new twists and innovations.

Q: How does Deathloop differ from Dishonored in terms of player agency?
A: Deathloop provides even greater freedom and choice for players, allowing them to approach objectives and events in multiple ways.

Q: What can players expect from the level design in Deathloop?
A: The level design in Deathloop is both player-centric and artistically pleasing, offering spaces that are immersive and architecturally coherent.