Arkane Studios has officially confirmed that Deathloop takes place in the future of the universe first built in the Dishonored games.
This confirmation comes by the way of Deathloop director and Arkane Lyon studio director Dinga Bakaba, who appeared on The Official Xbox Podcast alongside Arkane Austin studio director Harvey Smith.
Xbox’s Jeff Rubenstein asked Bakaba about the rumors and hints that Deathloop is connected to this larger universe. While Rubenstein said he didn’t have to confirm anything, Bakaba went above and beyond and not only confirmed that this was true, but he also discussed the thought process behind making it so.
“Not everyone has seen the same thing,” Bakaba said of Deathloop. “Not everyone has heard the same song that you might have heard hidden somewhere. Not everyone has seen every room, et cetera, et cetera. So, it was nice to see the community peek at the little clues we did sprinkle everywhere that, yes, indeed, we envisioned Deathloop to be happening in the future after [Dishonored 2’s standalone expansion] Death of the Outsider.”
Bakaba said the team didn’t want to make this connection too obvious and front-facing as it wanted Deathloop to have a story and identity that stood on its own, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t use the game to explore what would happen after the events of Death of the Outsider.
“As we were making Deathloop, we said, hey, [this story] could be one of the things that could happen after [Death of the Outsider.] So, we have a certain timeline to link that and there are a lot of clues, actually, in the game,” Bakaba said. “There are some that are abused, one of them is really spoiler-y, so voila, but there are a lot of small things and some that were under people’s noses all the time, but people are just figuring it out.”
One of these references can be seen on the shotgun known as the Heritage Rifle. This weapon has a logo on the side of it that couldn’t be seen clearly until the recent Goldenloop update added “idle breaks where the character plays with his gun.” Now, the logo can be identified as Dishonored’s Dunwall Tower.
As Bakaba put it, these threads are like “this little scavenger hunt inside the scavenger hunt” that is Deathloop, and they are just waiting to be discovered if players look hard enough.
“We tried to see everything as an evolution, but each time they mentioned the past, either we were vague enough or we disguised in, I would say, natural ways the names,” Bakaba said. “Like, they talk about the Motherland, and not about Tyvia, but you can definitely… once you know, you can unravel everything. And yes, it does make sense. So, it was nice for us to be imagining one of the futures of the Dishonored world and to have that make sense.”
Even without knowing all of these references to a larger universe, we still awarded Deathloop a rare 10/10. In our Deathloop review, we said, “Its unique, high-concept ideas around time loops and non-linear investigation work are implemented with elegance, making its systems feel effortless to navigate, learn from, and ultimately master. A new high watermark for Arkane and developers of similar games to aspire to, Deathloop is a game like no other.”
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.