Some of the best video games should be played as quickly as possible. While games often encourage us to take our time and explore, there’s nothing like the thrill of seeing something that can often take 10 hours to randomly beat and complete in 30 minutes. That’s the whole charm of speedrunning video games, where players try to beat a game as quickly as possible and win world records.
Forget esports; speedrunning is a great spectator sport for the game.
After playing for four hours Deathloop, my brain just kept thinking about how much I wanted to see a jogger tear it to pieces. The stylish first-person shooter, launching September 14 on PC and PlayStation5 as a timer console exclusive, is all about creating the perfect speedrun. Players won’t get over it the first time they play, but they’ll get lessons on some of the most important speedrunning skills at the end of the adventure.
Time to kill
Deathloop builds on a time loop, which has become a popular weird premise in the game in recent years. The player controls Colt, a hero who accidentally finds himself trapped in a Groundhog Leathersame script. Live, die, repeat. After the opening tutorial, the game ends: Colt has one day to assassinate eight different “visionaries” hiding in four locations. Kill one or two in a day and the loop will just reset; It’s all or nothing.
The opening hours of the game are for information gathering. Colt starts with several leads placed on a diagram, pointing him in the direction of each goal. In one of the first loops, I decided to track down Harriet. One clue tells me to check out a hangar where she was spotted conducting some cult wellness sessions. While I figured out her exact location, she was protected by locked doors. Instead of making hits, I simply explored the space, gathered clues about her schedule, and packed the contract.
Then I returned to the hangar with a newly discovered teleportation ability. While my first attempt to take her down was slow and stealthy, this time was much different. I ran straight to her location, used my new upgrade to bypass her security, and threw her away. Over an hour of work and my successful assassination ended in just a few minutes. One down, seven to go.
It was a little lesson in speed running. Those who can complete Super Mario Bros. in five minutes don’t have to learn how to do it overnight. They have to deconstruct the game, gathering little bits of information at each level. It’s a process called routing, where every little action is codified into science to save the most time. Each jump has a specific time and purpose.
That’s how I felt when I returned to the hangar to carry out my assassination. I know which rooftops to climb to avoid detection or which gaps I can cross to save time. I am not a world record holder, but I am confident that my kill time will only go down in the next round.
Deathloop It’s all about routing, and not just in individual assassinations. To kill all eight visionaries and break the loop, players will need to slowly chart the perfect path. That means knowing where each goal will be for the day (broken down into four parts: Morning, noon, night, and night) and mapping out the order in which it works. Who should I follow in the morning? How many visionaries can I take down in one field? Is it possible to kill two birds with one stone?
After four hours, I’m still in that routing phase. Each run gives me new information, allowing me to optimize future efforts. Sometimes I lead a scripted event built to give me the perfect opportunity, ah la Hitman. Another time, I accidentally caught a target completely off guard and stealthily killed them in a random room. It’s a process of trial and error, like a Mario player running around the world 1-1 back and forth checking every pixel for the perfect jump.
I don’t know how long a successful chain Deathloop will lose. That’s what gets me so excited. I can’t wait to see how long hours or more of work will run out until all is said and done. Can I knock out all visions in 30 minutes? And if I can, how fast will be able to do it? I envisioned tweaking the Quick Finish Game this January and seeing someone equipped with all the necessary information complete the game in less than 10 minutes.
What’s particularly interesting about that idea is Deathloop still full of variables. Door codes and other number-based puzzles are randomly arranged, so players can’t just memorize a list of numbers. A “perfect” run will still require some quick footwork as players rush to get the material as quickly as possible. There’s also the whole multiplayer aspect of the game, where the player can be invaded by someone controlling the villainous Juliana, which I haven’t seen in action yet. All these little factors can turn Deathloop become the most exciting speed game of 2021, for both athletes and spectators.
Deathloop launches September 14 for PC and PlayStation 5, where it will be a timed console exclusive.