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I Don't Need Magic or Abilities


I liked Deathloop. I wanted to like it much more. 

The game has faced legitmate criticism over its reptetiveness in its final act, and its enemy AI. I have also heard people discuss that the game feels a bit like a recycled Dishonored title. This criticism has stuck with me the most. While Deathloop's style has certainly set it apart from other Arkane Studio's games, I still coudn't shake the feeling of familiarity, and not just the fact that it was the same developer. There was something stale about the game that I couldn't put my finger on. 



The game is undeniably enjoyable to player like me, and I dove right in headfirst. It took me until about 5 hours in to realize I absolutely did not care for the "slabs" in the game, or the abilites that Colt can use via his left hand. 

I felt the abilites, especially "shift", known as "blink" in Dishonored, dictated the player's movements, and in turn made the mpas less fun to explore. Futher, it made the game feel far too similar to dishonored. I do not mind repeated attempts at the immersive sim, but the insistence on including these abilites seems forced, and keeps the forumla the same. 


The more I focused on the problem, the more I began to question the presence of abilities in games in general. In a shooter game, do players really need the main charcter to have some type of ether shoot out of their hands? Do you really need the ability to push enemies backwards with kenetic force when you have a shotgun? Is it even practical?

Abilities in games provide players with a skill tree that is seperate from collecting better weapons. It stops games from just feeling like a regular old shooter. The problem is, this can cause games to stray away from being a true shooter at all. I feel this has been a trend in gaming for at least a decade now, with a gun toting hero who can't get the job done with just their guns. 

I'm sure upgrabable abilities have their place in games, and I've even liked them a lot in the past, I just find it to be an overused trick, and one I didn't need to see in Deathloop. 

Are you also sick of abilites? Do you love them? Let me know in the comments!

- Solidsnape lives in Baltimore, MD where he writes, plays the objective, and infiltrates Shadow Moses.

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About solidsnapeone of us since 9:36 AM on 04.13.2021

Former child. Current writer, gamer, Baltimorean.

Twitch: solidsnape

Twitter: @solidsnape_