Deathloop is a game with an awesome premise, helmed by some of the most creative people in the games industry. Arkane Studios is right in their element, coming off hits like Dishonored and Prey, but no amount of innovative design could save Deathloop from a more fundamental issue.
“Since publishers insist on pushing the envelope with anti-piracy at the cost of your customer’s value for money… this review will only list the negative as a warning: The game stutters. It does so because your computer is not strong enough to run both the game and the anti piracy at the same time.”
This comment, and so many more like it, represent a whole ton of Deathloop’s reviews on its Steam store page. The ones that discuss the game’s contents are generally positive, but in order to review that content, you have to find it first. And when so many players can’t even get the game to run at a reasonable framerate, the end result shouldn’t be too surprising.
According to the reviews, the game suffers from some serious optimization issues. So much so that even players with high-end PCs are fighting the software more than any enemy the game provides. But that alone isn’t enough to cause an avalanche of negative reviews. And just like the above comment mentioned, many believe that the anti-piracy software Denuvo is to blame.
For those deep into the gaming scene, “Denuvo” is a name with a serious legacy. Games that use its anti-piracy or anti-cheat software are occasionally subject to some real controversy, as players put up with (or rebel against) the ways Denuvo handles information. Many players claim it’s too invasive to their PC, and does significant damage to the game’s performance. What we see here with Deathloop isn’t even that special for a Denuvo controversy, just another problem to add to the pile.