Today I purchased and played a new video game called Deathloop. It is about an assassin trapped on an island caught in a time loop. It follows the famous Groundhog Day rules where he cannot die and when the day ends it begins again. It uses the time loop mechanics to do some interesting things and while this is now a familiar storytelling method I can’t recall a mainstream video game that has done it.
The thing is I am uncertain how much of the game I’ve played so far. I mean I know exactly how much I have played. I’ve done the first two or three missions but I don’t know how long I played. I think it was about an hour and a half. That is how much time passed in the real world but the problem was that while I was trying to play I was caught in the parent loop.
If you don’t know what the parent loop is then imagine you sit down to finally do some long awaited activity and as soon as ass hits cushion a kid is screaming. This happened several times when trying to play this game. It even started when trying to purchase it. I hit the button to turn on the PS5 and all the kids woke up in unison screaming bloody murder.
Then I turned the machine on to play the game and while the boys were at pre-school the daughter was home and she was unhappy that daddy was attempting to do something daddy wanted to do. Thus began the parent loop.
The daughter child would cry and cry. Daddy would run into the room to help her while mommy participated in her meeting. Daddy would feed her until she pushed the bottle away and was laughing and giggling on the floor. Happy baby had replaced crabby baby and it was time for daddy to get back to fun.
Then five, ten, no more than fifteen minutes later the screaming began anew. This time it was a dirty diaper. A diaper of legend. Rank and vicious with the stench of a thousand melted corpses. The daughter child screamed and screamed until daddy figured out what was wrong. It didn’t take long with that foul stench permeating the air. I changed her out of that diaper and whipped the mess off despite it being like silly putty on her legs.
She was happy once more and daddy was happy to be back to his TV, but it was not to last. The parent loop cannot be broken that easily. Now with her system emptied she screamed once more and it was back to the bottle with her. She hungered and must be satiated or else the screaming would never end. So I fed her, and she was happy.
Finally back to video games for a minute or two and then the business phone rang and it wasn’t the parent loop I was trapped in any longer it was the work loop. I had broken one cycle only for another to seize me.