Blackreef Island, the central location in Deathloop, is a striking place – cold and isolated, yet populated (admittedly by hedonistic cultists living the same day on repeat as a desperate grasp for immortality) and possessed of striking natural beauty. While that taps into the sense of protagonist Cole having no one to rely on but himself as he faces down an entire island that’s out to kill him, it’s also based on real-world locations.
On the official Deathloop Twitter account (as spotted by GamesRadar), Arkane revealed that “Blackreef is inspired by Edinburgh, Scotland, with dark shades of stone facades made from the rock present on the island.”
#DEATHLOOP Dev Insights:
Blackreef is inspired by Edinburgh, Scotland, with dark shades of stone facades made from the rock present on the island.
Arkane also took inspiration from the Faroe Islands, to give it that “isolated village” feel. pic.twitter.com/BzBiqTaDm9
— DEATHLOOP (@deathloop) November 1, 2021
It added that the studio “also took inspiration from the Faroe Islands, to give it that ‘isolated village’ feel.”
Given the population of the Faroe Islands in 2020 sat at a mere 52,337, with a population density of 38.1 per square kilometre – compared to the UK’s density of 270.7 per square kilometre – it probably served as excellent reference material for Blackreef’s vast rocky expanses and icy tundra.
Deathloop launched on September 14 on PS5 and PC. In NME’s review of the game, it was dubbed Arkane’s “most ambitious game”, with reviewer Jordan Oloman saying they were
“blown away by Arkane’s ambitions in game design, and how they manage to maintain them alongside such strong aesthetics, and compelling writing”.
However, nearly two months on from release, Arkane says players still haven’t uncovered all of the game – or Blackreef’s – secrets.
In other news, the famously difficult Tetris: The Grand Master – a Japan-only version of the block-dropping puzzler that tests even the most committed player’s skills – may finally be coming to consoles in the west.