The worst thing that ever could've happened ended up being the 10 it received from IGN. We'll all be dead and gone before reactionary gamers stop being contrarian to games media because they're games media.
This isn't me saying Deathloop is a 10 for me, and it very very likely won't be a 10 for you either. The idea that a 10/10 game is something that is flawless is...flawed and not a realistic expectation for subjective media. The IGN reviewer enjoyed the game enough to give it a 10, and I'd much rather live in a world of games journalism where reviewers say "screw it, I love/hate this thing" and will review it as such.
Now to get on topic and discuss what I think about Deathloop-Its great! Deathloop offers a really nice fusion of classic Arkane mechanics, and the looping mechanic allows players to get the sensations of mastery that Dishonored is known for, but without the need to replay the game.
As is the case with the rest of Arkane's work, if you aren't interested in sneakily reading text documents to get the actual world building, you aren't going to like the narrative. Deathloop's ending is going to be received acceptably at best, and hated at worst, so it needs other aspects to do some heavy lifting. The VA work is fantastic, as Visionaries ride balances between pathetic and evil while Colt and Juliana have some performative depth. The writing itself is mostly good with some occasional self-indulgence but the true star is the world building tucked away (sorta) in audio logs and notes lying around. The story's Nonlinear progression means that pacing will be different for everybody, however unless you purposefully exploit the game to brute force through narrative gates, it all unfolds at a mostly natural pace.
Dishonored 1 is a masterclass in the way it crammed interesting secrets and world building into a tight package, but the linear nature of the games structure meant that most players would miss A LOT of the best hidden stuff on their own natural playthroughs. One of the successes of Deathloop is that it's cyclical nature means you're you're given multiple chances to actually see the cool stuff. This cycle has led to some people (fairly) finding the game a bit repetitive. I found this to be less of an issue than some people, as the way the maps changed based on time of day and what active visionaries were there were enough to keep me engaged through each loop gameplay wise
Continuing with gameplay, the gunplay is far and away the best Arkane has crafted. Guns are fun and unique, offensive abilities synergize well and are a blast to use, and the increased emphasis on action really allows the combat to shine. Not to say stealth isn't a valid option- it ended up being my favorite way to play by the end, but both felt equally good and valid.
The most common critique I've seen directed towards Deathloop is the intelligence of the AI. It's pretty dumb AI, and thusly the game is a bit easier to avoid detection in than your classic stealth game. The game would've benefited from Dishonored 2 styled custom difficulty settings, but in a game where progress can be reset, tending towards easy was probably the smart choice for wider audiences if fixed difficulty was the design decision. "Loop Stress" is a mechanic that remedies difficulty somewhat as the AI gets agressive/better as you kill Visionaries more than you die, but this difference seems to be minimal, or just too slow acting. It's not a cakewalk from start to finish, with a few visionary setpieces being specific difficulty choke points, but that's a noteworthy point to the overall package.
A single playthrough of Deathloop I think is the best "first time through" product in Arkane's catalog, and while I can't say how fresh it stays in future plays, I think it's absolutely fantastic and worth a go through
The writing and voicework is absolutely atrocious. I'm stunned this was approved. Having Russian with no subtitles is actively how it should be played because visual storytelling gets the only points you need across. Gunplay is solid but not particularly noteworthy, the open world is fine but not noteworthy... Maybe it's just not worth actually recommending
This moment needs to be cherished. Double fine finally put out a product with the polish and technical competency to match it's whimsy and poignancy. Psychonauts 2 is the best narrative to grace the 3D platforming genre, and by a sizable amount. Characters like Bob and Ford are some of the most interesting and charismatic NPCs I've seen in a long time.
Psychonauts 2 operates with a deft touch, but is unafraid to teach Raz and the player lessons about mental health, the root of "evil" and the importance of companionship while making it fun to play.
The level design is a bit less chaotic in gameplay structure than the first game, but the worlds are of a more consistent quality here. There's only 2 (1.5?) levels for me that stand out as being a touch less engaging, but they're a minor blemish on a great package
I think the mechanical rust that's attributed to Psychonauts 2 is a bit overstated. It's not Super Mario Odyssey levels of fluidity, but it's a perfectly competent platformer mechanically. The actual flaw I'm willing to dock Psychonauts 2 for is the uneven pacing in the games opening hours. In the process of getting the ball rolling, Double Fine struck an uneven balance between exposition and assuming players came into it with all the necessary context. This is less of an issue starting with the first main brain in the hub, and disappears later on, but it's easy to see how players may be turned away early on, despite how rewarding it is to continue with