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In case you missed it, Arkane Studios recently released a full photo mode for their stylish assassination time-loop shooter "DEATHLOOP", and it looks pretty good. Included as part of the game's third major update which also improves accessibility with things like auto-aim, one shot kills, and even slow-motion gameplay, this is seemingly one update that is all about encouraging creative engagement and fun for all.


With first-person games often proving tricky to get right when it comes to photo mode implementation, and given that this was a first foray into the feature for the Lyon-based studio, the team even sought some advice from virtual photography experts, including friend of TheFourthFocus shinobi_space, when putting it together. An apparent desire to offer the best possible experience for virtual photographers that is perhaps best summed up in the words of DEATHLOOP Producer, Jeremy Leulier:

"The only creative limitations are defined by our players' imaginations"

From a photographer's perspective then, that sounds absolutely perfect, so let's take a quick look over the announcement trailer to see what sort of features are included in this new photo mode, and if it really does have the potential to let the imagination run free.


The Photo Mode:

Found via the in-game pause menu or with an optional shortcut that uses a double-tap of the Create button on PS5, the photo mode uses a compact and familiar UI that, in all fairness, seems to house a comprehensive set of features that may suit many types of photographers. The Camera, Effects, Character and Stickers sections are all well stocked and look intuitive enough to use.


The first-person "problem" is easily solved with an added third-person camera mode, and a largely unrestricted range of movement includes the likes of pan, tilt, crane and roll, as well as variable field of view as would be expected. There is also a selection of overlay grids to serve as compositional guides, and an optional auto-focus to help keep things sharp.

Depth of field control doesn't rely on aperture f-stop values and instead comes by the way of individual defocus / blurring of the foreground and background, something which you may or may not prefer. Personally, I always like to see true aperture simulation, especially if the field depth is accurately affected by the focal length, but there is no doubt that a manual setup like this can be used to generate an authentic-looking DoF and maybe even in more creative ways.


Speaking of creative options, an array of post-edit effects include the likes of saturation, contrast, sharpening, film grain and more, a "flash" or fill light can be used to cast light in one of 7 colours into the scene, and the number of image filters is outdone only by the number of stickers and some imaginatively stylised frame surrounds.

Perhaps most impressive of all though, is the particularly thorough set of options to adjust and even devise the actions of the playable character thanks to dozens of poses for both Colt and Julianna that include fun, action and signature moves. The character models can be even rotated and repositioned along their X, Y and Z-axes, while the game's plethora of cosmetics are available in photo mode, even when not yet unlocked, to ensure that you'll be able to give every moment the perfect style and emphasis.



The "DEATHLOOP" photo mode definitely looks like the sort of thing that the developer wants people to have fun with and if nothing else, the great art style deserves it. Is there enough to get imaginative, probably, but why not just see for yourself. The photo mode is out now as a free update, and the Deluxe Edition of the game is available at half-price in the PlayStation Extended Play sale until 25th of May.

The game may want you to die, die and die again, and while the addition of a photo mode can't necessarily break that cycle, it definitely adds a reason to keep doing it!

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Full Feature Set:

Access & Control

Photo Mode Access: Options menu / Double-tap Create

Camera Movement: Free camera Horizontal Pan Vertical Tilt Axial Roll





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