Looking for a new game to play? How about Deadlink, a fast-paced roguelite shooter in a cyberpunk setting?

Deadlink is an indie cyberpunk FPS from 2023 that combines a futuristic setting with solid roguelite elements to provide players with dynamic gameplay that leaves little to no room for taking a breath. Forget hiding; in Deadlink players are encouraged to charge forward and take all the challenges head-on. Soak the bullets like a sponge and replenish your shields as you eliminate new waves of opponents. Keep moving and you’ll be fine. Probably.

Pick your weapons of choice, choose randomly generated upgrades as you progress further, and see how far you can get with your build. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and dying; death is also a part of the fun in roguelites. Accumulate permanent upgrades to make future runs easier and go beyond your own limits.

Gameplay and Mission Structure

Deadlink is often compared to the classics such as Doom, Quake, or Unreal Tournament if said games were roguelites, and it’s not without a reason. The gameplay here is just as intense and fast-paced; being able to quickly respond to all types of threats is a crucial ability that will allow you to reach further levels more easily.

Deadlink - Trailer, Youtube.com@GameTrailers

If your reaction times are slower, you’ll have to rely more on the upgrades you get as you play, give your strategy more thought, and plan your moves in advance.

The game is almost exclusively focused on combat, so it’s important to note that this part is extremely satisfying. You can almost feel the power of your weapons and guns as you use them. Controls are responsive and animations are smooth; whenever you press the button, expecting an action to be executed, it happens almost instantly and feels fluid.

The main gameplay loop consists of two parts. One is the main lobby, where you can choose your permanent upgrades that can be bought with currency acquired during play, and the second is the actual game where you have to kill all enemies present in the stage to be able to proceed to the next one. Between stages, you’ll be able to get upgrades for the current run and customize your loadout.

This is also the only time you’ll be able to catch a breath, so make sure to make the most of it before you jump back into the fray. Dying brings you back to the main lobby where you can make new permanent upgrades before starting a new run.

Graphics, Environment, and Performance

Deadlink looks very appealing with its stylized, slightly comic book-like, cyberpunk visuals full of neon colors, hi-tech advertisement boards, translucent hologram panels, and so on. The enemies look like they’re a mix of drug addicts and members of some crazy motorcycle gang, wearing bandanas, leather jackets, and clown masks – and it’s not even a bad thing, because it greatly helps with building the right atmosphere.

deadlink

Having enemies like this makes it much easier to immerse into the experience, allowing you to feel like you’re a part of this fictional dystopian world.

Speaking of the atmosphere, one can’t forget about the game’s intense soundtrack and great voice acting, both standing on a surprisingly high level, possibly rivaling AAA titles in that department – it’s certainly not something you would’ve expected to see, or rather hear, in a low-budget indie game.

Thanks to the visual style choices, the game doesn’t have particularly high system requirements, which makes the title more accessible to people with low-end specs PCs.

Game Mechanics and Roguelite Elements

Deadlink represents first-person shooter and roguelite genres. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important gameplay mechanics that make Deadlink so fun to play.

As in roguelites, Deadlink is all about trying to get as far as you can without dying. Eliminate all of the enemies present and safely get to higher levels – that’s pretty much it. Once you’re dead, you’ll stay dead; death ends the run and you have to start over from the very beginning.

With that being said, each future run can be made a little bit easier, thanks to the various permanent upgrades you’ll eventually be able to afford, making it possible to get even further.

As you complete each stage, you’re rewarded with randomly generated gifts. You can get all sorts of perks to upgrade your combat abilities for the current run or get new skills and surprise the opponents.

Trying out different combinations adds a lot to the game’s fun factor because everything is more or less viable; you are free to focus on your favorite playstyle and build your entire experience around it. If you try hard enough, there’s probably a way to make any build work.

The random nature of those rewards ensures that each run is quite different from the other. You can have a general idea of what you want to eventually get to complete the build, but sometimes it could be more beneficial to pick something else to adjust to your current situation. Being flexible is important. Because of this, replaying the levels never feels boring – a spark of excitement is always there.

It’s also important to note how the game encourages movement and action. Enemies are swift and smart, so hiding behind a cover is rarely a good idea.

Instead, you should charge forward and make use of things such as a grappling hook or short-range teleport to get to the action quicker or dodge the enemy attack. You can even mark the enemies so they’ll drop more shields once they’re defeated, but picking it up means you need to get close and personal. And that’s how it’s meant to be.

Storyline, Setting, and Mature Content

Although Deadlink has a story, it’s not the main focus of the game and serves only as a convenient excuse to sow chaos and spread mayhem. As a pilot of a futuristic combat armor called a shell, and a part of the top-secret Deadlink project, you’ll be tasked with eliminating a never-ending stream of enemies and demanding bosses; all to maintain order in the city.

The main enemy here is the corporations that can go to absolute extremes if it means the possibility of squeezing more money from their deals, and your job is to, in simplest terms, cut their profits. Although one could argue that it’s not a very lawful way of approaching things, sometimes it’s just more efficient to send in a one-man army to quickly take care of the situation, rather than drag the culprits to the court and risk a fruitless ending.

Jump right into action and thwart the plans of greedy, malevolent megacorporations and put an end to their shady schemes.

The game takes place in a futuristic, cyberpunk setting full of neon lights, and vivid colors. You can expect a variety of locations that match the theme: a city at night, obscure underground parking lots and dark alleys, mysterious labs and research facilities, the insides of huge commercial office skyscrapers, and so on. It’s not much, but it’s more than enough to keep you engaged.

In terms of mature content, there’s not much going on except for the usual violence and lots of blood. Enemies can turn into red piles of goo once eliminated; considering how many enemies you’ll be facing during play, the arena can quickly become a crimson-colored mess which may be disturbing for some but is nothing out of the ordinary for this kind of game.

Community Response

The game met with a positive response from both the community and the critics alike, although in the minds of a lot of people, it didn’t get the recognition it deserves. As such, it remains a hidden gem that lies dormant and waits to be discovered by the newcomers.

Deadlink reviews were favorable overall, but one of the off-putting factors for some players is the complete lack of multiplayer. The game is entirely centered around single-player experience, so if you expect some fun party play with friends or competitive matches against strangers, you won’t find it here.

However, if you don’t mind single-player titles, you’re in for hours upon hours of fun gameplay with virtually unlimited replayability potential, where trying out new builds, weapons, and tactics is just as fun as taking down the enemies.