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Where Does Deathloop Take Place In The Dishonored Timeline?

Arkane Studios' "Deathloop" is a unique first-person shooter. It utilizes many of the stealth, assassination, and reality-bending sci-fi mechanics that the studio has become known for, but it's also framed as a roguelite. Players explore the island of Blackreef, which is trapped in a time loop. That means every time players die or run out of time, the loop starts over, and they reset to the beginning. This, coupled with the game's uniquely vibrant '60s-themed aesthetic, makes it stand out from the other titles Arkane has developed. That's why it might surprise some fans that "Deathloop" is actually set in the same universe as the studio's most popular franchise, "Dishonored."

No one in the game mentions it outright, but the developers at Arkane hid several subtle Easter eggs for fans to discover. For example, vintage weapons given to the player at the end of the game use oil to fire, the months referenced in "Deathloop" are from the unique 13-month calendar used by the Empire of the Isles, and Blackreef is located just north of an island that is also referenced in "Dishonored" called Tyvia. These, and several other details, have indicated that the two games share a common setting. Arkane Lyon studio director Dinga Bakaba recently confirmed that these worlds are connected on The Official Xbox Podcast, leaving fans wondering, when exactly does the game take place in the "Dishonored" timeline?

Dishonored is set in a parallel Industrial Revolution

The first "Dishonored" game is set in the city of Dunwall, the capital of the Empire of the Isles and the seat of power for the emperor. While the city is fictional, it is analogous in many ways to London during the Industrial Revolution. The ships, guns, military uniforms, buildings, trains, and other set pieces seem to have taken an aesthetic influence from the era. The years mentioned in the game reflect this as well.

The timeline in "Dishonored" is long but fairly well documented. The Empress Jessamine Kaldwin was assassinated in 1837, with her daughter Emily kidnapped and the Royal Protector Corvo Attano framed for the murder. This is the start of the narrative that entails the first "Dishonored" game, which played out in the following months. The second game jumps forward to 1852, when Emily has grown into an established Empress and an accomplished fighter. At this point, either she or Corvo (depending on which character the player chooses to play as) must fight to take back the throne from Delilah Copperspoon and the Brigmore Witches. Later during this same year, The Outsider, who represents the source of all supernatural power in the mythology of the "Dishonored" universe, dies during the events of the "Dishonored: Death of the Outsider" DLC expansion.

Deathloop is set about 100 years later

It's evident from the start that "Deathloop" has a much more modern setting than any of the games in the "Dishonored" franchise. The world is full of cars, neon lights, automatic weapons, and more technologically advanced features than in previous games. The clothes and other props seem inspired by the 1960s – but what is the actual year in the game?

The timeline in "Deathloop" isn't quite as well documented as the one in "Dishonored," but a handful of dates indicate when the game is set. The protagonist, Colt Vahn, was born in 1911; he was trained by the Motherland (AKA Tyvia) military sometime in the 1930s and then ordered to investigate a temporal anomaly, at which point he became entangled in the Blackreef time loop where he remained trapped for 17 years. This means the year outside the loop is somewhere in the late 1940s or early to mid-1950s. This puts the game roughly 100 years after the events of "Dishonored 2" and "Death of the Outsider."

This crossover doesn't seem to affect either franchise much, as the developers worked hard to ensure that "Deathloop" was its own story and people playing it wouldn't feel that they were missing anything by not playing the "Dishonored" games. Still, it's good to know where these settings stand if Arkane ever makes a "Dishonored 3."