Deadlink – Preview
Follow Genre: Arcade-like FPS
Developer: Gruby Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Deadlink – Preview

Good: Smooth gameplay all over, High-speed fun
Bad: Not a lot of content yet
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Added not too long ago to Steam’s Early Access, is Deadlink, a game that gives off strong cyberpunk vibes reminiscent of games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and vaporwave (a niche music style) aesthetics.  It is also a game that puts the pedal to the metal. You will find yourself slinging across the level to shoot enemies point-blank in the face as you use cool skills to survive, much like an over-the-top action movie.

Kicking off Deadlink, the player is informed, through a cutscene, that they are a secret, remotely-controlled android killing machine, full of advanced weaponry. You fight “the corporations”, which is a plot we often see in dystopian or cyberpunk-themed settings. It’s your goal to stop the shady deals of the corporations by massacring their minions in subsequent rooms, each room becoming more difficult to finish than the last, and if you die you can enter a new killing machine and try another run. The story isn’t introduced like the cutscene at the start beyond this point, but you can talk with the team behind the android you control in the base in-between runs for some extra background story and information about either your environment or the gameplay.

While Deadlink is definitely cyberpunk-inspired, the game is also highly stylized. Where you normally expect some strong contrast with vibrant neon signs, this game focuses more on matching color palettes with strong yellow, orange, pink, purple, and a tinge of blue/green. The graphics come closer to a graphic novel than to a movie. Judging by the game’s footage, we were afraid the game would be confusing visually, but thanks to the style, you can still clearly differentiate what’s going on, even with explosions and fights everywhere around you.

With these fights, comes a plethora of sound effects. What Deadlink does really well is using sound as an ambiance enhancer. The enemies you fight are unique, each with their own set of skills and tactics, and the sound effects amplify this. Each enemy, whether they be thugs or giant tank-like sumo wrestlers that charge you, speaks Japanese. This alone is enough to make the game sound unique to non-Japanese speakers but after playing for a little bit, you will also recognize enemies over a distance thanks to the sounds they make. These sounds can even serve as a warning for certain special attacks, giving you an advantage if you use all your senses well. The background music blends in nicely with a tense, ambient techno-type of vibe.

Deadlink plays very fluidly, and for an Early Access game, it really feels rather finished. The game is an FPS with rogue-lite and arcade elements, giving you the goal of making it through a certain amount of rooms to defeat a boss. Finishing a room gives you the choice of multiple paths to a next room. There are multiple characters available to play after having unlocked them, and each one has a different fighting style as well. While the soldier is pretty straightforward, allowing you to pull yourself to enemies and grapple points and also providing you with a stunning force blast, the hunter can use a decoy and does not simply pull himself to an enemy, but trades places with him instead. This alone brings variation into the gameplay, which feels weirdly fresh even if you have played for a few hours already. The only downside is that, while the replayability feels great, we feel the game, as of writing this preview, is missing some new chapters/locations to truly give the game some extra substance aside from its great gameplay.

Enemies each have their own strengths, but how you prioritize them can be different for each player. Tanks for example fire off a barrage of missiles that you might perceive as annoying. Geisha-like robots can teleport and will most certainly damage you if left unchecked. Drones can become a danger if allowed to charge up their laser beams, etc. Aside from this, each run gives you the opportunity to upgrade your weapons and augment your stats for the duration of the run as you get to choose something special upon finishing each room. This might be an upgrade, but it might also be credits to use later on in a shop during your run, or supplies to slowly upgrade yourself outside of runs as well. The latter means that each time you start a match, it gets easier. Upgrades can give you special effects too, such as electric attacks that are strong against robots, or fire attacks that work wonders against fleshy opponents. This way every run stays exciting and different, as the game’s difficulty gives you a good challenge and surely will let you die before you get to know it well.


Deadlink feels very fun and fast-paced, with tons of possibilities for how a run could turn out. The game has a whole lot of replayability, despite it lacking some new chapters so far, and it can definitely already be worth your while to play it in Early Access. After all, we can’t really think of anything we would change so far.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Deadlink - Preview, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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