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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


Vemsie
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Gun Valkyrie is pretty much the only game ever where I failed to get past the control scheme.

 

I'm also not sure that the Cosmic Horror label is going to do it any good; I'm honestly not sure that sub-genre blends particularly well with a visual medium where you also have a gun to shoot the indescribable, sanity-fracturing entities of pure unreason that have wormed their way into our corner of reality.

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I don't think there is any reason to doubt the controls of a Housemarque game. Risk of Rain managed the transition to 3D well, so I think it'll be comparable to that, but with a bigger budget and more narrative.

As for cosmic horror, Bloodborne did it well, so we'll see where Housemarque takes it.

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Just now, Lying Cat said:

Oddly enough, this definitely gave me vibes of "Risk of Rain: Psychological Horror Edition".

 

 

Yeah, Harry says a mix between dark sci-fi and psychological horror. Those first-person house sequences remind me of P.T. I think it's pretty safe to say that this game will go to pretty dark places.

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On 20/12/2020 at 10:16, Lovelyman said:

This has Gun Valkyrie vibes. Controls look awkward. 

Yup, thought the exact same thing after seeing a few moves in their new video. Not really seeing the awkward control though and it looks a lot more ground based.

 

Fucking loved GV on my Xbox. Pretty sure I finished it too. Remember the at first awkward controls clicking and suddenly feeling it was one of the best games I'd ever played up to that point. Until I had to make it up to the top of the level with pink or purple electric ooze? coming up behind you. My new found skills went a bit to pot there. Made it though, and went and finished the game to boot, pretty sure I did anyway. Picturing some sort of multi-level end boss with a baby faced theme, or something. Superb stuff once you sussed the controls and that you could boost about never touching the ground.

 

This game has certainly got my interest after the new game-play video. Watching it again and it's definitely got a Nex Machina in 3rd person thing going on.

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  • 3 weeks later...
7 minutes ago, Harrisown said:

78 metacritic 


I doubt it. Both Resogun and Nex Machina are among the very best games of their respective years, if not the entire gen. Housemarque understands great gameplay and people will be really surprised by the narrative I think. I'm not sure it's gonna be a bit hit, given its price (but then again, only Sony knows what it needs to sell to be profitable) but I think it'll do for roguelikes what Hades did last year: raise the bar.

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This is simply not going to sell at £70. You might be able to get away with charging that for games from From or Naughty Dog or Rockstar but it's just not going to happen for this no matter how good it might be. It's a shame to see Sony hobble their smaller games with this pricing strategy, hopefully they will reconsider once a few of them inevitably underperform. 

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I think I understand what the game is now at least and I think it’s possible it will be quite good if they nail the feel of it.

 

I pre ordered Hitman 3 for 54.99, almost get like I was getting it on sale.

Not sure I can swallow £70 other than for big heavy hitters but I could easily do 50+ at two or three times the frequency.

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1 hour ago, Majora said:

This is simply not going to sell at £70. You might be able to get away with charging that for games from From or Naughty Dog or Rockstar but it's just not going to happen for this no matter how good it might be. It's a shame to see Sony hobble their smaller games with this pricing strategy, hopefully they will reconsider once a few of them inevitably underperform. 


I really wonder what Sony's strategy is with this (and other games really) in that I can understand such high prices for games with monsters budgets, like The Last of Us Part 2. This is clearly lower budget, so perhaps they're hoping more hardcore players who are dying for something to play in March will lap it up, perhaps supported by great reviews, with more sales to come when it is discounted. 

I'll be there day 1 anyway, can't wait to play it and I don't mind chucking some Euros Housemarque's way, they're one of my favourite studios.

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2 hours ago, Vemsie said:


I doubt it. Both Resogun and Nex Machina are among the very best games of their respective years, if not the entire gen. Housemarque understands great gameplay and people will be really surprised by the narrative I think. I'm not sure it's gonna be a bit hit, given its price (but then again, only Sony knows what it needs to sell to be profitable) but I think it'll do for roguelikes what Hades did last year: raise the bar.

 

I'll love it (as it's Housemarque), but I do hope for their sakes it'll raise the bar a bit further than "here's Stardust but in a different suit yet again". I mean, it's what Housemarque does and it already looks very Stardust-ish in the clips, but I fear it might disconnect with a tacked on target audience now that Sony is earmarking this as one of their next big PS5 titles.

 

They simply don't deserve that.

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23 hours ago, Majora said:

This is simply not going to sell at £70. You might be able to get away with charging that for games from From or Naughty Dog or Rockstar but it's just not going to happen for this no matter how good it might be. It's a shame to see Sony hobble their smaller games with this pricing strategy, hopefully they will reconsider once a few of them inevitably underperform. 


Yep, it’s a ludicrous strategy. Looking at the PS5 store is just eye-gouging price after eye-gouging price.

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On 08/01/2021 at 11:54, Majora said:

This is simply not going to sell at £70. You might be able to get away with charging that for games from From or Naughty Dog or Rockstar but it's just not going to happen for this no matter how good it might be. It's a shame to see Sony hobble their smaller games with this pricing strategy, hopefully they will reconsider once a few of them inevitably underperform. 

 

Yeah, Demon's Souls was an exception as I knew what I was getting for my money going into it. Any game at less than essential status at 70 quid is dead in the water for me. No more games pre-ordered - reviews come first now.

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4 hours ago, MikeF said:

I'm getting it on Day 1, despite my concerns at the pricing.  Refund came through for Cyberpunk, so immediately used it for this


did you wish you’d waited for the reviews for cyberpunk lol

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I watched the Nex Machina documentary a few months back (The name of the game) and to be honest it makes me worried they are going to fuck it up again with the marketing. For my money Harry is a genius and knows exactly what makes compelling gameplay and I have little doubt the game will be really good. Mikael on the other hand comes across as a bit of a berk in the documentary. I just don't think they know how to pitch these experiences to the mass market. At the high price this could flop just like NM (~100k sales). I don't think Resogun made them much money either, I think because it was PS+ early on for PS4. They really need this to be a hit!

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1 hour ago, Strafe said:


did you wish you’d waited for the reviews for cyberpunk lol

 

Yes, but then I would have spent the money and not been able to order this

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Nice in-depth piece on Gamesradar:
https://www.gamesradar.com/returnal-aims-to-create-unlimited-replay-value-for-ps5-gamers/
 

Quote

Returnal shouldn't exist. In 2017, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen declared that "arcade is dead". He explained that "Nex Machina and Matterfall will be the last of their kind coming out of our studio", with lacklustre sales pushing the studio to reexamine its direction. Arcade coin-op inspired titles like Super Stardust Delta, Resogun, and Alienation were Housemarque's past, and multiplayer experiences focused on strong, robust communities were its future. That is, until Sony decided to insert another coin to continue playing. 


 

Quote

"Returnal's dark sci-fi time loop setup is so exciting narratively for us because Selene, our deep space scout repeating the crash, allows us to add lots of hidden layers narratively that are uncovered through repetition," says Louden. "The cyclical nature of the narrative design means the more you push forward, the more you discover Selene. What does the cycle do to someone? What is the planet's history? Why are things beyond Selene's comprehension appearing here?"


 

Quote

"Our goal has been to haunt the player. It was important for us to embrace the mystery, and leave many of the secrets of the planet to players to discover themselves," says Krueger. "I feel that some of the best stories we experience are the ones we piece together in our minds through implication. In Returnal, we're conscious to share enough in our world to spark intrigue, but never too much – the more you know, the less you imagine. It's important to leave enough room for the players' minds to wander."
 

Selene is cursed to relive her first moments on the alien planet of Atropos every time she succumbs to its horrors. You'll examine the ancient civilisation through which you wade for answers, haunted by the echoes of its past and the fragmentation of your memory the deeper you push into a constantly evolving and decaying terrain. Krueger notes that "the shifting, procedural world is something that's also recognised by our story, and is a central element of Selene's nightmarish predicament and her slow descent into madness."

 

"Cosmic horror has been a strong inspiration for us, both for our world-building and many of our central philosophical themes as well. Our enemies have been largely inspired by deep-sea creatures, and strong bioluminescent highlights will contrast their otherworldly tentacle masses. There are also Lynchian influences, where we aim to blend the surreal with the unsettling – grounded, but with a dream-like ambience. This dark, bleak world is accompanied by our bright and vibrant action to create a high-contrast 'dark world, bright gameplay' aesthetic."


 

Quote

While an increased focus on narrative design and world-building work to showcase the studio's rising ambition, the gameplay is still king. Returnal is a third-person roguelike, albeit one that is infused with the sensibilities of Housemarque's beloved top-down, bullet-hell shooters. Krueger tells me that while Returnal looks worlds apart from anything the team has delivered in the past, the beating heart of Housemarque is still there at its core. "In all our games, we've always adhered to our core arcade philosophy, which is the relentless pursuit to create unlimited replay value. Returnal is no exception in that regard, and our central pillar for the vision has also been to 'design for replayability'. Everything we put in the game goes through the same scrutiny: how will this survive repetition? Anything that is only fun once should only be experienced once."

 

Quote

With that in mind, Returnal is being built to constantly surprise. While Krueger isn't certain of how many permutations of its world and action exist, he believes it could well be in the thousands. Every time Selene dies, she'll experience the crash and a new variant of the subsequent attack, with waves of monsters attempting to halt her exploration of the planet and acquisition of its knowledge every time. "The roguelike formula in some ways felt like a natural continuation of our creative philosophy," he continues. "Our levels are generated procedurally in Returnal, and our goal is to ensure that every run feels unique and offers rich variation for gameplay and combat scenarios."



Much more at the link on what is - for me at least - the most promising game of 2021 by far.

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With that in mind, Returnal is being built to constantly surprise. While Krueger isn't certain of how many people will take a punt on this at seventy notes, he believes it could well be in the thousands. 

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38 minutes ago, Steven said:

With that in mind, Returnal is being built to constantly surprise. While Krueger isn't certain of how many people will take a punt on this at seventy notes, he believes it could well be in the thousands. 

 

Fortunately it's a PS5 EXCLUSIVE in the post launch drought, and not multiplayer. It'll do fine.

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14 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

I do really want to play this.

 

Me too. I love Housemarque, and I'm so glad that Returnal has given them the opportunity to avoid (at least temporarily) their sure-to-massively-fail-it's-so-obvious-WTF-are-they-thinking pivot to battle royale. They were 100% going down if they bet on Stormdivers, so this is a lovely reprieve. But at £70? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I really want them to make more games, so it's a dilemma. I just think the price is insane.

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