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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


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11 hours ago, jonamok said:

Find the melee weapon in biome 1. Twat stuff with it. Go back to your ship for a free health recharge. Find the house key, explore the house. Grab the item that gives you. Upgrade your weapon at chests. Try out a few parasites. Find the shop and buy some perks. Decode some glyphs. Find the boss room. Fight boss. Die. Repeat until you beat him, though getting there is shorter after the first attempt. Move onto biome 2. I doubt the story makes any real sense until a fair bit later.

 

Isnt some of what you say not possible until you beat biome 1? 

 

Finally had a proper go of this after being laid low by vaccine side effects all weekend.  I got the Biome 1 boss down to his third phase and then died rather quickly. 

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30 minutes ago, imp said:

Well, I've only gone and seen the credits a second time.

 

I was just grinding through biome 4 to try and level up some weapons since the last time I got to biome 5 I didn't survive the first encounter room. Somehow managed to get into 5 with something ridiculous like 21 proficiency. From there, I just wanted to see how far I could push through and ended up going right to the end and finishing the whole thing. Once again, absolutely jacked build, MVP though was adrenaline siphon, which siphons 5% damage per adrenaline level to refill health, which meant I could use almost all the silphium I found to boost my max HP to an absurd 280%. Last boss actually didn't give me too much trouble, I pre-remptively used a couple of vials as I thought I was on a winning run, but didn't actually need to.

Yeah, this is the thing with the difficulty later in the game.

Spoiler

I thought biome 3 was by far the hardest part, and after a few attempts at biome 4 I actually went through the second half of the game in a single run. Partly due to a lucky synergy of drops - an artefact that regenerates a bit of health whenever you hit critical, and another that activates a shield when you hit critical - but also I think because the weapons and traits are so much more powerful. There's a rocket launcher with auto-fire for god's sake. I think it took just over 30 runs to reach the credits, and nearly half were when I was trying to get through biome 3.

 

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12 minutes ago, p1nseeker said:

Does the proficiency cap raise as you go through biomes then? I was partway through 3 and it said 15 was max. 

Yes. There's a trophy for reaching level 30.

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10 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

Yes. There's a trophy for reaching level 30.


huh, I did not get this trophy. Also missing the ones for finishing act 2 and the final boss :/

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I don't want to jinx myself but biome 4 was a cakewalk compared to 3. I never even came close to dying. I died on phase 3 of the boss but it seemed totally doable.

 

Watch me get wrecked on subsequent runs now but I suspect there may be a tipping point in terms of difficulty where suddenly you have so many powerful weapons which can have three traits attached, three consumables, loads of powerful artifacts unlocked, that suddenly the balance shifts much more firmly in your favour.

 

Certainly I've read quite a few accounts which make it sound like if you can get past biome 3 then it's very likely you're going to end up completing the game.

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6 minutes ago, Majora said:

I don't want to jinx myself but biome 4 was a cakewalk compared to 3. I never even came close to dying. I died on phase 3 of the boss but it seemed totally doable.

 

Watch me get wrecked on subsequent runs now but I suspect there may be a tipping point in terms of difficulty where suddenly you have so many powerful weapons which can have three traits attached, three consumables, loads of powerful artifacts unlocked, that suddenly the balance shifts much more firmly in your favour.

 

Certainly I've read quite a few accounts which make it sound like if you can get past biome 3 then it's very likely you're going to end up completing the game.


Yeah, I had a fairly easy time of it in biome 4 the first time round, but also died quite a few times there in subsequent attempts. I found it very RNG dependent - sometimes the game just slaps you with a mini boss fight before you can change out your weapon (secret rooms are a real doozy before you get yourself established) and you don’t really stand a chance. Quite rare though, overall, if you don’t push your luck.

 

The other thing is that in biome 4 all your weapons have loads of upgrade potential, so you find yourself with slightly underpowered stuff till you’ve put some time in getting back up to par. 

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1 hour ago, Herbalizer said:

Isnt some of what you say not possible until you beat biome 1? 


Quite possibly, the game has perma-fucked my mind.

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How do you actually unlock additional guns? Im up to biome two, and have only seen the pistol, machine gun and shotgun.

 

For biome 2 runs are people generally going straight there? Or doing biome 1 first?

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Just had my first crash crossing the bridge in area 3... had the update waiting to install so installed that, first door I get to isn’t opening, so the patch didn’t fix that particular issue at least... :(

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8 minutes ago, kempstar said:

How do you actually unlock additional guns? Im up to biome two, and have only seen the pistol, machine gun and shotgun.

 

For biome 2 runs are people generally going straight there? Or doing biome 1 first?

You have to find guns in specific places to add them to the pool for later runs. It's quite a slow drip at first.

 

I think when you first unlock a new biome it's worth going straight there a few times and just getting to grips with it. Once you think you're ready to take it on properly, spend some time in the first biome beefing up first. 

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Just had the game freeze on me during the big teleport in Crimson Wastes where you see (I assume) the top of the mountain. I could still flip between my consumable items but couldn’t pause and had to close the game from the main PS5 menu. 
 

Obviously very frustrating but says a lot about how incredibly good this game is that I jumped right back in to another run. 

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Playing Returnal over the weekend has inspired me to watch Edge of Tomorrow again on this glorious Bank Holiday. What an absolutely fantastic film that really is. I know it received fair praise on release and regularly since but its just so tight and wonderfully edited to build all the right things up. Plus Cruise is at his finest alongside Blunt. Its basically Returnal the movie with the final set piece that run where you finish the final boss on your final and only cycle :) Cant wait to get back into Biome 2 tonight!

 

EDIT - I assume anyone that is playing Returnal has seen Edge of Tomorrow but if by some ridiculous cycle you haven't, please FFS get it watched!

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Had a really good run going, had some great artifacts and weapons, health was almost doubled and had the astronaut, was well into Biome 2 and it bloody crashed on me

 

Not had a single crash before this latest patch

 

Arghhhhh

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Damn that sucks. I fell through the world in Biome 2 earlier and was convinced that was my run ended but I just watched it for a couple of minutes, even recorded 30 seconds of it and then eventually I took a hit to my health and was teleported back to where I was before, I was in a room using a fabricator!

 

Spoilers for biome 4 Don't read if you haven't got that far please - I need to know this before I turn off if possible please

 

Spoiler

Nope nothing here...

 

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3 minutes ago, Minion said:

Damn that sucks. I fell through the world in Biome 2 earlier and was convinced that was my run ended but I just watched it for a couple of minutes, even recorded 30 seconds of it and then eventually I took a hit to my health and was teleported back to where I was before, I was in a room using a fabricator!

 

Spoilers for biome 4 Don't read if you haven't got that far please - I need to know this before I turn off if possible please

 

  Hide contents

Now that I'm here I start here all the time so I can turn off the game right?

 


correct. 

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16 minutes ago, Minion said:

Excellent thanks, I'm going to remove that now lest anyone tempted to look.

Too late. But I don't mind because it's just a technical spoiler not a story one. :)

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Aghhhh. I had such a sick load out. First run through, creamed the boss, loads of upgrades, level 7 Gun, found my first challenge room on biome 2 and thought.. why not.

 

Got absolutely rinsed! So annoying but also so good.

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Killed boss 4! You can take your rocket launchers and your acid spitters and your pylon guns, just give me a carbine with leeching rounds and jobs a good un! Ahh I've been playing for hours this is kinda insane.

 

Edit; And destroyed at the start of 5! lol.

 

Wow I haven't had a gaming session like that for a long time, I'm exhausted, what a game.

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5 minutes ago, mexos said:

Once you get past the first boss, do the environments change or is it more of the same?

Yep, as Kiro says, the second biome/environment is very different. I haven't seen past that area because my play time is limited. :(

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32 attempts and finally beat the 2nd boss. Didn't even particularly have a good build going but more just perseverance and getting marginally better. Still had to brute force it through phase three. It's such a jump up from the previous two. The health penalty for falling out of bounds is a bit harsh.

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Well, it's no surprise that I really, really love this. In fact, it's probably the first game since Bloodborne that got its hooks in me the way this does. It reinvigorated my love for games the way I hoped it would after 1,5 years of playing very little. I'm not even that far in (third biome with a still active run) because it's a busy time in my life, but when I play, it's hard for me to stop. And when I'm not playing it, I'm thinking about it.
It's one of those games that just feels so good to play. The movement is snappy, you have lots of traversal options, the shooting is tight and the weapons look snazzy and feel good to use. I also like the little touches that add to the combat, like Overload and Adrenaline. The enemies are ace as well. Multiple attack patterns, good visual and audio cues, agressive, cool bosses so far and a different enemy gallery for each biome. It's just a good combat loop. It also has better level design than most roguelites, with all the verticality and traversal stuff and secrets tucked away. And it's challenging, as it should be. I should add that my PS5 DE hasn't crashed once since I got it at launch. Not with Miles, not with Demon's and not with this. Rest Mode works fine for me. I can imagine it's frustrating when a run gets fucked by a crash though. Looking at Housemarque's socials, I think they're probably gonna include some form of save system sooner or later.

Other things I love: the atmosphere, the music, the punchy sound effects, the 3D audio and the lore, which I've been invested in for months now for professional reasons but it's really cool to see how it's alle implemented in the game. I really hope Soulsborne lore hunters or others will dive into this, cause there is a lot to explore and it's quite the puzzle (and even then, the game leaves a lot to interpretation). 

It basically hits that sci-fi horror sweet spot for me. Cosmic horror, ancient alien civilizations, time loops, lots of mystery and weird stuff. It's ace.
I'm not sure it will be a big hit but I'm glad we got it. This is not the type of game big publishers are in a rush to finance and I wonder if we'll see anything like it anytime soon in the AAA segment. 

I basically echo what Maximilian Dood tweeted the other day. It feels like a game made just for me. It hits everything I like in games: good combat, sci-fi, mystery, challenge and non-intrusive storytelling (something even Hades - despite its excellent writing couldn't quite manage with all the dialogue windows that kept interrupting the pace of the game). Even if the rest of 2021's gaming line-up disappoints, I have this and I'm happy with that. 
 

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Ooh, just had another run through of act 2, achievements for beating the final boss popped this time, although I didn’t get near proficiency 30!

 

Spoiler

Managed to pick up three sun fragments. I guess I should go back to biomes 1-3 for the rest, but I don’t want to give up my lovely, powerful guns!

 

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  • Vemsie changed the title to Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?

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