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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


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And finished! I would never have dreamed a couple of days ago, hell even yesterday, that I'd have seen the credits today but I ended up storming through biomes 4-6 in a single run.

 

After a few dreadful attempts at biome 4 I beat the boss and then biomes 5 and 6 were honestly the easiest ones of all. The electric pylon gun is ludicrously overpowered. It has amazing range, large capacity, good damage output. It just chewed up everything the game could throw at me in 5 and 6, it almost felt like cheating. If you can get one early to mid level 20s do not give that shit up for anything (although a good automatic rocket launcher came close).

 

Very strange difficulty curve. While RNG does play a part to an extent, the sheer power of some of the later weapons means the back half of the game is so much easier. If you can get past biome 3 you can absolutely complete it. In terms of how much trouble I had with each biome I'd say:

 

3>1>2>4>5>6

 

Took me 29 hours and 27 deaths. Not sure how much I care about uncovering more of the story as it carried zero emotional resonance for me. Some of the house sections were cleverly done but overall it's a needlessly self-important damp squib.

 

What a game though. Will definitely go back and see what the post-credits now holds. 9/10, what a great surprise.

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I’m finding Returnal too difficult.

 

I’ve only got to the first boss once. And that’s after about 10 hours play! I always get overwhelmed by multiple enemies at once. I’m going to continue with it but can’t see myself ever finishing this game.

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Melee the wee blue tentacle boys. Just dash between groups. You can also jump to hit the low flying mantas. They’re all one hit to kill. Keep sprint set to Always on too.

 

The flying jellyfish are harder as they do that beam attack when in groups. Best approach is swap targets repeatedly, as hitting them staggers them and they break lock. Just work your way round the group, hit and move on.

 

Give the Tree boys an alt-fire and finish with a couple of slaps. And the orange boys need meleeing, just watch for the orange blob-vomit.

 

Most importantly, never stand still in combat, ever, be hip-fire strafing, or sprinting constantly. Have aim assist set to high also.

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I’ve spent ten hours and not beaten the first  boss. If I’d had a spaceman he’d be toast. Still loving it though. Not a fan of the RNG in this as you can quickly see runs turn out to be worthless slogs.

 

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Best run there. 

Stupid build that gets max integrity (and heals) and getting/losing malfunctions, and good chance not to consume item on use. Get a clense sphere and watch health rocket. Manged to get loads of protection too.

Got up the mountain for first time, killed second boss on first go and got a good way through biome 3 before a room overwhelmed me.

Never having that luck again.

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Oh man, had a few amazing runs at this today, seen as had a nice bank holiday off. Got to get really stuck in to it. 
Defeated that first boss fucker and onward to the 2nd area! 
 

 

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Well done to everyone who's seeing the credits already very impressive it's not an easy game!

 

I've been destroyed at the start of Biome 5 both times I've got there.

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Couldn’t resist a run back through biomes 1-3. Feels very different now, not loving the more basic weaponry!

 

Post-game spoilers

 

Spoiler

Got all the sun fragments, looking forward to seeing what they bring tomorrow!

 

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Talk to me about how to best beef up Weapon Proficiency damage.

 

Obviously you want to pick up the various calibrators in the level (but that's RNG), and anything appropriate for sale (slightly less luck-based), and any parasites that boost it (depending on the negatives), but I've also read that you should ignore all chests until you clear the biome with your pistol, then go back and open them up so they are all of a higher starting WP. Does this make any real difference by the time you get to the boss?

 

If I rinse Biome 1, then take the shortcut to the biome 2 boss fight, I seem to be hitting him with at best a WP 7 or 8 gun. Which is taking an age to whittle him down. Perhaps I should accept the long climb up to get a WP boost by the top, though it will likely cost me some health on the way up. So if chest juggling helps I'll give that a try too.

 

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It’s the giant tentacle monster thing that usually kills me in Atropos. It’s too fast and I can barely even hurt it with the pistol. It keeps jumping on me. I think I’ve got a better chance against the boss - if I ever get there again - than that thing.

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Just now, Monkeyspill said:

It’s the giant tentacle monster thing that usually kills me in Atropos. It’s too fast and I can barely even hurt it with the pistol. It keeps jumping on me. I think I’ve got a better chance against the boss - if I ever get there again - than that thing.

 

Run and dash at it and melee it, good chance it will stunlock it. Then alt-fire it and keep twatting it.

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2 minutes ago, jonamok said:

Talk to me about how to best beef up Weapon Proficiency damage.

 

Obviously you want to pick up the various calibrators in the level (but that's RNG), and anything appropriate for sale (slightly less luck-based), and any parasites that boost it (depending on the negatives), but I've also read that you should ignore all chests until you clear the biome with your pistol, then go back and open them up so they are all of a higher starting WP. Does this make any real difference by the time you get to the boss?

 

If I rinse Biome 1, then take the shortcut to the biome 2 boss fight, I seem to be hitting him with at best a WP 7 or 8 gun. Which is taking an age to whittle him down. Perhaps I should accept the long climb up to get a WP boost by the top, though it will likely cost me some health on the way up. So if chest juggling helps I'll give that a try too.

 

 

Nah, don't clear the whole thing with your pistol, that'll be miserable. Definitely trade out your weapon until you find one you like. Then, don't open chests until you've levelled up. If you're trying to get the best possible weapon before the boss, I'd clear out the whole biome, and then hit up any remaining chests, locked ones in particular are likely to yield weapons a couple of levels above your proficiency. However, they might also give you artefacts. Which is also good, but might not give you the specific edge you want. If you manage to pick up a consumable that cleanses malfunctions, you can always poke at a couple of malignant chests, too. Although, they're likely to give you consumables. Also make sure you don't pick up more than two malfunctions at once, as the third will trigger a critical malfunction that will destroy one of your artefacts at random.

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2 minutes ago, jonamok said:

What version number? Was on 1.003.001 this morning.

 

That's the newest version.

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4 minutes ago, jonamok said:

Talk to me about how to best beef up Weapon Proficiency damage.

 

Obviously you want to pick up the various calibrators in the level (but that's RNG), and anything appropriate for sale (slightly less luck-based), and any parasites that boost it (depending on the negatives), but I've also read that you should ignore all chests until you clear the biome with your pistol, then go back and open them up so they are all of a higher starting WP. Does this make any real difference by the time you get to the boss?

 

If I rinse Biome 1, then take the shortcut to the biome 2 boss fight, I seem to be hitting him with at best a WP 7 or 8 gun. Which is taking an age to whittle him down. Perhaps I should accept the long climb up to get a WP boost by the top, though it will likely cost me some health on the way up. So if chest juggling helps I'll give that a try too.

 

 

I don't understand the idea that you should save all the chests in a biome until your proficiency is higher. This just means you're more likely to have to struggle through the biome with a shitty weapon and then by the time you actually open all the chests the weapons you get will only be good for the boss and then immediately outclassed at the start of the next biome. 

 

At the start of each boss fight there is always a weapon to pick up that is perfectly good for the boss fight. In fact, in some cases, like biome 3, I found the weapon outside the boss fight better than several others I took in with me. That's not to say you can't take better in but the one they leave for you is more than suitable for the fight.

 

If your concern is mainly about going into the biome 2 boss fight with only a level 7 or 8 gun then it seems to me like you're wasting your time grinding biome 1 but then skipping half of biome 2. Whether you grind biome 1 or not, at the start of biome 2 there is always an item which will boost your weapon proficiency to either 4 or 5 no matter what you leave biome 1 with (and when i used to grind biome 1 I never left with higher than level 4 or 5). 

 

Your better bet if you're looking to save time but get a higher weapon level for biome 2 boss is probably to head straight to biome 2, get the boost to level 4/5 and then work through the whole level to get your proficiency up as high as possible. You'll be entering with a fairly poor weapon though so you'll just need to survive until you pick up at least one new one.

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 And apropos of nothing, here is my boss tier list. It's based on how fun it is to fight them, rather than how difficult they are. Contains post-biome 3 spoilers:

 

Spoiler

S Tier

 

Hyperion

The perfect mix of challenging your attacking and evasive instincts. His stationary phases are fun, as are the more aggressive parts when he takes to the middle of the arena. I really love the double blue ring attacks, they feel incredibly satisfying to dodge.

 

A Tier

 

Phrike

I think the Ixion fight is a little more interesting overall, but this one is just very satisfying as you can really lay into him without needing to stop to focus solely on dodging very much. A great flow-state boss.

 

Ixion

I almost put him above Phrike as I really enjoy fighting him, but I have real trouble with the sequence he does at the start of phases two and three where he deploys the blue bands while firing out orange orbs at you, I just find it really hard to judge spatially and end up jumping on or backing into an orb. I love all the other phases though, the opening move set is fairly easy, but tricky enough to keep you on your toes, the phase two part where he flies away is really satisfying and a nice change of pace too. The final phase, where he relentlessly launches himself at you, is nails though.

 

B Tier

 

Nemesis

The fight is an incredible spectacle the first time you down him, but upon repeat visits, it’s all a little rote. Shame, really, as it's probably the coolest bit of the whole game so far.

 

C Tier

 

Orphion

Not to say it's a bad fight, but I'm not a huge fan of this guy, even if there’s enough going on to keep you ducking and weaving like a champ. I especially like that by this fight you’re expected to jump as well as dodge throughout, but the light gimmick isn’t that interesting, and he really lacks bite. Understandable, since getting to him can take 3 hours, but a bit of disappointment all the same. Also he isn't nearly as visually interesting as any of the other bosses.

 

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I had my covid jab sat morning , by sat night I'd started with the cold sweats and a fever so off to bed I went. As soon as I dropped off my mind started looping and did so for the remainder of the night and what was it looping , bloody runs of this.

 

Anyway now I'm over that finally beat boss no.1 

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Just to add to the stuff about weapon levels, I wouldn't get too hung up on the number, ultimately. Traits are probably more important, and some weapons are great in the actual levels but terrible on the bosses themselves. Biome 4 I had a great carbine in the level that was bobbins on the boss compared to the Rotgland Lobber for example.

 

The number 1 tip I think I would give is to always prioritise buying the 25% health upgrade every biome. Over everything else. Yes, even if there's an astronaut available to buy as well (though if you grind the level you should be able to afford both). You want to be going into the biome 2 boss with at least a 150% long health bar but ideally closer to 200%. The difference between a level 8 and level 9 weapon is neither here nor there by comparison.

 

And most of the other upgrades you can buy at the shops just aren't as crucial. Maaaaaybe the one that lets you recover 5% of damage as health depending on your adrenaline level but, crucially, that is no good on the bosses. Because as soon as you get hit on a boss fight your adrenaline level is 0 and there's no way to recover it so that artifact is immediately useless for the rest of the boss fight.

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Agreed on prioritising the health upgrades, but the brilliance of the adrenaline siphon is that it lets you maintain full health through the biome, letting you up max your HP steadily with resin. I had it on one of my runs earlier today, and I entered the last biome already maxed out at 300% HP! I think protection is almost as high priority as max HP, as that'll really help in the boss fights. Extra weapon damage is nice, but I haven't found that it's truly necessary.

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1 hour ago, kempstar said:

Anyone got some tips for the second boss?


I did it first time reading this guy so I knew what his patterns would be. Maybe it’s cheating but he’s dead and I’m not (well I am, about 28 times now but you get my point)

 

I only found the third phase tricky so hopefully you’ll have a couple of health canisters by then.

 

https://www.powerpyx.com/returnal-boss-guide-all-bosses/

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Phrike is down, on my third attempt at him. I needed the Astronaut as it turned out (and I had a Parasite that gave me a three-hit shield and then dropped off, causing a Malfunction) but he's down.

 

And then made significant headway exploring the 2nd Biome - lots of audio logs and a cutscene for a new enemy type.

 

It's a good game! Really challenging at times, and certainly actively hostile. But very satisfying.

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Still haven't beaten boss 1. Got close after a decent run through and picking up some cool loot meaning I was well prepped.

 

It's just annoying that there's no save game option. I understand it takes away from the type of game it is but it's so intense that I feel like I need to play something chill after a bit but can't otherwise I'll lose all progress.

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Had my first go at the second boss tonight, didn't get to his third phase but I wasn't exactly tooled up for the job. Am I right in thinking I should have unlocked a shortcut? I couldn't see one on the brief look I had right after.

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4 minutes ago, Thor said:

Had my first go at the second boss tonight, didn't get to his third phase but I wasn't exactly tooled up for the job. Am I right in thinking I should have unlocked a shortcut? I couldn't see one on the brief look I had right after.

Yes.

 

Spoiler

There's a portal at the foot of the mountain.

 

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7 hours ago, jonamok said:

Melee the wee blue tentacle boys. Just dash between groups. You can also jump to hit the low flying mantas. They’re all one hit to kill. Keep sprint set to Always on too.

 

The flying jellyfish are harder as they do that beam attack when in groups. Best approach is swap targets repeatedly, as hitting them staggers them and they break lock. Just work your way round the group, hit and move on.

 

Give the Tree boys an alt-fire and finish with a couple of slaps. And the orange boys need meleeing, just watch for the orange blob-vomit.

 

Most importantly, never stand still in combat, ever, be hip-fire strafing, or sprinting constantly. Have aim assist set to high also.

Another tip I'd give with regards any airborne enemy - if they're in groups and one starts glowing orange, focus them to knock them out of their attack which will do damage if you don't take care of them or dash at the right time. Depending on the environment you're in you can move out of the way around a wall/ pillar for cover, too.

 

But also, yes - always be moving, especially if you're in a tight spot and / or are surrounded by enemies.

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Well, exactly 24 hours in and another couple of failed runs at Ixion. No matter what state I go in at, his phase 3 is impossible at my skill level.

 

If I’m honest I was a mug for thinking I could beat this. Should have trusted my instincts. I just don’t have the coordination, consistency and focus to do these kind of bosses any more, which saddens me to say.

 

I’m not even arsed about the £61, some of those early hours were really fun, and the core game is great, but now I’m so, so tired of the same rooms, the same half-dozen mobs, and the same rubbish RNG, again and again and again. Sony/HM are welcome to my (one and only) day-one digi purchase, but I would love to have that literal day of my life back. Pretty much matches my feelings about Sekiro too.

 

Glad you’re all managing to progress and enjoying it. But I’m done for good, and it’s uninstalled, before I waste a load more hours trying to recapture my gaming youth. TTFN.

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

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