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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


Vemsie
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And that's the credits all rolled. According to the ship's log:

 

32 hours played

34 deaths

 

Have to say, the difficulty level can really drop off a cliff if you get the right weapon, the right augments, and the right parasites. I must have done that because tonight I went through Biome 5 on just my second go (my first look was this morning before work), and then went and did Biome 6. No deaths. 

 

I'll be honest, I felt like a cheated/cheesed it because I stuck to the Electropylon Driver the whole time. That weapon is fucking ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a total piece of piss, there was one hairy room in Biome 6 where the lasers and whatnot were just fucking outrageous. But I managed it. I also got very lucky before the boss. I downed a mini-boss and it dropped the item that removes all malfunctions, I had two shitty ones and was so relieved to get rid of them.

 

Liked the ending, and like how there's more to play. What a great fucking game. :)

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Still stuck in biome 3, at 40 odd deaths in about 40 hours played.

 

Only one of those runs had some golden RNG, about a dozen or so hours ago, when good Gesus blessed me and took me from Biome 2 to Biome 4 at a canter. Then a rest mode crash and save file corruption deleted all that lovely progress, and I’ve been getting shafted by dirty Gesus ever since.

 

After being obsessed with it last week and playing it heavily every day, I’ve now gone four days without touching it, and can feel its pull quickly fading. I imagine I can happily park it for a long while now and focus on more rewarding investments of my leisure time. Like hanging out in here. :lol:

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Spent 3hrs getting back to where I was on Biome 3. Had a sliver of health left after 2 epic battles, yet managed to somehow fight through 3 more enemy packed rooms without taking a single hit and get to a teleporter, to teleport to a fabricator. 
 

Luckily I had just enough Credits from the battles to buy a Large Health Vial and fully heal. Fuck yeah! Headed back to where I was originally,, ready to finally progress forwards, over the bridge to the tower. I’m going to make it!
 

“SWOOOOOSH”. As I’m crossing the bridge about 7 of those flying robot cunts with homing missiles appear on all sides of me. I leg it for the tower door, dashing, and zig zag running like a motherfucker. I somehow make it to the end of the bridge AND grapple over the gap on the other side, taking minimal damage. “YEEEEEESSSSS”!!! I’ve fucking done it! “BOOOOOOOOM”!!! A barrage of missiles hit me from behind just as I sprint through the door. Selene crumples to the floor. I’m back at the start.......again. 6hrs of play down. Six. Hours. Of. Play. Down. Holy fuck this game is absolutely brutal at times.

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That's pretty much my life now.  I've only seen Boss 3 once, on the same run I beat boss 2.  Since then I've been clearing biome 1, then heading straight to 3, and dying at random places in that zone.  I think this has been going on for about a week now, but I've kinda lost count. People finishing this entire game with less than 100 deaths are on a whole other level of ability to me.

 

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To anyone struggling, Thor nailed it. Try and practice with the Electropylon Driver because once it clicks it is a gamechanger. It's not a win button, you'll still have work to do but it's close.

 

10 hours ago, Thor said:

Have to say, the difficulty level can really drop off a cliff if you get the right weapon, the right augments, and the right parasites.

 

I'll be honest, I felt like a cheated/cheesed it because I stuck to the Electropylon Driver the whole time.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, catinthehat said:

That's pretty much my life now.  I've only seen Boss 3 once, on the same run I beat boss 2.  Since then I've been clearing biome 1, then heading straight to 3, and dying at random places in that zone.  I think this has been going on for about a week now, but I've kinda lost count. People finishing this entire game with less than 100 deaths are on a whole other level of ability to me.

 

 

In my experience taking any shortcuts to higher biomes is a false economy (bar skipping bosses). I meticulously went through biomes 1 & 2 before my attempts at 3 and was nicely tooled up with a monster health bar by the time I got to the boss. I went from thinking I'd never getting past Phrike to seeing the credits with 20 deaths.

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2 minutes ago, p1nseeker said:

 

In my experience taking any shortcuts to higher biomes is a false economy (bar skipping bosses). I meticulously went through biomes 1 & 2 before my attempts at 3 and was nicely tooled up with a monster health bar by the time I got to the boss. I went from thinking I'd never getting past Phrike to seeing the credits with 20 deaths.

 

I can't realistically do that until they implement a save feature, unfortunately.  I only get to play for a maximum of about 90 minutes at a time, and other people use the PS5 when I'm not using it.

 

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11 minutes ago, p1nseeker said:

 

In my experience taking any shortcuts to higher biomes is a false economy (bar skipping bosses). I meticulously went through biomes 1 & 2 before my attempts at 3 and was nicely tooled up with a monster health bar by the time I got to the boss. I went from thinking I'd never getting past Phrike to seeing the credits with 20 deaths.

 

I've touched on it a few times but I disagree entirely. Don't think of the bosses as gates that need buffed builds and massive health bars, those things aren't nearly as useful as a bit of experience fighting those bosses. The shortcuts are in the game to be used and have been designed around. Your weapons will be up to level due to the calibration items at the start of each biome. As long as you can get to the boss with full health and one or two healing items you can 100% do it. That extra bit of health isn't worth the 2 hour investment! Unless you really enjoy it, I guess. 

 

You can also skip any room that doesn't have a lockdown.

 

The boss 3 run was the most brutal in the game for me and I kept dying on the way. Once I'd stopped trying to get myself buffed for the boss (and repeatedly dying doing so) he fell on the third attempt with a health bar not far off base. The boss lost its intimidation factor once I understood it. It was definitely easier than Ixion!

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You're definitely on to something with the intimidation factor of bosses and getting straight to them would alleviate that. 

 

I guess the way I play games is very meticulous and it would be in the back of my mind i'd skipped by something I could be using to help :lol:

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For fun I went through biomes 1 to 3 after finishing the game. Tested the Pylon driver on Phrike - much easier but still a difficult boss.  However, I found the Pylon Driver isn't actually a good gun for the Biome 3 boss, for some reason it only seemed to do a little tick damage, and I got done in stage 2. 

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I am still in the camp that completely clears a Biodome (includes the boss unless I'm drowning in Ether already) before moving on. More practice is always welcome, as well as discovering hieroglyphs, audio logs etc. There's something therapeutic about it.

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In my experience, getting to the bosses and some of the rooms along the way were harder than the bosses themselves. Managing a room full of very angry missile flinging dudes is a lot harder than a single enemy to focus on regardless of how many projectiles they fling and health bars they have.

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15 hours ago, df0 said:

Nice and all but a trailer like this makes it look like a - bear with me - Horizon or a God of War or any third person action adventure. I feel they should have emphasised the core gameplay mechanic more. Like how Lords of the Fallen did, one of the trailers showed the character fighting a boss and dying, fighting same boss again and getting a little bit further only to die again. Admittedly, the whole Soulslike comparison helped a lot setting the tone for that game.

 

The above trailer looks nice, but I can fully understand people feeling underwhelmed and confused when they hand over 70 quid only to be greeted by this unforgiving rogue-like.


I think the trailer is just for the accolades. There's so much footage and reviews out there that pretty much everybody by now knows that it's a roguelite.

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There is definitely a presumably-undesigned tension between what's the best thing to do to survive a run and how long your real life lets you play that I don't appreciate. It presumably peaks when you're taking on Biomes furthest away from your starting point.

 

You want to gain some Integrity/Health, get a couple of good Artefacts under your belt with some decent perks, and a gun you like at a decent level. For that, you want to explore. But I only have so long to play, which means I lean towards streamlining it. Yes, you can pick up Weapon Proficiency at the world gates, but my experience is not that this in itself is sufficient (and indeed, when you see Housemarque themselves doing videos on this, it's not their intention that the average player will speed-run to the next boss each time.)

 

I've definitely died significantly more times in Biome 2 getting back to the boss than I did to the boss. But I'm not sure I agree that speed-running it would have been the best way to deal with that. Apart from the issue where I turn up at the boss, and the pre-boss gun it gives me ends up being a shitty shotgun I don't want (but need to take because my Sidearm is Level 0, and the Spitmaw is level 9) how are you supposed to have obtained this "one or two healing items" if you're not exploring the previous worlds?

 

I don't farm every room in Biome 1 (when I was aiming myself at Ixion) but I do try to get to the shop and then have enough Obolites to buy a Silphium vial or Astronaut (or whatever) when I have found it. Which quite often means a significant effort exploring. I assume I'm likely to do similar when I get towards the Biome 3 boss.

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1 minute ago, Vemsie said:


I think the trailer is just for the accolades. There's so much footage and reviews out there that pretty much everybody by now knows that it's a roguelite.

Nobody knows what a roguelite is ok. I don't even know what a roguelite is, is Returnal not a roguelike?

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3 minutes ago, df0 said:

Nobody knows what a roguelite is ok. I don't even know what a roguelite is, is Returnal not a roguelike?

 

It's a roguelite, but it does its darndest to hide those elements, making it feel more like a roguelike. Capiche?

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6 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

It's a roguelite, but it does its darndest to hide those elements, making it feel more like a roguelike. Capiche?

:mellow:

 

Can we come up with a better term? ReturnalLike :quote:

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2 minutes ago, df0 said:

:mellow:

 

Can we come up with a better term? ReturnalLike :quote:

I mentioned "progressive arcade game" earlier in the topic. But it's kind of annoying to use Returnal as a starting point as it's just so weird and hostile compared to others in its genre (which is already a pretty hostile genre to start with).

 

Oh, and "returnalike" is a slightly better portmanteau. :P

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30 minutes ago, Timmo said:

 

I've touched on it a few times but I disagree entirely. Don't think of the bosses as gates that need buffed builds and massive health bars, those things aren't nearly as useful as a bit of experience fighting those bosses. The shortcuts are in the game to be used and have been designed around. Your weapons will be up to level due to the calibration items at the start of each biome. As long as you can get to the boss with full health and one or two healing items you can 100% do it. That extra bit of health isn't worth the 2 hour investment! Unless you really enjoy it, I guess. 

 

You can also skip any room that doesn't have a lockdown.

 

The boss 3 run was the most brutal in the game for me and I kept dying on the way. Once I'd stopped trying to get myself buffed for the boss (and repeatedly dying doing so) he fell on the third attempt with a health bar not far off base. The boss lost its intimidation factor once I understood it. It was definitely easier than Ixion!


I don’t agree the intent is to use shortcuts - I think the game is designed so you can do as much or as little as you like before you take on a boss. I agree getting maxed out has its risks, but can be really fun too - I certainly enjoy the arena combat more than the bosses now I’m thoroughly in the endgame. Also, giving yourself more leeway to screw up against the bosses is a valid strat for learning and overcoming bosses the first time. But anyway, you don’t even need to scour each biome, my advice for anyone still working their way through the game would just be to get enough money to buy the max HP upgrade and the big health refill at the shop in each biome and then move on to minimise risk and maximise reward. 
 

I’ve been doing more minimalistic runs recently where I just head straight to the biome I’m interested in, do my business and then take on the boss, and then if there’s still a biome to go afterwards, I’ll just book it to the boss and have a crack at the default level. While it’s totally viable to win at lower levels, I don’t know if it’s necessarily more fun. Low damage means much longer fights and more chances to mess up.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, df0 said:

Nobody knows what a roguelite is ok. I don't even know what a roguelite is, is Returnal not a roguelike?


Roguelikes feature biomes, roguelites feature biodomes

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Quote

The exact definition of a roguelike game remains a point of debate in the video game community. A "Berlin Interpretation" drafted in 2008 defined a number of high- and low-value factors that distinguished the "pure" roguelike games Rogue, NetHack and Angband from edge cases like Diablo. Since then, with more powerful home computers and gaming systems and the rapid growth of indie video game development, several new "roguelikes" have appeared, with some but not all of these high-value factors, nominally the use of procedural generation and permadeath, while often incorporating other gameplay genres, thematic elements, and graphical styles; common examples of these include Spelunky, FTL: Faster Than Light, The Binding of Isaac, Slay the Spire and Hades. To distinguish these from traditional roguelikes, such games may be referred to as "rogue-lite", "roguelike-like", or "procedural death labyrinths".

Procedural death labyrinths. Yup, that's the one.

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So I finished this last night. I’ll be back with more thoughts later but it’s my favourite feeling game since Bloodborne. I just loved the sensation of playing it. I’m going to take a few days off to get back into monster hunter a bit but when I do go back am I just going through the old biomes again and exploring new areas to progress? There are some bits I still can’t access but I know people said there was a true ending somewhere in there. 

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Had a few days off, back to it last night and was glorious. Question on shortcuts for anyone passed Biome 3...

 

Spoiler

Am I right that there are two routes back to Biome 3. The first is the big stone gates, which is RNG how quickly you get to that 'room' and the other is through most of Biome 2 after you actually get to that gate in Biome 1. Am I missing a shorter route?

 

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14 minutes ago, MardiganX said:

Had a few days off, back to it last night and was glorious. Question on shortcuts for anyone passed Biome 3...

 

  Hide contents

Am I right that there are two routes back to Biome 3. The first is the big stone gates, which is RNG how quickly you get to that 'room' and the other is through most of Biome 2 after you actually get to that gate in Biome 1. Am I missing a shorter route?

 


 

Spoiler

Yeah, although if you go to biome 2 you can peg it to the base of the mountain and then use the warp to get to the boss floor, then use the ring gate before you actually fight him. Probably quicker to find the path from biome 1 though.

 

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1 hour ago, imp said:


I don’t agree the intent is to use shortcuts - I think the game is designed so you can do as much or as little as you like before you take on a boss. I agree getting maxed out has its risks, but can be really fun too - I certainly enjoy the arena combat more than the bosses now I’m thoroughly in the endgame.

 

 

This is, I'm certain, one of the reasons I'm making such slow progress. I get carried away working through Biome 1 even though I can skip quickly to 2. I've genuinely never played a game - certainly not a shooter - where I enjoy the actual second-to-second gameplay so much.

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

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