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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


Vemsie
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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. 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.

 

 

Can see all that! I think there are arguments both ways but the most important thing is that you're having fun! If you aren't then a change in approach is very possible!

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The trouble I'm having with Biome 3 is that I can go head straight there, and get proficiency at 9, but sometimes I can't find a gun until I've cleared quite a bit. So taking my level 0-2 gun with me isn't going to cut it. So I'm favouring a reasonably quick blast through 1, then on to 2 for a better weapon, then die on 3 after about 5 mins. :D

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7 minutes ago, Hylian said:

The trouble I'm having with Biome 3 is that I can go head straight there, and get proficiency at 9, but sometimes I can't find a gun until I've cleared quite a bit. So taking my level 0-2 gun with me isn't going to cut it. So I'm favouring a reasonably quick blast through 1, then on to 2 for a better weapon, then die on 3 after about 5 mins. :D

I think this is the balance between sprinting straight through and slowly clearing out. If you methodically clear out Biomes one and two then you'll probably have a weapon of around the right proficiency for the start of biome 3. Maybe even a choice between 3 or 4 weapons of different builds if you've been clever about when you open chests. If you sprint straight there you obviously save the time it takes to do the first two biomes, but are at the mercy of RNG to give you a chest early on, and for that chest to contain a weapon you actually like.

 

Balance, innit? 

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24 minutes ago, Hylian said:

The trouble I'm having with Biome 3 is that I can go head straight there, and get proficiency at 9, but sometimes I can't find a gun until I've cleared quite a bit. So taking my level 0-2 gun with me isn't going to cut it. So I'm favouring a reasonably quick blast through 1, then on to 2 for a better weapon, then die on 3 after about 5 mins. :D

I think there's always a gun chest at the start of biome 3 before you have to fight anything, regardless of which layout you get. Once you know where they are, it's easy to reach every time.

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5 minutes ago, BadgerFarmer said:

I think there's always a gun chest at the start of biome 3 before you have to fight anything, regardless of which layout you get. Once you know where they are, it's easy to reach every time.

I did think this but couldn't find one on last run. Will take a closer look - thanks! 

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What I love about this game is that near misses and more exploration through a level can seriously boost your confidence in your ability to progress. My last upgrade before the boss was a choice between another 25% integrity increase, or a 10% increase to Weapon damage. My Integrity bar was at about 260%, I felt I had enough. I went for the weapon upgrade. Right before the final boss of the game, who I'd never fought before, I went for the offensive option. :) 

 

The risk/reward element is great. Sometimes you get through a massive side-room full of lasers only to be rewarded with a sodding jizzlobber* and a malfunction from opening the malignant chest; other times you go through and find a room with a regenerator bed or a completely free upgrade. Also, @imp is right about the starting pistol - a higher level one with good damage bonus and rate of fire can be fucking amazing. 

 

*If it doesn't shoot straight I don't want to know, no matter the damage.

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Hah, I’ll have to make it my mission to sell you on the rotgland, next! I don’t always take it, but I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with the DPS on that gun!

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2 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

All the guns are decent once leveled a bit. The rotgland gets explosive rounds iirc?


Yep, all except the grenade launcher, which is irredeemable.

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Yesterday on my first completion I rocked the grenade launcher with tracking/homing mini projectiles and three others (from memory Full Auto was one of em) well good perks. I'd pay good money to have that one again, sheesh. Beast of a weapon. 

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Keza for the Guardian has written a good (and positive) review.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2021/may/12/returnal-review-epic-dance-of-death-with-beautiful-brutal-aliens

 

That early game RNG experience:

 

Quote

My first afternoon with Returnal took me through that jungle, past a couple of truly terrifying boss creatures, and through a Stargate-style portal to the arid ruins of the planet’s second area, the Crimson Wastes, in one epic four-hour run. I got lucky with a weapon I found early on, a shotgun-style thing with a secondary-fire mode that sent a horizontal wall of pain towards encroaching creatures. I found plenty of green pickups to refill and expand my health bar, and a weird alien machine-thing that resurrected me, and an upgrade for my suit that let me do more damage the closer Selene got to death.

 

I danced through every altercation, dashing and jumping and sprinting around mesmerising patterns of plasma orbs and bullets to get up close. Movement and shooting are so fast in Returnal, so instinctive, that when things are going well you feel like the archdemon of bullet hell, surviving against the odds.

 

Unfortunately, my shotgun turned out to be next to useless in the desert, which was mostly populated by ominous floating cubes with tentacles. By the time I got to the next boss, I was already struggling, and I flubbed it by sprinting into a pit trying to run away from a sword-wielding faceless alien that kept materialising behind my back. After that, it took me almost two days to get any further; on every attempt I seemed plagued by bad luck or failing skill. I kept coming across malignant items that caused my suit to malfunction when I picked them up, or falling through the floor to find a super-powerful mortar-firing turtle waiting for me, or opening chests to discover aggressive flying manta rays instead of a decent weapon. It was maddening. Over and over, I was sent back to the beginning. But still I kept playing.

 

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Just got my second clear. I do love this game but it'd be nice to have an option when you get weapon drops to instead take an equivalent upgrade of the gun you have. I started 4 with a decent spitmaw and was loving the shotgun play but by the time I got half way through 5 the level 15 spitmaw was not powerful enough so I had to swap, it would be nice to take a gun from start to finish is basically what I'm saying but it doesn't seem possible as they become underpowered during the run. Also I'd really like to level up the pistol but it seems every one that drops has the burst fire attribute which I really don't like so I never pick it up or level it.

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56 minutes ago, Minion said:

Just got my second clear. I do love this game but it'd be nice to have an option when you get weapon drops to instead take an equivalent upgrade of the gun you have. I started 4 with a decent spitmaw and was loving the shotgun play but by the time I got half way through 5 the level 15 spitmaw was not powerful enough so I had to swap, it would be nice to take a gun from start to finish is basically what I'm saying but it doesn't seem possible as they become underpowered during the run. Also I'd really like to level up the pistol but it seems every one that drops has the burst fire attribute which I really don't like so I never pick it up or level it.

 

Yeah, the pistol is ace.  I had my best run (clearing 1, 2 and getting to boss 3) with a variety of pistols.  Love them.  Particularly the homing missile one, which really helps compensate for my terrible aim.

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21 minutes ago, catinthehat said:

 

Yeah, the pistol is ace.  I had my best run (clearing 1, 2 and getting to boss 3) with a variety of pistols.  Love them.  Particularly the homing missile one, which really helps compensate for my terrible aim.

But can you get them without burst fire? Seems everyone offered to me has it and I prefer the semi auto version. Maybe I just need to level it up more so that it comes different attributes. 

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6 minutes ago, Minion said:

But can you get them without burst fire? Seems everyone offered to me has it and I prefer the semi auto version. Maybe I just need to level it up more so that it comes different attributes. 

Yeah, burst fire is shit, especially when you can hammer the trigger to make it fire faster than the assault rifle. There are quite a few shit perks, aren't there? Wide spread shotgun pellets has to top the lot. 

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1 minute ago, Timmo said:

Yeah, burst fire is shit, especially when you can hammer the trigger to make it fire faster than the assault rifle. There are quite a few shit perks, aren't there? Wide spread shotgun pellets has to top the lot. 

Yeah I’m not a fan of the web on the pylon either I like to construct my own. 

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7 minutes ago, Minion said:

Yeah I’m not a fan of the web on the pylon either I like to construct my own. 

I finished the game with that very gun and perk, so it's definitely not a bad one! I do prefer it without though, yeah. That gun is just crazy. 

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Agreed with burst fire being less than ideal on the pistol, but charge shot is worse! Bother together though? Ewww. 
 

I also think high calibre on the carbine is mostly rubbish. Just not enough damage compared to the trade off in speed.

 

I think the rocket launcher has the opposite trait problem though, if it doesn’t have full auto, it’s rarely worth taking! I feel like 75% of the time it does have that trait though…

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, imp said:

I also think high calibre on the carbine is mostly rubbish. Just not enough damage compared to the trade off in speed.

Yeah, High Calibre is fucking shite.

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Lads. I keep messing up Nemesis' third phase.

 

Spoiler

Am I better off attacking him at range or just using the grapple to get close to him as quickly as possible (I know I'm invulnerable when grappling). The yellow beams from the little alien things either side consistently hit me. I've been playing it safe and fighting him with the carbine as I feel like I need consistent long range damage. Is that the best move? 

 

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4 minutes ago, Pungee said:

Lads. I keep messing up Nemesis' third phase.

 

  Hide contents

Am I better off attacking him at range or just using the grapple to get close to him as quickly as possible (I know I'm invulnerable when grappling). The yellow beams from the little alien things either side consistently hit me. I've been playing it safe and fighting him with the carbine as I feel like I need consistent long range damage. Is that the best move? 

 

Spoiler

 

I did damage to bait an attack, when he attacked I used the grapple forwards (always towards him). Do damage, grapple. At a certain point he pushes you away again and I do not know if that's because I came too close or just some track mechanic. It takes time, but I chose this relatively safe method. By the time he has like 33% or less HP and my health was high enough I stopped worrying about incoming damage and would try to dodge as much as possible while on the same platform shrugging off any attack that hit me.

 

If you can, try to bring a consumable that creates a shield in front of you (I forgot the name of said item) that boots your attack and blocks all incoming attacks from the front. Stays up for like 10 - 15 seconds IIRC and can really help putting a dent into him while you catch your breath.

 

You definitely want as much range as possible, I'd always go for Carbine, Hollowseeker or handgun. The more like homing perks the better.

Not the shotgun or the pylon.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Pungee said:

Lads. I keep messing up Nemesis' third phase.

 

  Hide contents

Am I better off attacking him at range or just using the grapple to get close to him as quickly as possible (I know I'm invulnerable when grappling). The yellow beams from the little alien things either side consistently hit me. I've been playing it safe and fighting him with the carbine as I feel like I need consistent long range damage. Is that the best move? 

 

 

This might differ from person to person but I prefer to stay close and abuse the grapple. Mainly because it's really hard to dodge that blue shit when you're floating through the air.

 

As for the shield stacking, the guy apparently had a parasite and artefact combo with a super high chance of consumables being reusable.

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38 minutes ago, Pungee said:

Lads. I keep messing up Nemesis' third phase.

 

  Hide contents

Am I better off attacking him at range or just using the grapple to get close to him as quickly as possible (I know I'm invulnerable when grappling). The yellow beams from the little alien things either side consistently hit me. I've been playing it safe and fighting him with the carbine as I feel like I need consistent long range damage. Is that the best move? 

 

Spoiler

I found the best tactic to move as quickly as possible to him, taking pot shots while waiting for the next platform to appear. When about 100m from him I started pummeling him. This will take him down much faster than shooting him from distance.

 

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

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