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Returnal - Housemarque blends arcade gameplay and cosmic horror (out 30/4/2021)


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About time the PS5's most promising game gets its own thread.

So what is Returnal? 
 

If you'd throw Housemarqe's arcade heritage, roguelikes, Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat, Bloodborne and a pinch of P.T. in a blender, you'd get Returnal.

For an overview:
https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/games/returnal/
50701169331_1e88785711_k.jpg
Reveal trailer:


Then there is this Game Awards trailer:

Returnal-short-sword.gif

 


And there is my favourite trailer, the recently released gameplay trailer that is an onslaught of particles, neon coloured bullets, massive tentacled creatures, sci-fi mystery and cool music. Watch in 4K and with good sound:


More info on the PS Blog:

https://blog.playstation.com/2020/12/10/returnal-launches-on-ps5-march-19-2021/


I have high hopes for this and that's also based on things I can't talk about. 

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3 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

How Roguelike is it? It looks more like a linear, narrative-driven action-adventure game to me, albeit with much better shooting than we're used to.


I'll try to stick to what has been revealed so far, but as the name of the game implies the whole dying aspect of roguelikes is integral to the plot. 
In Housemarque's own words:
 

Quote

With Returnal, we’re creating a huge third person action title and exploring narrative storytelling.
In Returnal you get to dive deep into the mind of Selene, an Astra space scout trapped in a hellish loop of endless resurrection while trapped on a hostile planet. The roguelike formula mixed with exploration platformer elements allow for a unique way to explore the planet and continue the battle she is fighting. Of course, there will be plenty of Housemarque arcade flourishes present, so prepare to be bombarded by volleys of bullet-hell projectiles along the way.


Other info taken from the PS website:

Quote

Through relentless roguelike gameplay, you’ll discover that just as the planet changes with every cycle, so do the items at your disposal. Every loop offers new combinations, forcing you to push your boundaries and approach combat with a different strategy each time.

Brought to life by stunning visual effects, the dark beauty of the decaying world around you is packed with explosive surprises. From high stakes, bullet hell-fueled combat, to visceral twists and turns through stark and contrasting environments. You’ll explore, discover and fight your way through an unforgiving journey, where mystery stalks your every move.

Designed for extreme replayability, the procedural world of Returnal invites you to dust yourself off in the face of defeat and take on new, evolving challenges with every rebirth.


 

Quote

Intense combat

Fight to survive in this third-person roguelike shooter.

 

Take on ruthless enemies in explosive, bullet hell-fueled combat.


Thrilling exploration

Manage equipment and resources carefully – every time you die, you restart from the beginning.

 

Scavenge alien tech for upgrades to enhance your abilities in future cycles.
 

Haunting narrative

Piece together fragments of Selene’s memories as she seeks out answers.

 

Forge a personal connection with the planet as you explore its constantly evolving and decaying terrain.

 

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18 hours ago, Vemsie said:

Designed for extreme replayability

Give it to me now! Big fan of Resogun and Nex Machina. This is looking really nice but I'm a little concerned by how people will look at the apparent "content" in a roguelike, especially given the price tag (currently £70 :blink:). They really can't afford another flop with this one given the clear increase in budget. 

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2 hours ago, Hylian said:

Give it to me now! Big fan of Resogun and Nex Machina. This is looking really nice but I'm a little concerned by how people will look at the apparent "content" in a roguelike, especially given the price tag (currently £70 :blink:). They really can't afford another flop with this one given the clear increase in budget. 


Yeah, I'm fairly selective in what I buy so it's a day 1 for me if it reviews well, but I'm not sure your average buyer will flock to a new IP like this when it's not a AAA whopper like God of War, even though this looks to have more replay value. I think Sony should have priced this a bit lower, more in line with Miles and Sackboy. 

Always rooting for Housemarque so I hope it finds an audience, even if it needs price drops to do so. Perhaps good reviews and word of mouth can help a bit.

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Looks more like Space Harrier than anything. The art style is a bit jarring, the particle effects and neon don't look they belong in those environments, but then Housemarque's games have always been ugly and tasteless despite their technical flair.

 

Probably going to be a solid 6.5 or 7/10.

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It's a big jump to go from releasing sub £20 arcade games to banging out a £70 blockbuster.

I'm not as convinced as others in here as the trailers so far don't show much other than the main character gasping and some run & gunning.

 

I'm still playing Resogun and I've had that since PS4 launch day, Nex Machina never stuck with me quite the same though.

 

Good luck to them though, I really hope it's worth every penny but it could be a difficult sell at that price point.

 

 

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Not that I want to pay lots for games but I'm hoping that the decision to charge full price for it reflects their confidence in it as a game.

 

I like Housemarque's stuff and think the dark world mixed with bright neon explosions works beautifully, reminds me a bit of tearing around Halo with a plasma pistol and a needler. Definitely a good thing. 

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50 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Looks more like Space Harrier than anything. The art style is a bit jarring, the particle effects and neon don't look they belong in those environments, but then Housemarque's games have always been ugly and tasteless despite their technical flair.

 

Probably going to be a solid 6.5 or 7/10.

 

No way. Resogun, Alienation, Super Stardust, Outland and Nex Machina are all gorgeous and so is this.

 

Resogun and Nex Machina weren't 6.5 or 7 games and neither will this. It'll be Housemarque's trademark superb gameplay tied to far more impressive worldbuilding than people expect. EDGE 9. Lock it in.

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42 minutes ago, Vemsie said:

EDGE 9. Lock it in.

 

This is the magazine which gave Binary Domain a 6, Vanquish an 8, and Uncharteds 2 through 4 9s. They wouldn't know good third-person shooter if it pirouetted through their living room window expressing inanities in an outrageous French accent. If they give Returnal a 9 I'll be seriously worried that Housemarque have fucked something up.

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50 minutes ago, Wiper said:

 

This is the magazine which gave Binary Domain a 6, Vanquish an 8, and Uncharteds 2 through 4 9s. They wouldn't know good third-person shooter if it pirouetted through their living room window expressing inanities in an outrageous French accent. If they give Returnal a 9 I'll be seriously worried that Housemarque have fucked something up.

 

I do think they scored Housemarque's games fairly over the years though and Edge's editorial team is probably completely different now. And given how they scored Hades they know a good roguelike too so we'll see.

 

I don't think an 8 for Vanquish is unfair btw. Great score for a great game.

 

Anyway, I just hope this catches on for Housemarque. They deserve it.

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33 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I've watched the trailer a couple of times and I'm just not feeling it. Are the environments procedurally generated or is it all hand-crafted?

 

Procedurally generated, it's a roguelike.

 

I'm the other way round. I keep going back to that gameplay trailer because it pushes all my gaming buttons. The action is fast, frentic and skill-based, which is what I love in games, and I adore the weird sci-fi vibe it has. Oh, and particles. It's all so very Housemarque, and Harry Krueger - who also directed Nex Machina - has such a great feel for action game design.

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8 hours ago, Halo said:

It's a shame such a promising game has such a horrible name. I'm not sure why I have such a visceral negative reaction to it - perhaps it's a bit too close to "renal"?


Nah ... surely that kidney be the reason

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There's a new Housecast on the Returnal page in the Store and it's an excellent watch. The director Harry Krueger talks about the origins of the game and the narrative layers added to the gameplay first principle of Housemarque, including a hefty dose of psychological horror.

 

Lots of new gameplay snippets as well and it looks ace. The mobility in this game is something else, with grappling hook stuff that hasn't been shown before I think.

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  • Vemsie changed the title to Returnal - Housemarque blends arcade gameplay and cosmic horror (out 30/4/2021)

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