You have to see the huge lack of games and consoles in the new generation of PlayStation 5 on the good side. This situation, which under other circumstances would be more dramatic for fans and companies, has made it easier for a title like Returnal, which would likely have been classified as “second line” (production values aside), to be considered one of the major versions of the Spring, launched with the full support of Sony.
Than Returnal, a relentless game and HardcoreAside from the popcorn genres that make the company the most money, this treatment is great news, and not just for developers of Housemarque, but for the entire sector. The Finnish studio deserved it, and PS5 players deserved it. In its risky, rogue combination metroidprimo As a science fiction shooter, Returnal is able to create a new Dark Souls effect that allows the most punishing experiences to highlight a depleted genre.
Warning: the risk / reward ratio is steeply sloping
So proceed so that this work is not suitable for all target groups. Returnal plays it at his suggestion as many times as you in the game if you want to be successful. As a “good” villain, he flirts so frustratedly that he sometimes loses sight of the balance between risk and reward, which means he can set back even the most seasoned adventure and science fiction shooters. What happens is that everything else is designed with such finesse and mastery that it pays off in the long run.
Every game, round or cycle that you live with Selene in Átropos is different, but it is well known and brings out the feeling of déjà vu. You start by crashing into the ruins of the forest and you start walking through various natural “spaces” created by procedures to equip yourself as best as possible before reaching your destination, either in that area or when you travel to others. Biomes of the planet.
At this point, it’s important to understand that game focus and strategy can be more important than command skills, and that it is still possible to lose it all by taking a single wrong step. It’s not so much a sheer and hard difficulty out there as knowing how to deal with happiness, for better and for worse. For example, I started with the philosophy, “The more I explore, the more I will discover and improve,” but it seems that I haven’t learned the lesson of wisdom from other roguelike. Here, the key is often not what can be done, but what can be done avoid
If you view Returnal as an adventure focused on exploration, your excursion will end with your bones back in the wet dirt and with a colossal sense of emptiness. I humbly admit that I invested nearly 15 hours of my gaming time in the first two biomes, both because of the cruelty of the game and because of my dedication to this particular approach. In the collection of upgrades, consumables, weapons and integrity (the “life” of the suit) You have to be exquisite and selective. In the confrontation with every single enemy one has to be agile, but above all extremely careful and remember again the souls and the society.
If ambition and curiosity don’t kill the cat or tarnish the goal, the game is different. However, there is always the possibility that one of the game’s random combinations for the next zone could completely ruin your plans. As a result, there are times when you spend half an hour to an hour preparing for the target, and trying to investigate or collect the missing artifact will throw all your exertion on the ground. And all of this because, unlike other roguelike models, it takes a long time, maybe too long, for permanent improvements or those that make it easier to traverse the map, long to arrive. It wouldn’t be so bleak if that last hour you wasted did more than just make you tougher, improve your encounters with enemies, or almost memorize the various structures of the room.
This means that satisfaction can depend too much on the approach to the game and luck (because you can have equipment, enemies or disposition much more or less difficult, which seems completely “unfair”). When you are successful, the pleasure is remarkable.
Return relieves Metroid itchiness
If you’re breaking the huge lows that can make you feel like you’ve literally wasted your time, and if you haven’t tossed the DualSense out the window, Returnal can give you good splashes of adrenaline and dopamine. The controls are so exquisite that simply moving, shooting, and practically any action feels great. Her world is drawn so organically that the seams between the random shreds are imperceptible. Your moments of Bullet hell You are a fascinating challenge. Your fight is agile, powerful, and so precise that it increases self-blame when the enemies destroy you in three hits. All of your additional systems (Parasites, Consumables, weapons, artifacts, upgrades, artisans, skill levels) are so well thought out that there is even more anger when this moment It will ruin all the preparations you re-equipped.
Biome changes are the main motivation to keep going. The setting is impressive, but it’s new weapons, enemies, and other things that make the hook. Maybe the road to them is a bit long if it all starts in the pristine forest (and you will never know how much time you should invest in it before you move on), but the variety of these “worlds” in another gives Returnal a great one Wealth and a resource to force the player to change their style of play.
One odd sensation, though it relates to several works from science fiction films and video games, and even space terror, is playing a bit of Metroid in Returnal. As if Samus Aran had slipped into Selene’s costume, as if you were walking through Tallon IV and not Atropos. That feeling is there, and you notice it as you walk through doors, encounter some creatures, unlock scrolling upgrades, consult the holographic map, or re-explore a previous room. Between homage and inspiration, it’s a subgenre that needs more affection, and Returnal is giving it to them while fans wait for Metroid Prime 4. Of course, here you remove puzzles and lore from the equation and trade the adventurous feeling for tenacity. Coincidentally, but this taste will delight a large part of the audience.
An example of the new generation PlayStation
You’d think we’d have to wait for the biggest Sony productions to find out what the new generation PS5 is all about, but nothing is further from the truth. And that’s not because of it the graphicsthat are already great, with their environments full of art and detail, with their living enemies or with their special effects. No. There are three factors where Returnal is reminding you that you stepped up and are no longer on PS4.
The first is the DualSense remote controlbecause it does not remain in curiosity to notice the rain in your hands. Using the adaptive triggers to convert a single-stroke button in the middle of the game to a two-position button (for precise aiming or loaded shooting with L2) already has an effect on the game, which is not known outside of it from PS5 do. With this in mind, haptic vibrations are not limited to just performing, but are also useful by sending signals to the player in various situations.
The second is the loading times. The most obvious example is the shocking sequence Death> Selene in Helios> Crashes> a new cycle begins. However, the most surprising thing to me is when you travel to a new biome for the first time. cross the purple door
Last but not least, there is the great job Housemarque has done with surround sound. The trick Sony is doing to get what it thinks as 3D audio with headphones is pretty good and is spreading for those who don’t have positional speakers, but when they do Audio design shines with a good surround system. The sounds, as strange and hostile as the enemies, or the perfect mix of effects, voices and the occasional musical note make your hair stand on end and surround you just like these house-brand particles. This sound work is now worth an award.
Death by a breakdown hurts twice as much
Speaking of technical problems: We keep our fingers crossed that the patch that will arrive at Returnal tomorrow will fix the few, but very bloody bugs we have found. It doesn’t matter that one or two enemies get stuck in a wall (as much as you want their precious one Oboliths and increase the level of adrenaline), but the problem is bigger when the game freezes completely. In my case, two places I couldn’t pass that made me restart the cycle or, worse still, after an hour and a half of preparation, happily going for a walk, proud of everything I had accomplished so far and became the game completely closed and sent me to the console’s start menu. The return is technically very, very well polished, but these glitches can be a lot more annoying than the worst-case room.
Finally, I would like to leave a few lines in Returnal’s narrative. Selene’s story is told in every cycle or after every event in a very ingenious way through little things. How could it be otherwise, taking into account the randomness of experience? Voice recordings of earlier Selenes, Xenoglifos To decipher or ominous dreams, they leave more pieces of the puzzle that is the story, but without a doubt the central scenes are those that happen In the house of the protagonist. For some reason this house is in Atropos, and the truth is discovered in sequences that may be from Kojima’s PT. Returnal isn’t here for the story, but Housmarque already knows how to tell it in a roguelike.
Because this game represents the total consolidation of the studio and evolves from its indie scale and arcade style to validate that it can do much bigger and more groundbreaking things. Coming back is brave, beautiful and tough. It comes with a warning in red because it can be very desperate, but those who have patience, perseverance, and success in tackling their cycles will face the best game of this year and generation. Welcome to this “highlighted by necessity”.