Hi all! Hope you enjoy recent videos we shared on Returnal. With this latest update, we wanted to share more details about the gameplay, which we all know you’ve all been looking forward to.
With Returnal, we’ve sought to blend a unique blend of playstyles. It combines our signature explosive arcade action, responsive controls, and bullet hell gameplay, and this time it’s all presented in third person. . There will be fast-paced, frenzied combat and intense shootouts, along with rich exploration and traversal as you explore the procedurally generated environments of Atropos. We created Returnal to be a stimulating and rewarding experience, with enough variety and depth to keep you coming back for “once again”.
From lightning to tentacles
Selene will have many weapons and devices at her disposal to survive on the hostile alien planet Atropos. Some that she brought with her – others that she found and made her own. The video above shows off some of the different abilities you’ll find while playing Returnal which we’ll dive into below.
The game features a number of basic weapons which are augmented as you play. For example, the Living Spitmaw Blaster weapon starts out as a shotgun archetype that you all know and love. As you level up, you’ll unlock and add various weapon traits, each providing a unique gameplay modifier to the behavior of the base weapon. These weapon traits are customized for each weapon type – so your Spitmaw Blaster can gain HE shells or generate acid pools on impact; while the Electropylon pilot can extract additional loot from enemies or generate shields for the player. These weapon traits will stack up as well, so the combined effects can lead to many surprising results that may have unique perks and playstyles to explore.
Each weapon will also have a randomly assigned alternate fire mode from our diverse pool, ranging from the Electric Pulses of the Shockstream to the tentacles of the Tendrilpod, and everything in between.
These can be used without ever taking your finger off the trigger using the default control scheme: with the adaptive trigger on the DualSense controller, simply press L2 halfway to aim the sights and use the main fire to your gun, and press it all the time. down to enter your alt-fire mode.
With 10 basic weapons, over 90 weapon traits (each with three levels), and 10 alternate fires, there are plenty of weapon combinations to try out on your journey.
While new weapons are common, Selene can only hold one weapon at a time, so your choice is important. Different challenges and enemies will also require different strategies to overcome, so you will have to constantly adapt, experiment with different weapons, and develop your skills to survive on the hostile planet of Atropos.
For Selene, death is no way out. Each death sends Selene to the start of the time loop, moments before crashing into the planet. Most of the abilities and items collected in the previous cycle will be lost … but not all. Some persist from session to session, so you will continue to improve with each cycle.
One of those lingering elements is the mysterious Cthonos, an alien device that spawns a random item at the start of each cycle. This otherworldly device tracks your performance, and when enough progress is accumulated you will be rewarded with a brand new item for immediate use, which will also be permanently added to the loot pool available from that point on. .
The items you earn or discover while exploring the planet Atropos will change the way you play and provide a wide range of effects and strategy options for Selene. They can be offensive tools like the Dismantler, a smartbomb-style blast that annihilates all enemies around you; defensive consumables like the Kinetic Siphon, which restores health through melee attacks; or more strategic artifacts that give Selene unique advantages under certain conditions.
Risk and reward
There is a lot of loot to be found on Atropos, but beware that not all that glitters is gold. Certain elements, called Parasites, have both positive and negative effects. You’ll have to think twice before picking up a parasite that, for example, regenerates you when your health is low, but also causes enemies to leave behind a pool of acid upon death.
Collecting parasites will often be a risky decision, but there are several other scenarios that can help change the odds in your favor, such as carrying an Artifact that can increase your maximum health for each parasite you have attached.
There are plenty of other instances where risk and reward will come into play, all of which can dramatically change how each cycle plays out. You might come across a “cursed” container that can hold valuable loot, but opening it can trigger a random combination malfunction which, for example, can damage Selene whenever she uses door and trunk keys. , and can only be repaired by collecting a large number of Obolites. Obolites can be exchanged for valuable items to increase your chances of survival, but if you’re on a good run you might prefer to spend them to activate a checkpoint – die and resurrect there with your items and abilities. current, rather than restarting the cycle.
These are just a few quick examples of the many interesting scenarios and tough decisions you’ll face. The return will be available from March 19. Stay tuned as we’ll bring you the details of the mode in the coming weeks.