Feedback on the game: release date, gameplay, scenario, inspirations … We take stock of the exclusive PS5, which was released on 04/24/2021 at 7:02 pm and updated on 04/24/2021 at 7:05 pm. Exclusive to PlayStation 5, Returnal is one of the most anticipated titles of the moment. Directed by the Finnish studio Housemarque (born from the fusion of Bloodhouse and Terramarque) this psychological thriller is coming in the coming days. Future hit or humble title? Before we definitely take this shooter in hand, let’s take stock of the game, its inspirations, its gameplay and its special features. Down on Atropos, a mysterious alien planet, Selene desperately tries to join ASTRA’s command, but her calls go unanswered. All around them is desolation and the places seem to be in the grip of a storm. With her suit intact, she decides to break free from her shuttle in spite of everything and begins to set foot on this unknown land. Stunned, she then discovers that she no longer has a weapon and, despite her vulnerability, decides to sink into this uncomfortable environment. After the signal she spotted (and what she was on her way to Atropos for), the astronaut discovers the body of a scout and identifies it. The trailer no longer says anything about what she discovered and leaves the viewer in breath because the weapon laid by the heroine is next to the corpse. So far filigree, there should be no lack of twists in Returnal’s plot. Especially since it is based on a well-worn concept that can be very effective when used well: the time warp. Rendezvous in an unknown country.
An endless day
Indeed, Returnal’s heroine is stuck in a space-time rift, implying that any death leads to a flashback that brings her back to Atropos a few moments before her crash. Like the movie with Bill Murray, Selene will make progress by adapting her actions to her discoveries so as not to relive the same temporal routines ad vitam aeternam. And there, no marmot, no snow, and even less Pennsylvania, it will be necessary to penetrate dark places, find your way around enemy caves and encounter creatures ready to do anything to defeat the brave man in combination . To get rid of these critters, the young lady can count on her fairly large arsenal, as well as a reverse device with which she can propel herself or, if necessary, dodge enemy blows. To create the bestiary, the designers took inspiration from marine animals.
Progress is procedural, which means that the environment and the position of the enemies change with every mistake. The developers worked it out: the adventure is primarily geared towards survival and it will be necessary to constantly adapt to the numerous patterns of the enemies, under the penalty of bearing the consequences. Returnal is a punitive and demanding title that conforms to the codes of roguelike. It is very dynamic in its mechanics and also offers an original structure in the sense that every death … causes a regeneration of the environment. Specifically, the game uses a system that combines the presence of preconceived areas with random gameplay events. Every time Selene falls into battle, the world around her changes. The map is different, the placement of the enemies is no longer the same and their number changes. Returning will require ongoing rehabilitation and everything seems to indicate that it will be anything but a walk in the park. To get rid of the shame in the levels, the player can count on artifacts that provide access to weapons, consumables and various equipment upgrades. If the principle remains classic, however, the developers have indicated that these changes will have an immediate impact on the character and the way he works in combat. By combining the procedural aspect with different gameplay approaches, Returnal aims to offer a unique run for each game. Hopefully the promise isn’t too ambitious, evasion will be the focus of the clashes.
Some events take place from a subjective point of view. Psychological thrillers oblige, the discoveries Selene will make in her own story will affect her progress. In order for the immersion to be complete, the designers opted for a subjective approach to the situation. If the action phases take place in the third person, certain sequences are experienced from the eyes of the heroine, which can create an emotional connection between her and the player. It is unknown what the tenor of the events she will face will be, but in all likelihood the ASTRA scout will find himself at the epicenter of an intrigue that goes well beyond a simple signal. The return shouldn’t be stingy in strong sequences, as the gameplay trailer shows, in which reality mixes with the memories of the heroine. This way of working is very smart because it is about going beyond the evolution of the player and at the same time proposing environments that a priori would have nothing to do in such a production. Returnal is less general than was feared when the game was announced. It fascinates with its Metroidvania formula and might surprise with its non-linear development. We’re far from seeing all of the exclusive PlayStation 5, but we’ll share all of our impressions with you once the title is in our hands. With the April 30 app, the wait comes to an end and Selene is presented with her own memories.
By Ayden_, journalist jeuxvideo.com MP