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Julius

Returnal (30th April 2021)

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Hoursemarque's next game is quite the unexpected departure. 

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Returnal combines action with roguelike gameplay into a third-person shooter where players fight to survive a hostile planet that changes with every death. Players can switch instinctively between firing modes by using a single adaptive trigger and can get right back into the action after dying. PS5's immersive 3D audio brings the alien world to life around the player, helping players navigate the intense positional combat.

 

Edited by Julius

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Housemarque went 3rd person and apparently still nail that arcadey-shooty-feeling :D I'm so hyped for this.

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RETURNAL. Sounded like they were a bit stuck with ideas for the name and just decided to go with that. :laughing:

Game looks good, though. A bit Prometheus-y...but the cool Prometheus where it looked like it would be good from the trailers. Not the shitty-ish Prometheus that we actually got. 

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Good news, everybody. It's a rogue-lite third person shooter mixed with some bullet hell.

Rogue-lite.

giphy.gif

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Potential box art and description from Amazon:

81HgxLAlAsL.png

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After crash-landing on this shape-shifting world, Selene must search through the barren landscape of an ancient civilization for her escape. Isolated and alone, she finds herself fighting tooth and nail for survival. Again and again, she’s defeated – forced to restart her journey every time she dies.

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-fuelled 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.

 

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On 12/06/2020 at 6:58 PM, Fierce_LiNk said:

RETURNAL. Sounded like they were a bit stuck with ideas for the name and just decided to go with that. :laughing:

 

Can't wait for the spin-off DLC ->  Relouise Redknapp

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2 hours ago, Julius said:

Potential box art and description from Amazon:

81HgxLAlAsL.png

 

Oh, Gwendoline Christie's in this?

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Announced as releasing 19th March 2021 at The Game Awards, and for a new trailer too:

 

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:o That...looks...AWESOME.

Still can't believe that Housemarque is making a rogue-lite-bullet-hell-3rd-person-shooter. It's like a dream come true. Only thing that could make this game better is if they put in some kind of deck-building mechanic :laughing:

Anyways...easily my most anticipated game right now. Day-one. No pants. All day.

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I really, really like the look of this.  It has all the hallmarks of a Housemarque game but in 3d and boy does it look pretty.  I want to break the cycle!

6 hours ago, drahkon said:

Anyways...easily my most anticipated game right now. Day-one. No pants. All day.

Absolutely - balls swinging in the breeze!

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GamesRadar interview with Housemarque shines a bit more light on the game. 

Quote

"Returnal's dark sci-fi time loop setup is so exciting narratively for us because Selene, our deep space scout repeating the crash, allows us to add lots of hidden layers narratively that are uncovered through repetition," says Louden. "The cyclical nature of the narrative design means the more you push forward, the more you discover Selene. What does the cycle do to someone? What is the planet's history? Why are things beyond Selene's comprehension appearing here?"

For Housemarque, it wants to create a world that can feel alien and atmospheric, offering up the occasional moment of respite and beauty before the mystery seeps in and suffocates once again. "Our goal has been to haunt the player. It was important for us to embrace the mystery, and leave many of the secrets of the planet to players to discover themselves," says Krueger. "I feel that some of the best stories we experience are the ones we piece together in our minds through implication. In Returnal, we're conscious to share enough in our world to spark intrigue, but never too much – the more you know, the less you imagine. It's important to leave enough room for the players' minds to wander."

...

Krueger notes that "the shifting, procedural world is something that's also recognised by our story, and is a central element of Selene's nightmarish predicament and her slow descent into madness."

...

"Cosmic horror has been a strong inspiration for us, both for our world-building and many of our central philosophical themes as well. Our enemies have been largely inspired by deep-sea creatures, and strong bioluminescent highlights will contrast their otherworldly tentacle masses. There are also Lynchian influences, where we aim to blend the surreal with the unsettling – grounded, but with a dream-like ambience. This dark, bleak world is accompanied by our bright and vibrant action to create a high-contrast 'dark world, bright gameplay' aesthetic."

...

While an increased focus on narrative design and world-building work to showcase the studio's rising ambition, the gameplay is still king. Returnal is a third-person roguelike, albeit one that is infused with the sensibilities of Housemarque's beloved top-down, bullet-hell shooters. Krueger tells me that while Returnal looks worlds apart from anything the team has delivered in the past, the beating heart of Housemarque is still there at its core. "In all our games, we've always adhered to our core arcade philosophy, which is the relentless pursuit to create unlimited replay value. Returnal is no exception in that regard, and our central pillar for the vision has also been to 'design for replayability'. Everything we put in the game goes through the same scrutiny: how will this survive repetition? Anything that is only fun once should only be experienced once."

...

"We've worked hard to find a balance between the high-stakes permadeath gameplay of good roguelikes (and arcade games) where you feel a strong commitment in your run, while also providing a satisfying feeling of progression to reward you for your time investment."

Plenty more in the article itself, which I think is definitely worth a read. Count me even more intrigued by this game :p

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Really hope there won't be many jumpscares in this one :p I can deal with some psychological stuff and the "descent into madness" bit sounds really intriguing but jumpscares...nope nope nope.

Still...day one. It's Housemarque, there's no other way.

Edited by drahkon
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8 minutes of developer gameplay went up the other day, seems to have gone under the radar a bit:

Hope we get a State of Play for this next month! 

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Not watching it (I did take a peak for a few seconds, though). Want to go in with as little knowledge of the world/enemies/lore as possible.

I'm stupidly excited for this one. :bouncy:

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Man, I'm gutted for you with this getting delayed @drahkon

Personally was waiting on reviews, and will be still, because it releases the same day as New Pokémon Snap. Smart move for them to delay if the extra time is needed to give them that extra bit of time to polish it, but yeah, it sucks. 

Kind of makes me grateful we don't have dates for other games expected later this year, because the inevitable delays are going to hit even harder. It's not like there was even much of a difference here anyway though, seeing as we only had about three months of a heads-up from The Game Awards before the March 19th release date, which honestly raises my concern quite a bit more. 

Again, hopefully it's just polish or down to COVID delays in production, but to be announcing a delay of one month just one month after revealing your release date? Fingers crossed it's not some other reason we've seen grip the industry far and wide over the last year or so in similar cases of short delays (i.e. crunch). 

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Short gameplay walkthrough we got in today's State of Play:

Still think it looks good, but I guess it might just be one of those games I need to get my hands on, because I really feel like it needed a bit of a deeper dive than this to get more of my attention. 

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I thought this looked a bit bland. Certainly, the £70 asking price for a randomising roguelike seems a bit ludicrous.

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10 minutes ago, Sheikah said:

I thought this looked a bit bland. Certainly, the £70 asking price for a randomising roguelike seems a bit ludicrous.

Yeah, the combination of price and not knowing exactly how a decent stretch of moment-to-moment gameplay will pan out is giving me pause for now. It also doesn't help that it's releasing in a pretty busy 3 or 4 week period, I think it might end up a little bit buried unfortunately. 

Because of that, I really think it could benefit from a demo to make a bit of a statement, and let the audience get a feel for it before committing to dropping £70 on it. The games I'm looking forward to around that time - Mass Effect, NieR Replicant, New Pokémon Snap - are all known quantities in some way or another, and it makes it a lot easier to get behind them for me than it does this. 

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I don't normally like scary games but I might actually be tempted by this, craving something to play on my PS5. Definitely one to wait for a sale though, £70 seems crazy steep. Looks pretty at least. 

If it's not nightmare material I'll probably get it. A demo would be nice?

Edited by Ronnie

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redford-zoom-2019.gif

Still saving up for this one. Hope I can get it on release day :D

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