Does the idea of a gorgeous, sci-fi 3D roguelike third-person shooter sound good? Well, now that we’ve seen more of what Returnal looks like, that’s pretty much what you’re in for.
A video of the game’s combat systems was published by the official PlayStation account recently. Returnal‘s a pure PS5 exclusive, so it’ll only be available on the Sony platform (and not for PS4) when it drops on March 19.
And now that we’ve had a bit more footage from the game, it’s a pretty easy sell. Housemarque games always had a wonderful beat and rhythm to them — Matterfall, Alienation and Nex Machina were all great bites of fast-paced brilliance.
And if you’re a Housemarque fan, you’ll see lots of elements from the studio’s action games in the latest Returnal trailer. There’s the random attributes (buffs or debuffs) that you can equip by finding parasites throughout the in-game world. There’s pillars that give you short-term buffs, not too dissimilar from what you’d see in a Diablo game.
There’s gadgets to help deal with the groups of enemies that you’ll run into, like a ground spike that impales the nearest enemy. We also got a very short look at how Returnal‘s levelling system works — at 1:52 below you can see how the player gains an extra proficiency level after landing a few melee blows on an enemy.
It’s all looking like a slightly creepier, crisper, funkier take on the 3D roguelike action we get from titles like Risk of Rain 2. And that’s excellent. More people should play that game, and I’d totally love to see more devs dabble in that space. The only thing I’m missing about Returnal, really, is the lack of co-op. It looks like it’d be amazing to play with a friend or two, but right now, the game is solo only according to the official listing.
The trailer also has what looks like pieces of story content, or bits from cut scenes. I’m curious to see whether Housemarque has done a Hades and found a clever way to stretch their storyline out across multiple runs, giving people reason to continually re-finish the game just to uncover more of the world. That’d be especially handy in a creepy, mysterious adventure like this.