Returnal Continues To Look Like The PS5’s Coolest Exclusive

Returnal Continues To Look Like The PS5’s Coolest Exclusive
Image: Sony / Housemarque

Without prior warning, developers Housemarque uploaded a ton of new video footage of their upcoming shooter-roguelike Returnal on early Tuesday morning. And unsurprisingly, it’s continuing to look like the neatest exclusive on the PS5 thus far.

Seven new trailers appeared on the official Housemarque YouTube channel this morning, covering the basics of the story, gameplay, combat loop, enemies and a developer-narrated walkthrough. It’s basically enough footage to work out whether Returnal might be your thing.

And for a lot of people, a third-person shooter masked as a bullet-hell game (which Housemarque has been doing so well for a very, very long time) is definitely their jam.

Not all of the footage is entirely new. Some of it is just Housemarque pushing out some of the footage that has been aired through Sony on their own official channel, which is entirely fair. It’s a bit weird that a developer as good as Housemarque only has a few thousand subscribers on YouTube, which seems wrong given this is the same studio behind the very good AlienationNex MachinaSuper Stardust 96Resogun and Super Stardust HD.

Returnal is out in 10 days, and honestly, it feels like something has to go substantially wrong for Housemarque not to stick the landing here. It’s got that flashy, high contrast look which will pair super nicely when playing in HDR. I like the approach to drip feeding the story, rather than just doing straight dumps of exposition. I love the way the audio is balanced when your HP drops. All of the gameplay videos being shot in 4K/60 FPS is a good sign too – Housemarque has always accommodated smooth gameplay in their titles, and given Sony has mandated all PS5 games must have a performance mode option, I’m confident Housemarque has got a good solution there.

Returnal launches as a PS5 exclusive on April 10. Unfortunately, being a PS5 exclusive also means retailers are selling it for $109 right now, but if you use the Amazon Shopping mobile app, you can apply a 10APP checkout code to bring the price down to $98. (Still pricey as hell, but it beats paying $109 or more.)

Comments

  • I’m not usually harsh on new properties, but it looks both incredibly dull and incredibly dated (and this is from a guy whose games I play average over a decade old). Combined with the fact it only entered development in January 2020, I will be highly surprised if this is a good game.

    • It’s been in development for several years! Not full production as Housemarque pushed it back due to other projects, but it’s been kicking around internally for a lot longer than that. They spoke about it in a few interviews.

    • It’s weird for me too, the game looks amazing visually right up until the particle/special effects show up and then everything gets a strange arcade mechanics fell to it.
      I’ll be letting this one sit for a while because I suspect it’s gonna appear on PS+ sooner than later.
      (Due to Sony’s recent quality drive in that area)

      • The ‘strange arcade mechanics’ thing is their comfort zone and probably where they’re relying on picking up their existing fans. Bullet hell shooters aren’t normally my thing, so it’s also a bit of a turn-off for me, but the rest of what they’ve done still has me very curious.

        I think you might be right about the PS+ though. Sony hasn’t committed to a PS5 game every month–probably because there’s just not that many PS5 games–but they’d clearly like to.

  • I’m not surprised they have very few YouTube subs. I’m only 1 person but I’ve hardly heard of Housemarque before Returnal and don’t know any of those other games that they did in the article

  • Wow I’m actually pumped for this game after watching those! Though $110 is a tough sell… Might wait for the price to come down a bit.

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