Returnal: A Challenging and Innovative Fusion of Third-Person Shooters and Roguelikes

Returnal: A Challenging and Innovative Fusion of Third-Person Shooters and Roguelikes

Returnal is a video game released in 2021 by Housemarque for the PlayStation 5 console. It is a challenging and innovative fusion of third-person shooters and roguelikes. The game follows the story of Selene, a space explorer who crashes on an alien planet called Atropos. Selene is stuck in a time loop and must fight her way through the planet’s hostile terrain, battling strange creatures and uncovering the secrets of the planet’s mysterious past.

One of the key features of Returnal is its innovative use of roguelike elements. Each time Selene dies, she is sent back to the beginning of the game, but the world and enemies she encounters are randomly generated. This means that each playthrough is different, and players must adapt to new challenges with every run. The game also features permanent upgrades that persist across playthroughs, providing a sense of progression even as players start from the beginning.

Returnal also has a deep combat system that combines traditional third-person shooting with a variety of abilities and weapons. Selene can dash, jump, and dodge to avoid enemy attacks, and can also use a range of weapons and abilities that can be upgraded throughout the game. The combat is fast-paced and challenging, requiring players to use strategy and quick reflexes to survive.

Returnal, the PS5 exclusive game from Finnish developer Housemarque, initial
failed to impress gamers but later gained a loyal following after gameplay footage surfaced online. Despite being a lesser-known studio attempting to sell an original IP for $70, Housemarque competed against established AAA creators. Compounding matters, Sony’s marketing campaign portrayed the game as a generic action shooter, which didn’t fully convey its highly addictive roguelike gameplay. However, the game’s frenzied bullet-hell action has now arrived on PC with some adjustments for the new audience, thanks to the collaboration with Climax Studios.

The game begins abruptly, placing players among the stars as Selene Vassos, a deep space voyager on a mission to investigate a mysterious signal called “White Shadow” on the forbidden planet Atropos. After steering her ship into the eye of a cyclone, Selene crash-lands on Atropos, which is overrun with exotic vegetation and the ruins of an ancient Xeno-type civilization. In line with the conventions of roguelike games, the introduction is minimal, providing only enough information to get started. The larger narrative unfolds through repeated runs.

Selene finds herself trapped in an infinite time loop, with every death returning her to the crash site and erasing some of her memories. Returnal begins in the middle of one of these loops, but the game doesn’t directly convey this to players. Through exploration and collecting Scout logs (audio recordings) left by her previous incarnations, players slowly unravel the game’s mysteries. Selene’s fragmented memory helps immerse players by providing exposition in a less obvious way. At one point, she admits, “I don’t remember recording that,” which bridges the gap between the character’s and the player’s understanding of the situation. Both start on a similar, relatable footing with limited knowledge.

Returnal is an exciting and challenging game that immediately thrusts players into action without any hand-holding. As the protagonist Selene, players must navigate through a series of randomized levels filled with hostile aliens, and the environment itself changes with each subsequent death and run. Unlike traditional roguelikes, Returnal presents itself in a third-person shooter format, making it visually unique and appealing to mainstream gamers who may not be familiar with the genre.

However, the game retains the bullet-hell philosophy from Housemarque’s previous titles, such as Nex Machina and Matterfall. This means that players must time their jumps and dashes carefully while avoiding a barrage of projectiles. It can be tough, and players will likely die multiple times before mastering the game mechanics.

One unique aspect of Returnal is the inclusion of story elements within death scenes. While it may be frustrating to die repeatedly, players will uncover new story elements and gain a deeper understanding of the game’s narrative with each failed attempt.

Overall, Returnal is a challenging and innovative game that bridges the gap between third-person shooters and roguelikes. The game’s randomized levels and enemies add to the difficulty, while the inclusion of story elements within death scenes keeps players engaged and motivated to keep playing. By combining elements from various genres, Housemarque has created a game that appeals to both seasoned roguelike players and newcomers to the genre.

The game’s visual and audio design are also top-notch, with stunning environments and a haunting soundtrack that creates a sense of dread and tension throughout. Overall, Returnal is an innovative and challenging game that combines the best elements of third-person shooters and roguelikes. It provides a unique and immersive gameplay experience that is sure to appeal to fans of both genres.

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock