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Returnal aims to "create unlimited replay value" for PS5 gamers

cormack12

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Source: https://www.gamesradar.com/returnal-aims-to-create-unlimited-replay-value-for-ps5-gamers/



Lots more at the link....

"Returnal is our dark, deep, and beautiful sci-fi action thriller. It takes everything Housemarque has done in the past, gameplay-wise, and adds a whole new vision and style," narrative director Gregory Louden tells me. "For me, Returnal takes the best things from past Housemarque classics and respins them for the next generation of games."

Stormdivers, Housemarque's take on the burgeoning battle royale genre, is on hold and its future uncertain. In January 2020, the studio announced that the entirety of its attention was shifting to meet Returnal's ambition – a AAA game that isn't attempting to carry the torch for arcade-inspired games forward, but keep their spirit alive in a bold new package. Fans will definitely recognise this as an evolution of the Housemarque formula, and we hope that with our new direction and production values we can introduce our brand of explosive arcade action to a wider mainstream audience." Returnal will be the first game out of Housemarque backed by a full narrative team.

"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?"

"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.

With that in mind, Returnal is being built to constantly surprise. While Krueger isn't certain of how many permutations of its world and action exist, he believes it could well be in the thousands. Every time Selene dies, she'll experience the crash and a new variant of the subsequent attack, with waves of monsters attempting to halt her exploration of the planet and acquisition of its knowledge every time. "The roguelike formula in some ways felt like a natural continuation of our creative philosophy," he continues. "Our levels are generated procedurally in Returnal, and our goal is to ensure that every run feels unique and offers rich variation for gameplay and combat scenarios."

"Even in death on Atropos, Selene learns, evolves, and changes. Atropos is also filled with the remnants of an extinct alien civilisation she can scavenge and utilise; fortunately, she can also keep some of this xeno-tech she discovers," he says, teasing that this will unlock "shortcuts, gameplay advantages, and the means to fight further and harder with every cycle."

You'll keep hold of your logs and language samples upon rebirth, and your ship's database will continue defragmenting over time as you push for progression, "so the more you cycle, the more layers to be found here too," Louden teases. What of mission-critical items and equipment to help you survive the horror of the planet? Krueger says that by exploring and experimenting you'll begin to unlock permanent upgrades and new abilities, all of which will not only let you push deeper into the maw of death, but uncover new layers to environments you've already explored.

"You'll gain access to previously inaccessible areas, discover new items and secrets, piece together new parts for our story, and gain new advantages in combat. Multiple weapons and items will also become unlocked as you discover them in the world," he says. "Ultimately, though, the biggest resource that will carry over between sessions is the player's skill.
 

Jaxcellent

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Only thing i dont like is the way she shoots the gun... Anyone else dont like this animation?
 

kuncol02

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Wasn't too hot on it when it was first announced. But this new info has my interest piqued.
What new info? Since first trailer it was clear that's some sort of roguelite. They just explained what roguelite is to people who don't play indie games.
 

GymWolf

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Onestly? I'm gonna be already happy if the game has half of hades replay value...
 

xrnzaaas

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Housemarque are my favourite Sony developer. Starting to get a little worried by some of the noise though. This sounds like they’re trying to justify the price of entry.
I'd be interested who decided to charge full price for this game - them or Sony. I'll support the studio, but definitely not on day 1. 20-30€ max.
 
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Ogbert

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I'd be interested who decided to charge full price for this game - them or Sony. I'll support the studio, but definitely not on day 1. 20-30€ max.
It’s going to bomb at that price. I’m a nut for Housemarque and Alienation was one of my top 5 games from last gen. But even I’m raising an eyebrow at how much they’re charging.
 
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Mr Hyde

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Getting more and more excited for this. Everything I read about this game it sounds like it's right up my alley.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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My most hyped PS5 game.

I think the sharp focus on shooting and mobility will give this some legs. I still enjoy playing older "roguelite shooters" like Strafe, Mothergunship, Everspace, and Risk of Rain 2 because the underlying mechanics are solid. I wouldn't say any of those games boast a TON of content nor the best graphics in the industry, but their gameplay keeps them interesting.

Roguelite is the future, hand-in-hand with f2p lootbox mp.
 

Guilty_AI

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So its a roguelike? Quite a risk to make one for the mainstream public, i see a lot of people who complain about having to start over all the time. That said, it does look interesting.
 

Kev Kev

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2008 called, they want their gimmick back

jk i dont even know what this is, ill check it out
 

kruis

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So its a roguelike? Quite a risk to make one for the mainstream public, i see a lot of people who complain about having to start over all the time. That said, it does look interesting.

The biggest risk is the price tag. This is a full price PS5 game at $ 70 / 80 euro. IMO that's commercial suicide for this game.
 

Guilty_AI

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The biggest risk is the price tag. This is a full price PS5 game at $ 70 / 80 euro. IMO that's commercial suicide for this game.
Yeah, theres also the fact thats a PS5 exclusive. The stronger audience for roguelikes is on PC and Switch from what i've seen.

I think the success of this game will highly depend on how well they can adapt the concept for the mainstream public. Meaning they can't make the game too hard and they'll have to keep throwing story bits at a frequent enough pace.
 

Unknown?

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Housemarque are my favourite Sony developer. Starting to get a little worried by some of the noise though. This sounds like they’re trying to justify the price of entry.
Well maybe but we have way more noise with people who have seen short minute long clips and already making assumptions.
 

Captain Toad

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Yeah, theres also the fact thats a PS5 exclusive. The stronger audience for roguelikes is on PC and Switch from what i've seen.

The reason for that is rougelikes have pretty much always been 100% indie and indies do best there.
 
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Tschumi

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I'm really excited about Returnal! Pretty good pedigree at that company, and you know, it's a great story that they seemed to get a virtually blank cheque after the success of their more indy games... And the graphics look quite a bit next gen.. apart from the projectiles maybe
 
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Guilty_AI

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The reason for that is rougelikes have pretty much always been 100% indie and indies do best there.
Regardless of the reason, doesn't change thats where the majority of the public seems to be currently.

Also, there are shitloads of great games within the genre too. They have to fill pretty big shoes, and all while justifying the price tag considering i could get similar games like Risk of Rain 2 for 1/3 of the cost.

What they have going for them is the AAA budget, which also means they'll have to aim for higher sales, which comes back to the success of the game relying heavily on how well they adapt the genre for mainstream audiences.
 
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Captain Toad

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Regardless of the reason, doesn't change thats where the majority of the public seems to be currently.

Also, there are shitloads of great games within the genre too. They have to fill pretty big shoes, and all while justifying the price tag considering i could get similar games like Risk of Rain 2 for 1/3 of the cost.

What they have going for them is the AAA budget, which also means they'll have to aim for higher sales, which comes back to the success of the game relying heavily on how well they adapt the genre for mainstream audiences.

Well, Housemarque has as solid of a pedigree as any of them.
 

Guilty_AI

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Well, Housemarque has as solid of a pedigree as any of them.
Good or not, the issue is that so far they've made mostly low cost and niche games. This will be their first AAA release.

I don't think they'll make a bad game, its really only a matter of price and public. Last i remember a developer tried to bring a niche genre to the market of full priced, heavily marketed AAA games was Death Stranding, and we all know how that ended up despite the game itself being solid.

That said, i think roguelike has bigger chances of succeeding in mainstream than delivery/management/building games.
 
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drotahorror

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Well, I thought it was a roguelike which I typically suck at but can have a good time with. It's a roguelite people. Permanent upgrades can be unlocked.

Krueger says that by exploring and experimenting you'll begin to unlock permanent upgrades and new abilities, all of which will not only let you push deeper into the maw of death, but uncover new layers to environments you've already explored.
 

Guilty_AI

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Dark Souls is pretty much a rogue-lite with non-procedural dungeons
I think Dark Souls is more a metroidvania with some roguelite elements.
Just by being non-procedural it already half defeats the goal of rogue games since it lead players to memorize layouts.
 
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mckmas8808

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I'd be interested who decided to charge full price for this game - them or Sony. I'll support the studio, but definitely not on day 1. 20-30€ max.

That's my only issue with this game. I can't buy it at $70. $40, yes.
 
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