It is safe to say that Sony announced a lot of upcoming games at the “Future of Gaming” event yesterday, and though games like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales largely stole the show, there are some truly spectacular looking titles that haven’t snatched the headlines yet. Returnal, an upcoming game from Housemarque looks like it could be one of the sleeper hits to come out of the event.
The trailer shows a woman crashing on, and exploring an alien planet, as she narrates the experience. Essentially, the premise is that each time you die as the protagonist, you re-crash on the planet, but the planet has changed in some way. The whole concept feels straight out of Edge of Tomorrow, as you will become more familiar with the location and mechanics with each death, but your surroundings will also be adapting to defeat you.
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.
The description is interesting because it doesn’t actually explain much at all. We don’t know if the game will be largely story-based and focused around this main character or if you will be able to customize your character, and the game will be more gameplay driven. Beyond the basic premise, the description only discusses an adaptive fire mechanic, which seems a bit out of place in the two-sentence game description. Also, it explains that you can “get right back into the action after dying,” so maybe you relive the crash only a few times, or you simply respawn at the crash site.
There has been no release date announced, so all we know is that Returnal will eventually be released on the PS5 exclusively. The game is probably a way off, but it definitely looks like it could be a sneaky hit.