Returnal Drops New Gameplay Footage and Combat Details
You Wait Forever For a Time Loop Game and Two Turn Up At Once
Returnal is one of those time loop games. Set on an uncharted planet, the game sees heroine Selene exploring the alien world, which is constantly, well… repeating itself. Whenever Selene dies she’s resurrected, with the caveat that the world around her changes, too. While the game is set to have a full story, the environments themselves change, meaning that no two playthroughs will ever be exactly the same.
A new trailer focuses on the combat aspect, showcasing some of the different weapons and tools that Selene will have at her disposal, ranging from a lightsaber-esque laser sword to a gun that shoots lightning to a tool that causes a spike to erupt from the ground and impale the nearest enemy. Also a part of the game are parasites, which offer a high-risk, high-reward option, as they strengthen Selene while weakening her in other areas.
Writing on the official PlayStation blog, developer Housemarque’s creative director went into more detail, showcasing some of the caveats of the game’s brutal system. There are 10 base weapons, 10 alt-fire modes, and over 90 weapon traits- the caveat is that you can only carry one weapon at a time, forcing you to constantly adapt and think on your feet. Not only that, the alt-fire mode is randomized for each weapon, meaning you may be faced with a choice between multiple weapons, each with their unique advantages and disadvantages for an upcoming fight.
As for the parasites, they can change the game in interesting ways; for example, one may regenerate Selene’s health when it’s low while having the unfortunate side-effect of turning defeated enemies into pools of acid. How a parasite can affect things it isn’t attached to is unclear but, as Selene herself says in the trailer, everything on the planet connects into a larger system – why not a plucky (and badass) astronaut?