Returnal, exclusive to PlayStation 5, brings an ambitious proposal by the Housemarque studio. The game mixes the roguelike style, and its scenarios randomly generated with each new attempt, to the breathless action of bullet hell, known to shooters in which a rain of shots attacks the player from all sides. In addition, the studio promises an engaging story that will unfold every time you die … and come back.
Scheduled for launch on April 30, 2021, Returnal it will be completely localized and dubbed in Brazilian Portuguese. THE Tecnoblog talked to the game development team about the scenarios, equipment and how the game intends to get the best out of the PS5 hardware. Check it out below.
Dying doesn’t mean it’s the end
In essence, according to the developers, Returnal is an action game built on Housemarque’s own heritage of creating arcade-style experiences. Only now, still according to the studio, this whole legacy has evolved to a new level with the PS5.
For Game Director, Harry Krueger, Returnal “It is a unique combination of different elements”, he comments. “In many ways, you could sum it up as a third-person bullet hell arcade adventure with some really strong roguelike elements for variation and replayability, plus a deep narrative layer, for the first time in our history.”
The roguelike elements, of which Krueger refers, are related to the process of generating scenarios in a procedural way. Basically, a “new map” would be created each time you try the game again, that is, after you die. “I think we are practically the first studio to be committed to the roguelike formula with that degree of fidelity in production,” says Game Director.
Krueger explains, however, that the development team decided to take a hybrid approach to this style. “Not everything in the game is generated procedurally, not all geometry and not every resource”, he explains. “We have a series of combat areas and spaces, in addition to treasure rooms created for each biome. And all of this was done by hand. So, we simply collect and shuffle these elements every time you play the game. ”
The Game Director also says that there is a finite number of combat spaces, but there are several different areas. These sectors are populated by very peculiar surprises too (even to continue the story). At one point, for example, you can enter a region clogged with enemies, and at another time, that same space can hold a treasure chest. The idea of the studio is to keep players always curious to find out what awaits them in the next area.
Customizable equipment and replayability
Harry Krueger explains that Returnal was developed with replayability in mind. Therefore, it is difficult to measure an exact number of hours that the game campaign should last. “Even if you could, in theory, play the entire game without dying, you would not experience the entire content of the game.”
The more times you start playing again, according to Krueger, the more story elements, secret rooms, collectibles and equipment you can unlock.
Regarding loot and weapons, there are hundreds of different combinations of equipment that the player can get. “We have ten basic archetypes. Starting with the most familiar ones, like machine guns and shotguns, and also many other weapons that make things really crazy ”, explains the Game Director.
It is possible to apply modifiers to these weapons as well: “This can fundamentally change the behavior of the base weapon. So, you can have a shotgun that gains a kind of electric cannon behavior, ”exemplifies Krueger.
Returnal promises 60 fps and good use of DualSense
The Housemarque team claims that thanks to the processing power of the PS5 hardware, Returnal it can be played at a solid 60 frames per second. In parallel, the team also says they have focused a lot on integrating the game with the features of DualSense, the PlayStation 5 controller.
“Everything seems much more tactile; we are using adaptive triggers in a very unique way ”, points out Krueger. “When you press them halfway, for example, you get the normal aim or focus aim, which you see in third-person shooting games. Now, if you pull the trigger all the way, it switches to automatic shooting mode. ”
Tempest 3D AudioTech, or 3D audio on the PS5, is yet another feature explored in Returnal to increase immersion in each area of the game, according to the developers. The technology also promises to enrich the experience of the narrative, by immersing the player in the atmosphere and atmosphere of the environments.
“Even in the most hectic moments and in the heat of combat, 3D audio allows you to position threats, and identify where they are coming from, with much more clarity as well,” comments the Game Director.
Now we have to wait for the launch and check if Returnal it’s really all of that. Are you going to face the game?