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Returnal [PS5] - latest from Housmarque - Coming April 30th, 2021


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Just some really quick comments. I played maybe 30-45 mins last night:

 

  • The pacing and flow of this game at the beginning is really great. You want to keep pressing forward to see what's in the next room.
  • The feedback on the controller is insane.
  • The adaptive triggers give L2 a satisfying half press for quick aim. Fighting games should use this to turn triggers into normal buttons for quick response.
  • The visuals and sound design really feel next-gen (well, until Ratchet is out)

 

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Just taking a quick, informal poll here. How many of you who are playing this game right now want to punch Romier in his fucking face? 😃

That's it. I'm never preordering a game again.   Except for Ratchet.   ...and Forbidden West.   ...and Kena.   but other than that NEVER AGAIN

How to get a good run going in Returnal from Biome 1   1. Take your time and explore. Understand what type of room you are entering before you go in and use your mini-map and standard map to

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  • Yes, all of that. It's pretty clear that the pacing will change once I've run through things a few times, though. 
  • The difficulty spikes in some rooms is pretty jarring, though. I was cruising along and then ... dead.
  • Agree that the adaptive triggers are utilized perfectly here, and the notion of a secondary fire behind a deeper trigger pull is absolute genius.
  • I predict I will give up on this game several times and will likely never finish it, but that's okay.
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@Starhawk Hey, that’s me!

 

My early impressions are thus: I love the setting. I love the story. The combat is executed really well. It’s both challenging and fair. Why, oh why, though, does it have to be a rogue-like? I’m not typically one to be bothered by dying in a video game, but there is something about being sent back to the very beginning and having to start all over that just bugs the holy hell out of me.

 

I eventually got over it with Dead Cells, and maybe if I keep at it, the same will happen with Returnal. At the moment, though, I’m just a wee bit frustrated by it. But I will soldier on, given the strength of the other aspects that I do like.

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2 hours ago, JFo said:

@Starhawk Hey, that’s me!

 

My early impressions are thus: I love the setting. I love the story. The combat is executed really well. It’s both challenging and fair. Why, oh why, though, does it have to be a rogue-like? I’m not typically one to be bothered by dying in a video game, but there is something about being sent back to the very beginning and having to start all over that just bugs the holy hell out of me.

 

I eventually got over it with Dead Cells, and maybe if I keep at it, the same will happen with Returnal. At the moment, though, I’m just a wee bit frustrated by it. But I will soldier on, given the strength of the other aspects that I do like.

I am instinctively revolted by the idea of Souls/Rogue games. But damn it if Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, Dead Cells, and Hades aren’t some of my favorite games in recent memory.

 

And yet this game still scares me.

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Biome 1 complete. Took down the first boss and picked up a ton of permanent upgrades to head into my next run in the second biome after I eat (my PS5 is in rest mode).

 

I only died once on the starting run with the first big red enemy. My second run saw me through to the boss takedown and was about two hours and some change long. 
 

.......I absolutely adore it. As a fan of Souls/bullet hell shooters, this game scratches the itch beautifully. I love the atmosphere. I love the story setup. I love the music. I love the pace and general way the game hands out items/upgrades. I’m struggling to say anything bad about it other than the fact that I had to stop playing it to eat.

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Biome 2 is kicking my ass. Died three times and I need a break. There’s a room with a star over it on the map that’s a big arena fight that will test your skills hard and it’s finding me wanting. I’ll pick up on it fresh tomorrow.:)

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3 hours ago, Josh said:

This game is abusive. 
 

Not sure if I like it or hate it. Sort of like work.

 

I think one of the issues I have with it is that it feels like the game is incredibly padded. I’m at the point where I need to defeat the boss of the first biome. I’ve fought him a couple of times already, but not successfully. I get to the second phase and he whoops my ass.

 

I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but if I die, I get sent all the way back to the beginning. In order to get back to him, I have to play through the entire level again just to reach him. Along the way, I have to hope and pray that I not only find some decent weapons I can use against him, but also that I don’t get mowed down by some randomly generated room that’s overrun with swarms of super tough enemies.

 

And when I finally do get back to him, I’m just likely to die again because I’m not great at fighting him yet, because I haven’t encountered him enough times to know all his attacks and patterns, which means I have to go all the way back to the start and try again.

 

I mean, I get that this is the whole point of the rogue-like genre, but I just don’t get the appeal of it. If this were a regular game with pre-built levels that are the same every time you play it, we would be pissed as fuck at it if it sent us back to the beginning of the game instead of a nearby checkpoint when we died at a boss battle. 

 

I’m going to keep at it for now, though. I’ll play again tomorrow and see if I get any further. Whether or not I continue with the game depends greatly on how I feel about it after this weekend. I can tell you one thing though: Even if continue playing this through the next week, this game is getting dumped as soon as Resident Evil: Village comes out.

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10 hours ago, JFo said:

 

 

I mean, I get that this is the whole point of the rogue-like genre, but I just don’t get the appeal of it. If this were a regular game with pre-built levels that are the same every time you play it, we would be pissed as fuck at it if it sent us back to the beginning of the game instead of a nearby checkpoint when we died at a boss battle. 

 


If those pre-built levels had nothing to engage your skill level, yes it would piss me off but that’s the purpose of the levels shuffling. Each run presents new discoveries in the form of parasites, artifacts and the expectation that you’re going to getter understand the games systems and exploit what you can. Those tough enemies should be less tough each time. Exploring the levels thoroughly provides opportunities to use the fabricator, to find the xeno type machine that gives you a second life (you have to spend ether),etc. The next death unlocks the use of terminals to increase stats, gain weapon proficiency for better weapons, build a better Selene, etc.

 

Not saying that you have to buy into that but yeah, it’s the point of the game being designed as a rogue-like. I can tell you that once you beat the boss and die in the second biome, the run back from the first biome is significantly shortened and you’re given the items you need to survive and make progress in the next biome. There’s no padding there which games of this type usually love to do.

 

I spent a good bit of time exploring in the first biome and I avoided anything malignant cause it just wasn’t worth putting the run in jeopardy but by the time I hit the boss, I had the astronaut figurine which gave me an extra life, I had paid the xenotype machine for another and I had fabricated a tank that gave me a full life regen. That’s pretty damned fair. All I can say is to make sure your exploring and try everything. The goal is to learn/experiment. If it’s still not clicking then yeah, move on man. It’s not worth breaking your back to like something that isn’t working for you.

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I’m loving the story of this so far. I’ve come close to dying twice now but find that the game gives you good access to health laying around. The darkness of this game shows how weak the black performance of my x900f is. 

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55 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

I hope it does well, I bought the disc version to support it at launch but probably won't play until a bit later - too many games in the queue always... not enough time.


I bought it today on disc too. The EB and Best Buy near me were both sold out. Walmart had 3 copies left. Obviously I have no idea how many they got, but that’s a pretty good sign. 

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Biome 2 is done. I made it a good ways into Biome 3 before getting killed and I was beasted out with 5 parasites and 8 artifacts along with a monster level 11 weapon (I hit weapon proficiency 13). The third biome is really awesome looking stuff! I got the grapple hook to boot so even more exploration options have opened up. 
 

I started a new run and decided to explore the first area again and ran into a bunch of new story stuff (second visit to the house, new logs, etc.). The game makes the new runs totally worth it.

 

Remember that lockdown room I said was kicking my ass? Yeah, well....they ran into the wrong version of Selene.

 

 

What sucks is that I demolished the level 2 boss with zero need to even heal and I thought I saved a video of it but it was not there. It had saved the time right before the fight.:(

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40 minutes ago, kelley said:

When you started back do the weapons you pick up start out with the higher rank or are you back to picking up lvl 1 weapons?

 
 

You start back at level 1 but if you make a quick run back to the next biome, you are given items to increase weapon proficiency to at least 5 for biome 2 and 10 for biome 3. That’s if you haven’t naturally gotten there via exploration already. You’ll also keep any permanent weapon related unlocks (like Serrated Blades, Critical Hit, etc.)

 

A few recommendations/tips:

 

1. Don’t open up chests on a new run until you have increased your weapon proficiency a little bit (items like calibrators and killing enemies without getting hit does it). The higher the proficiency, the better weapons will drop.

2. If your health is full and you pick up a non-resin healing item, it counts as a piece of resin. Each resin piece adds a slot to the left of the health bar. Fill all three and you extend the health bar. In other words, be selective when you grab health items and maximize you integrity increases. By the time you get to biome 2, you should have a nicely upgraded integrity bar.

3. If you’re having issues, ignore malignant items. They are not worth the trouble and you can upgrade more than enough without them. Save your ether, too. They are better used at the replicator to get an added life.

4. Absolutely avoid any parasites or items items that cause damage when you pick up an item.

5. If you avoid malignant items, there’s a slew of parasites that increase stats with the only downside being you’ll get worse malignancy - i.e. not much downside.

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3 hours ago, Romier S said:

Biome 2 is done. I made it a good ways into Biome 3 before getting killed and I was beasted out with 5 parasites and 8 artifacts along with a monster level 11 weapon (I hit weapon proficiency 13). The third biome is really awesome looking stuff! I got the grapple hook to boot so even more exploration options have opened up. 
 

I started a new run and decided to explore the first area again and ran into a bunch of new story stuff (second visit to the house, new logs, etc.). The game makes the new runs totally worth it.

 

Remember that lockdown room I said was kicking my ass? Yeah, well....they ran into the wrong version of Selene.

 

 

What sucks is that I demolished the level 2 boss with zero need to even heal and I thought I saved a video of it but it was not there. It had saved the time right before the fight.:(

I subscribed.

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My god. I died at the first boss, had him 50% done in his 3rd form. Ever since then each run since has been fucking hard. My most recent one I had a room that 4 of the tall green guys and 4 of the blue tentacle guys and 2 of the guys surrounded by red. They fucking wiped me out in no time, I just had the starter pistol. 

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Nope. I’m out. Bless all of you who have the time and patience for this but this just isn’t for me.
 

Let’s be clear: videogames started this way. You had three lives and you always started on the first level. That’s just how it was. And I loved the abuse. Defender kicked my butt and I still haven’t gotten past the first level. And I loved it.

 

But you know what? I’ve since learned that you don’t need to finish the book that doesn’t hook you. You don’t need to stay in that relationship that doesn’t make you want to come home after work. You don’t need to play that game that treats you like an asshole who should feel lucky to have just been invited to the party but you want to stay because everyone is so pretty.
 
Again. This isn’t a criticism of the game or the genre. I also hate comic book movies and jam bands. Clearly both of those things are wildly popular.

 

I’ll be over here playing something else until they add a save system and easy mode.

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25 minutes ago, Josh said:

Nope. I’m out.

I’m not far behind you right now. 

25 minutes ago, Josh said:

I’ll be over here playing something else until they add a save system and easy mode.

Add a story mode that lets me see what happens please. Let me play thru the story. 

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I hear you guys. If a piece of media isn’t doing it for you, there’s no shame in stepping away from it, no matter how hyped it is. Life’s too short and there are way too many entertainment options out there to spend time on something you don’t like.

 

As for me, I did finally beat the first boss this evening. Based on the in-game clock, it took me roughly 7 hours of play time to do it. I’m not sure if the subsequent biomes will take more or less time, but at least I have some sort of benchmark now for how much time I might sink into it. 

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Biome 3 is done. I hit a wall there for awhile after beating the second biome boss but I got on a really, really good run and powered my way through. I took the boss down on my first try. I also took down the two previous bosses again just to build up a good stock of ether (had 24 at one point as I’ve been doing the daily challenges, too).

 

The game is absolutely f’ing incredible. I cannot put it down. I started playing at 1:15pm and outside of taking a break for food, I just finished playing for the night a few moments ago. Thankfully, the kids are at their grandparents and my wife was out with friends tonight.:)

 

I redid that same challenge room I posted a video of after about 4-5 deaths and man they get more challenging. Here’s another version of it I took down (these videos were only just uploaded so give them some time):

 


 

Also, I did record the third biome’s boss fight. Obvious spoilers but here’s my first and winning attempt:

 

 

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On the subject of a save system - the game could use a simple “save and quit” option that preserves a run and when you restart from that save, it’s immediately deleted. The only issue I have is being “locked” into a run for hours or lose my weapons/upgrades. Yes, I could go into rest mode but that opens up the possibility of a crash or a system update possibly ending that run. Housemarque are being coy but they did respond to someone on Twitter asking for such a thing....

 

 

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