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


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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

@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

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18 minutes ago, Josh said:

Wait so... i can't get the sword until i beat the boss, but there are lockdown rooms that i can't get out of unless I have the sword. Got it.

No, I think Romier is just saying the Sword is in a room marked on the map with a circle above the door. Later (after you claim the sword) that room will house the "Crimson Gateway" - I've seen this, but I don't have the crimson key to use the gateway yet. That's what Phrikie drops.

 

EDIT: Oh, also, I think you can get out of lockdown rooms without the sword. You don't have to kill everything in the room, just the higher level enemies. But yes, you want the sword, it's super powerful.

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

This isn’t an easy game but I also don’t think its as insurmountable as some make it sound.

 

That's the thing: It is insurmountable for some folks. For some, the skill level required is too high. For others, it's the phycological discouragement that blocks them from finishing. And for others, it's a combination of both. You're seeing evidence of it right now with people dropping out after a few hours of play.

 

2 hours ago, Romier S said:

I understand that the overton window for gauging difficulty is shifted in a very different direction for me than your average player but the game is trying to teach you at every turn.

 

Yeah, I realize that each encounter is a learning experience. I get that. The question is does the player have the reflexes, the coordination, and the nerve required to execute on that knowledge? I have a pretty good understanding of the behavior for most of the enemies I've encountered so far. I still get hit though. I still die because I maybe my aiming isn't accurate as it needs to be, or I don't dash out of the way of an attack at the right moment. Or maybe accidentally fall of a ledge during combat and my adrenaline meter gets reset. Or maybe I just end up in a room full of powerful baddies with pitiful weapons and next to no health. And then, when I die and have to start over, do I have the perseverance and the patience to travel all the way back to that point where I died before and keep going?

 

Knowledge without skill won't get you very far in this game.

 

For the record, I have not given up on it (yet). I do think I can eventually beat it, but I have to put the hours in. It's going to take me a lot longer (and many more attempts) than you before I finally do.

 

The question is will I be motivated to keep trying with the release of new games? Like I said, as soon as Resident Evil Village comes out at the end of this week, Returnal is getting dropped like a bad habit. Whether or not I return to it remains to be seen.

 

1 hour ago, Romier S said:

 It’s also why I try to post some tips/tricks to hopefully make the game more palpable but in the end, Returnal is very much down to “twitch” skills, reaction times and understanding how to leverage the rogue elements to your advantage.

 

Yeah, I do appreciate posts like that, so thank you. Polygon and Kotaku had a similar articles up over the weekend, which contained useful information. It's just that sometimes it feels like these articles overlook the role that raw skill plays in being successful in these games. I'm not saying that your post is guilty of that, but I do think that it's a blind spot for some of these writers.

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Yeah, no doubt that raw skill plays a big factor. I didn’t want to end my tips/tricks post by saying that if all the help and extra lives don’t lead up to beating Phrike in a few attempts, then maybe it’s time to move on? Mainly because it comes off as condescending and shitty, IMO and I prefer to motivate than hinder but a dose of reality will inherently need to set in for some folks. 
 

To your point, the fundamental question is how much effort you want to put in to hone those skills versus playing something that requires less commitment and more immediate satisfaction? It’s a perfectly valid question and there’s no wrong answer.

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4 hours ago, Josh said:

Wait so... i can't get the sword until i beat the boss, but there are lockdown rooms that i can't get out of unless I have the sword. Got it.


Yeah what Kelley said. You need it to take down the barrier blocking you from the first boss. You’ll just hit the Gateway room well before the boss and will need to go back to it once you killed Phrike and have the key.

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4 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

EDIT: Oh, also, I think you can get out of lockdown rooms without the sword. You don't have to kill everything in the room, just the higher level enemies. But yes, you want the sword, it's super powerful.


I was in a lockdown room with a healing tower and the lockdown ended once I destroyed the tower

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1 hour ago, Graeme said:


I was in a lockdown room with a healing tower and the lockdown ended once I destroyed the tower

Oh yeah. I forgot about those types of lockdowns too. But I think what I said still applies to other lockdowns. I think once I killed the Tree Freaks* and Dragon Squid* the lockdown lifted, I was left to clean up the Mutant Crocs*. 

*actual names vary

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2 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

Oh yeah. I forgot about those types of lockdowns too. But I think what I said still applies to other lockdowns. I think once I killed the Tree Freaks* and Dragon Squid* the lockdown lifted, I was left to clean up the Mutant Crocs*. 

*actual names vary


Ya, I guess I was just agreeing that even if you get locked into a room with an enemy you can’t kill yet, you can still possibly get out. 

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3 hours ago, rustyjaw said:

Oh yeah. I forgot about those types of lockdowns too. But I think what I said still applies to other lockdowns. I think once I killed the Tree Freaks* and Dragon Squid* the lockdown lifted, I was left to clean up the Mutant Crocs*. 

*actual names vary


the dragon squid kills me in like 2-3 shots. Can’t get past this.

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Fuck me. I had Phrike down to a sliver on the final leg and got killed. 
 

I will say, it may be just a factor of a low sample size, but my sense is that the more play-throughs you do, the more high quality drops you get. Not every run, but it seems to be a trend. I’m getting to level 4 proficiency pretty regularly now. And this last run I got a level 5 weapon. Before that I had a couple rounds with a 4, which was the plateau at the time. 
 

I was also gifted an astronaut, 1-up. And I feel like I’m getting more Sylphim drops. 
 

if I’m right, this has the effect of making the game “easier” or at least getting you better prepped to succeed. Totally could be just a lucky streak. 

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I started Act 3 and went about exploring Biome 4/5/6. I got the last suit upgrade I missed in my initial playthrough which /finally/ let’s me run through the red sludge that normally damages Selene. There’s officially nowhere I can’t go now. Tip: Make sure to save an Atropian key from Biome 4 to 5. The upgrade is behind a locked door right in the starting area hub in Biome 5.

 

Otherwise, I just wanted to see what’s different and right out if gate, about halfway through my Biome 4 run - BOOM! New House sequence! With even more story implications. All of the previous alien cypher tablets are now being retranslated from a totally different perspective which points to a pretty interesting direction for where this is all headed.

 

Spoilers for those that don’t want to know anything about Act 3 and what you need to do to complete it....

 

 

Also, I found an artifact called a Sunface fragment and when I picked it up, Selene monologues that “I have to restart the sun to know the truth”. Looking at the item description says it was found in the Fractured Waste (Biome 5). So, I moved into Biome 6 and explored that again pretty heavily and found another one! This one says it was found in the Abyssal Scar (Biome 6). So it looks like I’m hunting for one of these in each of the Biomes. I restarted the cycle via the menu and used the time machine in the cargo hold to take me back to Biome 1 and left it there for tomorrow.

 

Cool! I’m really dying to see what happens when I get all six!

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12 hours 18 minutes total playtime now with 41 deaths.

 

I made it to the boss of the Crimson Wastes on my third run tonight. I came pretty close to beating him too, thanks to an astronaut figure. I made it all the way to the third stage of the fight before finally dying.

 

I had activated a regeneration chamber too, so I was hoping that would be my saving grace. I figured I would regen and just teleport back to the boss and pick up the fight where I left off. No dice. The fight had reset and the boss was back to full health when I returned. What a fucking asshole! I managed to get about halfway through the second stage before dying again and sending me all the way back to the start.

 

At least I got to see what he does so that when I return, I will hopefully be better prepared. I think if I have an astronaut figure on me the next time I fight him, I stand a pretty good chance of taking him out.

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I had my best run tonight and finally got to the first boss. I died on phase 2. I took things slow, upgraded what I could and found some nice enhancements and would go back to the ship to sleep when needed. I had 145% on my suit, but didn’t get the health pack, and I think that was probably my major mistake. 
 

The tips in here have certainly helped. 
 

 I feel like I had some really weird RNG tonight with room and item placement. 

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Today’s patch notes:

 

  • Fixed an issue where certain Trophies might not unlock under specific gameplay conditions. Note: missing Trophies will need to be replayed to unlock.
  • Multiple stability fixes addressing rare crashes/hangs.
  • Fixed issue with pre-order suits occasionally blocking item collection and door opening.
  • Fixed incorrect healing behaviour when resting in Helios.
  • Configuration changes to increase the number of scout corpses available in all biomes.
  • Fixed issues with certain custom controller mappings.
  • Numerous minor fixes and improvements
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PSA....I would recommend not updating the game at all right now. Users are reporting big issues with the auto save system not working and getting presented with this:

 


 

Even worse, for some the game is crashing and corrupting their save files losing all progress. 😕

 

I won’t be updating until they fix it.

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