Returnal: details and video to learn all about the gameplay of the PS5 exclusive

Even if it is not the most anticipated of the line-up, Returnal will be the first big PS5 exclusive since the launch of the console. The title of Housemarque, specialist in shoot’em up, this time will be oriented TPS, while retaining the edginess and ideas of the games with the studio’s iconic ships. And if you haven’t yet taken the time to fully understand how its gameplay, like with the latest developer logs, the team takes stock of this on the PlayStation Blog, with the added bonus of a video of gameplay rewarding.

Returnal will therefore propose sequences of shoot arcade, with various weapons and skills to improve to eliminate opponents with different weaknesses. The mix of genres will also go through his side rogue-like : death will take us back to the beginning of a cycle, with the possibility of keeping certain items and unlocking others to unravel the mysteries ofAtropos. Add to this a notion of risk and reward with loot to collect, and you end up with a game that is likely to interest followers of this style of experience. No more paraphrasing, time for the speech by Creative Director Harry Krueger.

We tried to create a unique mix of genres in Returnal. It’s a combination of the action and arcade gameplay we know how to handle, responsive controls and bullet hell footage, all in third person. It’s a game of fast and frantic combat, intense shooting mechanics, rich in exploration and obstacles to overcome during your adventure in the procedurally generated environments of Atropos. We created Returnal to make it a challenging and rewarding experience, with enough diversity and depth to make you want to try again “one last time” after every attempt.

Lightning bolts or tentacles

Selene will have many devices and weapons at her disposal to survive on the dangerous planet Atropos. She has brought some and will find the rest on the way. The video above shows off some of the skills you’ll find while playing Returnal, which we’ll cover below.

The game contains a number of basic weapons which improve as the game progresses. For example, the Ptyalonic Scatterer works very similar to a conventional pump shotgun. But as you level up, you will unlock and add different weapon attributes. Each of them grants a unique gameplay modifier to the base weapon. These weapon attributes are designed specifically for each type of weapon. For example, your Ptyalonic Scatterer can fire explosive projectiles or spawn acid pools on impact, while the Electrobalizer can extract loot from enemies or generate a shield for the player. These weapon attributes stack, and their stacked effects can have very surprising results and create unique playstyles to explore.

Each weapon will also have a secondary fire randomly selected from our extensive catalog ranging from Electric Impulses of Electric Flux to Tentacles of the Tendril Capsule.

You will be able to use it without removing your finger from the trigger with the default controls: thanks to the adaptive trigger of the DualSense controller, you just need to partially press L2 to aim and use your primary fire, or to fully press the trigger to activate secondary fire.

With 10 basic weapons, over 90 weapon attributes (each with three levels), and 10 secondary shots, there are loads of combinations to try out on your adventure.

While new weapons appear frequently, Selene can only have one weapon at a time, so choose wisely. Some challenges and enemies will require different strategies to triumph. You will have to constantly adapt, experiment with different weapons, and hone your mastery to survive on Atropos.

Real progress

For Selene, death is no way out. Each death sends Selene back to the start of the time loop, just before crashing into the planet. Most of the skills and items obtained in the previous cycle will be lost… but not all. Some keep from session to session, allowing you to progress after each cycle.

One of those lingering elements is the mysterious Chtonos, an alien device that generates a random item at the start of each cycle. This mystical device logs your performance and when you rack up enough progress you get a new item which you can use immediately and which will also be added to your available loot collection.

The items you earn or discover while exploring Atropos will change the way you play and give you a variety of effects and strategy options for Selene. These can be offensive tools like the Dismantler, a bomb that can decimate all enemies around you, defensive consumables like the Kinetic Siphon, which allows melee kills to restore health, or more strategic relics that give Selene unique advantages under certain conditions.

Risk and reward

There is a lot of loot to be found on Atropos, but beware: not all that glitters is gold. Some objects called parasites have both positive and negative effects. You’ll have to think twice before picking up a parasite that heals you when your HP is low, but also spawns puddles of acid when enemies die, for example.

Taking a parasite is a risky decision, but there are situations where you can tip the scales in your favor with, for example, a relic that increases your max HP for each parasite hooked on you.

There will be a lot of situations where you have to trade off risk versus reward and this will drastically affect how each cycle unfolds. You will be able to find a “cursed” container that contains some interesting loot, but opening it could cause a malfunction dealing damage to Selene every time she opens a chest or door with a key, and which can only be repaired by picking up a large amount of Oboliths. Oboliths can be exchanged for items to increase your chances of survival, but if you fare well, you can choose to spend them to activate a checkpoint: if you die, you will respawn there with all of your current items and skills. rather than restarting the cycle.

Now that you know everything, the release date of Returnal, it’s out March 19, 2021 on PlayStation 5, and you can pre-order your copy for € 62.99 on

Favorite editor of your favorite editor since 2009, passionate about booming music, fan of comic series of all kinds. I’ve played Pokémon a little too much in my life.
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