Returnal: The exclusive PS5 releases details about its gameplay

Newly passed Gold, Returnal, the TPS of Housemarque is about to be installed on our PS5. On PlayStation Blog, Gillen McAllister, Senior Specialist at SIE, offers his preview of the game, along with some interesting details.

In Returnal, Selene, a Greek-American ASTRA spacecraft scout, is embarked on an unauthorized reconnaissance mission that turns into a fiasco. On the planet Atropos, she discovers the ruins of an ancient alien civilization, but also particularly malicious creatures. Its objective will be to follow the signal of the mysterious “White Shadow”.

In the field, Selene can be alerted by the proximity of the attacks using a colored radial ATH. The game’s 3D audio design also makes it possible to locate the enemy’s position provided you have a compatible helmet. For her travels, the heroine will take advantage of the reach of a grapple to cross large areas. We already knew, here, death is only the beginning. Housemarque’s exclusive PlayStation 5 (Resogun, Dead Nation) will offer to improve after every death on the dark lands of Atropos. The combatant will also be able to help each other with a complete arsenal dedicated to evolving as the parties go. A whole set of gear that, according to the preview shared on PlayStation Blog, should take advantage of the precision offered by the adaptive triggers of your console:

Description: A good example of using the DualSense joystick’s adaptive triggers: L2 hangs halfway when activated to aim more accurately (also displays enemies’ weak points in red). Fully pressing enables secondary firing of each weapon. It works very well at the heart of the action. You can monitor the cooldown of your secondary shot with your ATH and listen for an audio ping that activates when reloading. There is also another detail specific to the DualSense controller: if you hold the trigger down after firing, you will feel a slight vibration that will slowly increase as your weapon recharges.


Dealing damage without receiving it will add adrenaline to five levels. Each will then unlock an improvement: “increased weapon damage, better vision (enemies are marked by a red circle), more effective melee attacks, etc. If you are hit once, you lose everything”. And if the weapons don’t have chargers, their shooting ability renews according to the timing you’re shooting at; so if you pull the trigger at the right time, your weapon recharges instantly and you’re entitled to a damage bonus. In the opposite case, your weapon jams.

Description: At the bottom left of your ATH are the combination integrity (PV) and weapon control bars. You can recover or increase integrity with objects to recover. Your control bar dictates the power level of the next weapon you find, whether it’s an enemy loot or a safe. Some objects also increase control. Weapons range from the most familiar (gun, rifle) to extraterrestrial concepts (the ptyalonic Disperser draws a fluid that corrodes the enemy’s HP over time). The sound of these weapons is striking: explosions resonate in valleys and are reverberated in narrow spaces. Fun detail: these reverbs work in real time, using a mix of 3D audio and «raycasting» to modify the noise according to your position dynamically.

Relics also offer you temporary bonuses, alongside consumables that have a unique activation. Keep in mind that any reward has a risk: “A specific device can remove all parasites, but it costs oboliths, which serve as currency on this planet and that enemies drop when they die”. Also note that each biome has a main boss, which you won’t need to face again in subsequent cycles. Returnal will finally offer its share of daily challenges with three online rankings, to be selected from the wreck of Helios. You will only be entitled to one life to obtain your rank.

Returnal – State of Play Gameplay Trailer

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