Returnal Trailer Is A Mix of Cosmic Horror And Groundhog Day

Finnish studio Housemarque has announced an upcoming game as part of the PS5 reveal. Best known for shmup arcade titles such as Resogun, this latest Housemarque game mixes intense sci-fi storytelling with bullet-hell action. Returnal is a third person shooter that appears to have an emphasis on exploration. 

Returnal seems to be a mix of Edge of Tomorrow and Annihilation. A lone space pilot seems to be trapped in a cycle of death, where her ship crashes on the planet below, some mysterious creature kills her in an attack, and she wakes up again. Not only does this cycle take a toll on her psyche, but the planet itself seems to change her every time she dies and returns. 

There is not much information as to how the Groundhog Day premise will feature in the gameplay. I figure it will go one of two ways. As one of the lead developers for Returnal worked on the Halo series, it could very well have a standard mission based gameplay loop. You crash land in a new spot, do your thing, then the mission ends with your death. Alternatively, Returnal could be like Outer Wilds. After crashing, you have a limited amount of time to explore the planet and find the next clue before you are inevitably killed again. 

These are just speculation, of course. Like I said, beyond this trailer there is very little information available right now. The description of the announcement trailer states that Returnal will have “roguelike” elements, though to what extent is unknown. Regardless, Returnal looks dope and I am looking forward to a psychological horror action game where you dodge big glowing balls like Nier: Automata.

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