Here's a detail you may have missed during yesterday's update on Returnal. We got a great new story trailer, but over on the PlayStation Blog, narrative director Greg Louden went into a little more detail. Much of the post contains stuff we already know, but one interesting nugget of info was hidden in plain sight.
While you're making your way through the game's randomly generated world, you might come across a corpse of protagonist Selene. Previously, it's been confirmed that these bodies will sometimes carry audio logs, but it turns out they have another purpose. Sometimes, these dead bodies will show you the deaths of other Returnal players; a projection will show you the final moments of another Selene fighting for her life.
This is a cool idea on its own, but it goes a little further. Once you've watched the sequence, you have a choice — you can either loot the body for items, or you can attempt to avenge that player's death. Doing the latter "[triggers] events that are best discovered when you play". To us, and this is just speculation, it sounds like you'll be warped to the same scenario as the other player, and if you defeat the enemies that killed them, you'll be rewarded in some way.
It sounds like a really cool asynchronous online element, and puts us in mind of watching the deaths of other players in the Souls games. We're definitely curious to see how it plays out. Fortunately, there's just a handful of weeks to go before launch.
What do you think of this? Will you be seeking revenge for other players in Returnal? Crash land in the comments section below.