We've been hoping for some sort of new content for PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal, and it seems our patience has been rewarded. Developer Housemarque has just announced Returnal: Ascension, a massive game update that adds two totally new ways to play.
Firstly, this update brings us the Tower of Sisyphus, a survival mode with escalating difficulty. After unlocking the Icarian Grapnel, you'll be able to access this mysterious new area, which pits Selene against increasingly challenging phases, each with 20 floors to conquer. A new boss, Algos, presents milestones in your journey up the tower, but will also become harder each time you reach it. With leaderboards and score multipliers to consider, it sounds like a great endgame challenge to keep players coming back for more once they've wrapped up the main game.
Additionally, you will be able to play two-player online co-op, because two Selenes are better than one, right? A new Chronosis portal near the crash site will allow you to host or join a public cycle, or you can set up a private one to play with a friend. You won't be able to stray too far from your teammate, and if one player is downed, the other has a chance to revive them. You are restricted somewhat — co-op can't be played during house sequences, daily challenge mode, or the new Tower of Sisyphus — but you'll be able to tackle the main game itself with a friend.
The trailer appears to feature a new weapon and new scenarios too, so there may be more to uncover when Ascension launches on 22nd March. To top it all off, this is all free. We can't wait to get stuck in.
There's more info over on the PlayStation Blog. Are you excited to return to Atropos with a buddy? Drop into the comments section below.
So now people may beat it.
I wonder how dying works in the co-op mode
Im ready for that tower of death!
"A survival mode with escalating difficulty."
My blood pressure went up just reading this.
Hell YES more Returnal!
I'm stoked to have a reason to go back to Returnal. Hopefully they add more trophies cause I already have em all.
This was definitely a huge surprise. Glad to see they didn't just abandon the game. Hopefully the tower really kicks up the difficulty! And Co-op was a nice surprise. Bit sad you can't co-op the tower though.
Nice that it's a free DLC. I'll need some time to get my reflexes up to speed again
Never did complete it - about the time I was getting close to killing the first boss I started playing something else, and when I went back I was failing badly. Need to spend some time on it, but now I'm fighting my way across the Forbidden West, so it will be a while...but I'll come back. Again and again, as many times as it takes.
Added more info to the article.
I wanted to cry seeing this. This announcement by itself made this State of Play worth while. This was my favorite game last year. I couldn't even bring myself to delete it off my PS5 lol. It's been locked to my home screen every since that firmware beta started. Maybe I instinctively know lol. Housemarque are the heroes of this timeline.
Co-op would actually be a fun way to try the game again
This is amazing.
Amazing. Can’t wait. We shall see if it can claw elden ring out of my hands though…
I wonder what new guns Housemarque have dreamt up.
My favourite game of last year.
Feel a tad disappointed by this. I was hoping for a new area as DLC tbh for the single player.
I don’t have anyone to play co op through with and I’m rubbish at horde/survival modes…
Hey maybe I will beat this game with a friend now. I quit in the third level by myself.
Maybe this Algos guy will pose a real challenge? I never died to a single boss in Returnal, and have defeated each multiple times. Definitely looking forward to this update!
@Voltan You get overwhelmed, your health goes to 0, and you die. Oh, that's not what you meant...
@KilloWertz You need to do better... it's called suit integrity, not health
Bought this the day it came out and I still haven’t taken it out of the wrapper. I really need to get started but too many games keep coming.
Looks like next month will be a decent time to consider it.
@Voltan Oh no, I messed up. I would say thanks for correcting me, but I don't care.
I'm really excited about the free update, may finally play this game in April once I finish Forbidden West, Kirby, Stranger of Paradise, and LEGO Star Wars...
Who am I kidding, I won't be playing Returnal until May or June at best XD.
@KilloWertz Why are we winking.
Fantastic game, very addictive. I don't think I would play co-op, and some boss sequences would actually be very hard. We all know the one. Never got the plat due to some pesky collectables.
Oh going to have to reinstall this and get back to grips with it, was definetaly my game of year last year. Going to be another good challenge doing the acension. Hopefully be some new trophies for this
@RobN Same here!
@lolwhatno Because I felt like it...
Not sure how I feel about co-op. I beat the game solo, and to some, me included, that is an achievement to be proud of. However, if you can somehow cheese your way through the game in co-op because you don't die, you just go down and can then be revived, then for me, that means that some that complete the game will only have done so because they had help. If this is the case, I would prefer to see a Trophy introduced for completing the game solo (which would also need to be retrospective, so as players that have already completed the game unlock the Trophy without the need to complete the game again). Having a solo completion Trophy would mean that the only way to unlock the Platinum Trophy, would also be to complete the game solo. As I say, part of me thinks that the introduction of co-op lessens the achievement of completing the game solo because side-by-side you wouldn't know who completed the game solo and who had done so in co-op. And then part of me thinks this is a great move and that going through the game in co-op would be great fun. Of course, if it were a case of when one dies, you both restart, then it could also be pretty infuriating too...
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