Returnal is a fascinating PS5 exclusive that justifies its roguelite gameplay mechanics by tying them to the overarching narrative themes of its story, particularly those of cycles and rebirth.
IGN spoke to developers from Housemarque and put together a fantastic video that explores how these themes are conveyed in-game, specifically focusing on the Derelict Citadel level.
If you want a deep dive into how Housemarque achieved this feat of creativity, then look no further. But if you are spoiler-sensitive, maybe beat the game first, as the video looks at the game as a whole and references end-game events.
How do you feel about Returnal, looking back? What do you think of this deep dive into the Derelict Citadel? Start over again in the comments section below.
man i hate difficult and especially rogue games but Returnal is effin awesome. I'll probably never beat it (or i will with coop help) but this is exactly how eg souls games should be too. it's what no fs ever had, motivation to keep playing even though it's always the same, but you get new storybeats etc.
not like 99% of dumb rogues where it's always the freaking same all over again.
hades was also cool but Returnal.. masterpiece
Agreed. I tried Returnal yesterday courtesy of PS Plus Extra and I love it, even though I hate roguelikes. Fantastic graphics, soundtrack, audio design, unique atmosphere and a great use of Dualsense. I'll also probably never beat it, but I'll keep trying and probably end up buying the game just to support Housemarque.
Im not normally a fan of IGN, with the exception of the tech appraisals from Michael (NX gamer).
But I watched this piece yesterday and it was a fantastic watch, with really interesting insight into the creative thinking that the team used whilst designing this game. I would urge anyone with an interest in game design to watch it, its really very good.
The game remains sublime. Its a shame that this old mans reactions mean Ive never managed to beat the third boss embarassingly, despite over 90 hours trying. But the game is fantastically built and designed and still one of my fave games despite my difficulties getting very far!
@Titntin Nemesis is my favorite boss in the game. Amazing.
@gollumb82 I thought exactly like you.Not a fan of roughue-likes but the art design,music and gamplay grabbed me, and like you i thought i would never finish it.but keep going its an incredible experience..
I would add for people reading this article, if you havent played through to the end of The Derlict Citadel (Biome 3), DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO...
@Titntin I completed the game last night, had an absolute blast playing it. Better than expected. But what exactly do you find difficult about the third boss? I nailed it on my first try and trust me, I’m the very definition of an average gamer…
Do you die if you fall off the platforms? During the last phase the boss was barely able to hit me at all. I just grappled to one platform, got a couple hits in, and then latches on to the next one and so on. Had that “wave” alt-fire on me which proved to be completely useless, it couldn’t reach the boss!
Derelict citadel was probably my favourite level, just looked fantastic and different from the previous 2 biomes.
Is this game really as hard as they say or is it just another learning curve like a souls game for example
@Mikey856 No, and no. The learning curve is not very steep, just learn how to dodge (dash/jump). Don’t gamble too much on malignant items and play safe is all. The longer you manage to stay alive the easier it gets. Soon you’re running around with lots of cash and Ether, 200% health and OP artifacts/parasites.
Not at all.
The trick is to play it like you play an old school arcade bullet hell shooter. Evasion is the key to success.
But like the poster above me said, don’t gamble on malignant items unless you’re in a situation where you can afford it. Most malignancy is manageable. But a few of the less common ones will end your run.
Yeah nemesis was easy to me.
The boss I had the most trouble with was Biome 4’s boss. But he’s also my favorite boss fight in the game so I never got frustrated.
Returnal is my favorite game of this generation so far. It’s absolutely amazing.
The only thing frustrating about it to me is if you try to go for the platinum. The RNG can be an absolute mood killer when you’re trophy hunting maxing out each biome.
I eventually just gave up on trying to get the Plat.
Still the best PS5 game available, IMHO and possibly one of my all time favorites. Can’t say enough good about this game.
@OrtadragoonX Ha, same here mate. Bloody music drove me crazy and the fight was hectic as f.
I gave up on the platinum before even trying. Credits rolled after 18ish hours and then I looked up online “platinum 70-100 h, lots of RNG”.
Thanks for the tips guys. I really wanna give it a go when I’m done with horizon for something a bit different
@Grimwood I was the same — extremely difficult (read: frustrating) games I usually bypass. But Returnal was special to me. I actually beat it, and even Platinum'd it — You can do it, it just takes a lot of perseverance👍🏽
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