The PlayStation blog (opens in new tab) has posted an in-depth preview of Returnal, the third-person sci-fi action thriller coming from Finnish developers Housemarque. Since this has been posted by PlayStation itself, it’s more of an introduction to the game rather than a traditional preview, but there are tons of juicy details in there to whet your appetite if you’re looking forward to Returnal.
Returnal follows Selene, a deep space scout who follows an unknown signal to a strange new planet. Anyone who's seen Alien will tell you that’s a bad idea, and things go about as well as you’d expect for poor Selene as her ship crash lands and she’s forced to fight off swarms of aggressive alien creatures.
We’ve seen little bits and pieces of the combat in Returnal before, but this is the most in-depth look we’ve had so far. As the blog makes very clear, Selene is a scientist, not a space marine, so she has to use her wits and mobility to survive rather than brute force. Gameplay clips showcase her dashing, jumping, and using her jetpack to evade a maelstrom of energy projectiles and lashing tentacles.
The preview goes into detail on how some of the unique features of the PS5 are used in Returnal, with DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers playing a starring role. You can pull the L2 button down halfway to zoom in with your weapon, or pull it all the way to activate your weapon's alternate fire mode. If you’re aiming, the trigger will lock at half way, stopping you accidentally dropping out of zoom during a fight.
We also get a good look at Selene’s arsenal of weapons, which use a recharge system rather than ammo, so you never have to worry about reloading. There's an energy cannon called the Spitmaw which looks a lot like a Mega Man blaster, as well as another multi-shot burst pistol that looks devastating.
You can also pick up parasites, which latch onto you and serve as upgrades and mods. They offer bonuses and buffs in some areas, but they also come with a price to pay. So a parasite might buff your weapon damage, but cut your melee damage in half too.
Returnal is releasing on April 30 exclusively for the PS5. We’ll have our own review ready closer to launch, so stick with us for all things Returnal.
While you’re waiting for Returnal, why not check out the rest of the upcoming PS5 games that have already been confirmed for 2021 and beyond.