PS5 roguelike Returnal dropped a new gameplay trailer today, and it's as much a weapons showcase as it is a deep-dive on its bullet hell-inspired combat.
The trailer opens with protagonist Selene looting an alien assault rifle, as well as an add-on for another weapon. This represents the primary way that you can upgrade your arsenal in Returnal, as developer Housemarque explained in an accompanying PlayStation Blog post.
"The game features a number of base weapons that are augmented as you play," says creative director Harry Krueger. "For example, the living Spitmaw Blaster weapon starts as a shotgun archetype you all know and love. As you progress, you’ll unlock and add on various Weapon Traits, each providing a unique gameplay modifier to the base weapon’s behavior."
There are 10 weapons in all, and each one has stackable modifiers (with a total of 90 in the game) as well as one alternate firing mode. The latter feature makes pretty clever use of the PS5's DualSense controller. By default, you can activate a weapon's alt-fire by pressing the left trigger fully, while pressing it halfway will aim down sights using the standard firing mode. If you're not into the whole adaptive trigger thing, you can simply change the control scheme.
Selene's equipment can be further modified through equippable tools as well as parasites that have big upsides offset by considerable downsides. Housemarque seems to have tapped into the risk and reward balancing act that makes great roguelikes so compelling, and as ever, we're looking forward to trying its take on the genre for ourselves.
We spoke to Housemarque about Returnal being the next step in the studio's evolution, and how it was designed to "create unlimited replay value."