Returnal Gameplay Preview - 12 Cool Details

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I examine 12 Returnal gameplay details that describe what to expect when you play the game on April 30th. From Returnal combat to Returnal weapons, to HUD details, there's a lot to cover here, so kick back, relax and enjoy my Returnal gameplay preview.

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00:00:00​ - INTRO
00:01:17 - THE BASICS
00:02:48​ - PERMANENT PROGRESSION
00:04:43​ - CHECKPOINTS
00:05:30 - STORY & GAMEPLAY ARE CONNECTED
00:06:34 - MOVEMENT & THE GRAPPLING HOOK
00:07:50​ - THE MINIMAP
00:09:18​ - ADAPTIVE CONTROLS
00:10:18​ - THE WEAPONS
00:12:34​ - YOU’LL HAVE A KATANA
00:14:08​ - A GAME OF RISK & REWARD
00:15:41​ - MISSION OBJECTIVES
00:16:36 - NEAR INSTANT LOAD TIMES
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RETURNAL GAMEPLAY PREVIEW
Let’s face it. The rogue lite genre isn’t exactly mainstream. But with the recent success of games like Hades and Dead Cells, and with one of the industry’s most talented studios in Housemarque behind it’s development, Returnal could be the next game in the genre to capture the attention of a wider gaming audience. The gameplay looks tight, the visuals are incredible, and the closer I looked, the more reasons I found to look forward to it’s April 30th release. So, if you’re as excited as I am, or even if you’re just curious, then join me as I look at 12 cool gameplay details about Returnal for the PlayStation 5.

This video was brought to you by ExpressVPN. Right now, you can get 3 months of Express VPN for free when you sign up for a 12 month plan. Just stick around to the end of the video, or click the link in the description below. But for now, let’s get into it.

You are stuck in a time loop
Before we get into the finer details of Returnal’s gameplay, let’s get the basics out of the way. Returnal is a third person rogue lite shooter that begins when your character, an astronaut named Seline, crash lands her spaceship on an alien planet called Atropos. From there, the story, the world, and Seline herself evolve as you try to escape the planet time and time again. Along the way, you’ll battle all manner of hostile aliens and discover different weapons, items, and augments. When you inevitably die, you’re then sent back to the moments before you crash, only to do it all over again. That’s returnal in a nutshell, but if you know Housemarque, you know they’re known for tight and addictive gameplay, and if they hold to their usual standard of quality, Returnal will keep you coming back time and time again for just one more run. In fact, the devs have said directly that one goal of theirs is to create unlimited replay value. Now, even if you’re not a fan of the rogue lite genre, I encourage you to keep an open mind about Returnal. Heck, I wasn’t a fan of shoot-em-ups before I played Housemarque’s Resogun, and to this day it remains one of my top 10 playstation 4 games of all time. But if you're still skeptical, let’s look at some of what Returnal is doing that should make it more than your average shooter.

Not all is lost when you die
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that one aspect that makes recent rogue lites like Dead and Hades so great is that they reward the player with some form of permanent progression, despite most progress being lost after each death. Well, the same is true for Returnal. In an interview with Games Radar, Harry Kreuger, Game Director on Returnal, said "Our goal has been to create an expansive world, and a progression system that the more you play, the more the game opens up to you. We've worked hard to find a balance between the high-stakes permadeath gameplay of good roguelikes (and arcade games) where you feel a strong commitment in your run, while also providing a satisfying feeling of progression to reward you for your time investment." So, how will this play out? Well, one way is through ancient technology left behind by an extinct alien civilization. For example it sounds like you’ll encounter one piece of alien tech at the beginning of each run called the Cthonos. According to the PlayStation Blog, the Cthonos will track your performance and reward you with a new weapon once you’ve made enough progress.
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