Here’s a new look at Returnal gameplay.
This video takes a deeper dive into Returnal’s story and focuses on Selene’s piecing together everything through death, rebirth, and scouting missions.
The story follows Selene, an ASTRA deep-space scout who goes against orders to travel to the alien planet Atropos to follow the “White Shadow” broadcast signal.
Upon arrival, she crashes into an alien forest and discovers the ruins of an alien civilization filled with statues, gates, xeno-tech, and alien corpses. Here, she will run into “hostile creatures” that attack on sight, as well as other threats.
During her first scout, she eventually succumbs to the elements and dies only to reawaken again in her ship’s cockpit moments before the crash. On leaving the crash site, she discovers the world has changed which means her journey to the “White Shadow” signal will be different on every cycle.
You have to piece together the story through the environments, and sound design, and pure story elements. Some of these environments are seen in the story trailer, each with its own creatures and more story. Every bit of scenery will change and challenge you upon every rebirth, but you will be able to use xeno-tech to find shortcuts thanks to certain elements which withstand the cycle. Other items also allow her to fight longer and harder with every cycle.
You will even be able to relive cycles that aren’t your own as you discover the story of the alien civilization through a set of holographic statues and writings found which tell the story from a different point of view.
In the trailer, you will see Selene’s own scout corpses across the planet which can feature projections of other players’ deaths via the online system, or Scout Audio Logs that are left behind by other versions of Selene, that she cannot remember recording.
In the trailer, Selene also discovers a mysterious house that is strangely familiar to her. While the game is third-person, you and other players can choose to go inside this house in first-person story sequences where “strange and familiar events” can be confronted in order to be pieced together.
Developed by Housemarque, Returnal is coming to PS5 on April 30.