Housemarque’s upcoming PS5 exclusive roguelike, Returnal, is shaping up as its most ambitious title yet.
Ahead of the game’s launch next month a new feature article over on the PlayStation Blog, as well as an accompanying trailer, have spotlighted its focus on storytelling, something that comes as new territory for the developer.
“Our goal with Returnal is to tell a mysterious, layered, and haunting story that – like our explosive action gameplay and roguelike twists – is something you discover, replay, and rethink on every play,” narrative designer Greg Louden explains.
He then proceeds to breakdown Housemarque’s narrative philosophy, which centres around a concept of having storytelling “rationalise, deepen, and blend” with gameplay.
Four different segments within Louden’s article shed light on different aspects of the game’s storytelling: main protagonist Selene’s backstory; how the world of Returnal shifts and changes over time, and how disparate stories of an alien race are told through “Xeno-archives.”
Finally, there’s a note on the first-person gameplay you’ll see a glimpse of in the trailer below.
“Returnal is primarily a third-person action experience, but Selene and players can also choose to go inside this house on Atropos in atmospheric first-person story sequences where she confronts strange and familiar events inside that you need to piece together…”
For more on Returnal, you can check out a previous gameplay trailer here.