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    Returnal

    Game » consists of 4 releases. Released Apr 30, 2021

    A roguelike third-person shooter from Housemarque.

    Returnal 3.0

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #1  Edited By AtheistPreacher

    They just did a 20-minute showcase of the new endless mode arriving with the free version 3.0 update coming on Tuesday, March 22:

    I'll at least give it a shot, but not sure it'll actually draw me back in. Haven't played since I cleared the game (all endings) last year, it just felt like there was nothing else to do with it and runs did tend to feel kind of samey. I don't know that an endless mode will actually fix that.

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    noboners

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    Coincidentally, I started playing this again a few weeks ago but am still just kind of ramming my head against world 3.

    My main issue with the main game has been that I'm afraid to try out new weapons deep in a run because I've already invested 30 minutes to finally get back to world 3, I'm not going to suddenly try and learn how to use a rotland gobber when I'm also trying to learn the enemy patterns. So I'm hoping that this lower stakes "endless" mode will allow me to practice a bit without also trying to progress.

    **I haven't actually watched that video yet since I'm on my phone. So I'm just speculating on what I saw of it earlier.

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    The_Nubster

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    @noboners: This has been kinda my problem with a lot of newer roguelikes. The investment in a more sprawling map a la Dead Cells or a Neon Abyss or Returnal makes the runs feel really bloated and discourages variety. The longer a run goes, the more of an archetype players are put into.

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    glots

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    I don’t expect to get hooked again, but it’s new stuff *and* it’s free, so I’m more than happy to check it out. It’s fine even if I end up bouncing off, I already got 40 hours of enjoyment out of Returnal and it was my favorite game last year.

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    Nodima

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    @noboners@the_nubster: One thing about this game I can't emphasize enough is that the third level is out to kill you, but the rest of the game is out to reward you for seeing it through. I'd focus on powering through that level with a preferred weapon set no matter how simple because it's really after you clear that hurdle that the game starts recognizing you're in the need for some fun.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    #6  Edited By AtheistPreacher
    @nodima said:

    @noboners@the_nubster: One thing about this game I can't emphasize enough is that the third level is out to kill you, but the rest of the game is out to reward you for seeing it through. I'd focus on powering through that level with a preferred weapon set no matter how simple because it's really after you clear that hurdle that the game starts recognizing you're in the need for some fun.

    Funny, just shows that everyone's experience is different, because I was banging my head against the first and second levels for a while, then cleared the third one the first time I entered it. I think it may have just been a combination of me getting an easy seed for it and particularly good weapons for that run or something. Likewise I found that third boss very non-threatening, but struggled against the second boss for a while.

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    noboners

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    @atheistpreacher: yeah I'm pretty dependent on getting a good seeding for world 3. I have zero issues with most the enemies, but the flying ones that shoot a bunch of seeker missiles and dive bomb you once killed are just unavoidable for me. I'm not sure if it's a color blind thing or what, but I just can never seem to judge their depth/distance/speed. It's the only enemy I can't figure out at all.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    @noboners: That actually reminds me, different game, but I remember when I started playing Hades I was a little worried that the isometric perspective might make it hard to judge some ranged attacks. And mostly it was fine, but I did find that in the second area there is indeed one enemy type that throws grenades in parabolic arcs, and with an isometric perspective I feel like I can never judge correctly where they're going to land, and so ended up getting hit a lot by those guys. Similar problem, I guess. I don't remember the enemies you're talking about in area 3, but it's been a year and I've forgotten a lot of that game.

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    Nodima

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    #9  Edited By Nodima

    @atheistpreacher: I also spent way more time in the first biome than any of the others, but I can pretty easily chalk that up to being terrible at the game for weeks. By the time I was on the second cycle of the game I cleared 1 and 2 on my first go. I also agree that the third boss is the easiest of the initial trio (and would argue that the bosses in general progress from hardest to easiest) but since I'm an antsy player, one of my best talents is dashing into damage or off of surfaces which is the primary hurdle of that fight so it still wasn't an easy clear for me. It can also be a real endurance test if you go in with a suboptimal weapon for a long range encounter.

    @noboners: The thing with the third biome is that you're really not meant to spend a ton of time in it unless you're really, really good at the game because of its aggressive nature. There are multiple enemies whose primary function is closing range and instantly exploding, multiple enemies with lock-on attacks and mini-bosses that can basically one-shot you unless you've had insane luck with health upgrades.

    But more than anything, it's the only level in the game with an optional secondary area full of loot that can be extremely tempting when you're on a smooth run...except it's when you choose to enter that area that the level reinforces the bridge to the tower you're actually trying to get to and it can take many attempts to realize this is what's happening, not simple RNG. And that squad is always the heat-seeking divebomber drones you and I hate like hell, meaning that unless you're - again - super good at the game you're going to lose a ton of health on your way across the bridge instead of a leisurely walk.

    And then like I said, after this the game becomes much more streamlined and the weapons get a lot more variety and more perks. The amount of weapon variety once you're in proficiency level 20 and above is a trip and can almost feel like a totally different game than the rigid stakes of the first half. On the opposite side, the levels become way more predictable, in particular the fifth area which is always the exact same test of strength essentially.

    I never did collect all the artifacts to get the final ending and I don't think I have anybody to play co-op with but I'm excited to have another excuse to dink around in this game for a while, if I'd gotten to it sooner and finished it before the end of 2021 I would've really struggled to not call it my game of the year, and I still think way more people would fall in love with this game if they were able to make it to the second act which is why I like to try and push people who are struggling with the third level to think of it as more of a speedrun challenge than a combat test. It has a lot of valuable rewards scattered throughout it but the enemies can be so oppressive I'd argue that the best reward is simply being done with it, especially since the game kind of resets your character afterward anyway.

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    AtheistPreacher

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    @nodima: Interesting. I didn't know that about the third area getting harder if you enter a secondary area. My vague recollection when I beat it that first time is that it seemed short, which means I likely just missed the stuff you're talking about entirely, to my benefit. The funny thing is that after I beat it I of course began Act 2, which meant that I barely saw that third area at all in my time with the game. I did have to go through it a few more times at the tail end in order to collect the item you need for the "true" ending, but overall I remember very little about it because I just didn't play it very much.

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    glots

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    Tried it today and made it to phase 3. Seems fun enough for some short bursts of Returnal, along with some neat new story stuff too. Permanent malfunctions are a real pain though, the one which causes enemies to counter your attacks is what sealed my run.

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    rorie

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    I need to start this up. I bought it when I got my PS5 but it's been ALL HORIZON since then.

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    TheRealTurk

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    This might be . . . good? I might at least check it out for a while Like most people, I fell off of Returnal simply due to the massive time investment a single run represented. Even when you unlocked shortcuts, it still felt like you needed to run previous areas in order to get enough health and weapon upgrades to actually complete the area you were actually on. Once I hit a point where I could no longer make reliable progress, I dropped the game hard.

    The thing I enjoyed the most was actually the daily run since it was compact and short and challenged you to use a particular load-out. The bummer was you could only run that once per day and my recollection was that it was that the timer on the reset was more than 24 hours, so it was more like a semi-weekly run than a true daily.

    This might be the solution to that problem, so maybe I'll give it a go.

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