Returnal PS5 story driven third person bullethell roguelite

I spent $70 on this because I guess I’m desperate for something new to play on PS5.

It’s pretty fun, but I’m ashamed to say how many times I died in the first level. I’m in the desert now and I think I have my grove.

What’s the deal with those platforms I can’t activate in the first level? Is there some upgrade that lets me make them extend a bridge or something? And those floating balls that hover over pits. They look like they’re meant to be grappled.

The ship heals you fully every time you sleep at it? I read that it heals with diminishing returns on subsequent visits, but I can’t find the source of that claim. I’ve also not noticed health packs contributing to upgrading max health when I’m already at max health. There are separate items for that. If you’re right, that’s terrible. I hate it when developers don’t do enough to disincentivize loops like this that make optimal play tedious, especially in a game as challenging as Returnal.

There’s plenty of ways to make forward progress: unlocking permanent items that become part of your toolset for all future runs, unlocking additional weapons, items, and mods that become available to randomly spawn on subsequent runs, earning a currency that persists across runs, and filling the journal with some pretty interesting flavor text (you can tell writers from Control contributed by the new jargon they use to redact). But yes, you reset to the beginning of the game every time you die. These kinds of games reward anyone who gets absorbed enough to want to learn enemy and boss behavior and level permutations, and punish anyone who doesn’t. And I hope Housemarque does nothing to decrease the difficulty of Returnal. This game would not work without frequent dying.

You’ll unlock a tool permanently after the next boss. There’s a reason people keep bringing up Metroid.

I’m on to zone 5 and that is no joke, ouch.

First boss defeated. I died a lot, but even though you have to start your run over, there’s plenty of progress in unlocking cool items.

My problem with the first boss was mostly me being impatient and not reading his attacks.

The second area is pretty cool.

I read that it heals with diminishing returns on subsequent visits

I didn’t have time to test this before work today, perhaps someone else can verify the full mechanics. Even reduced free healing is still free healing though, albeit tedious. I suppose the min-max approach would be to conserve that first heal in the ship until you’re hurt badly, then hoover up all those healing items.

I’ve also not noticed health packs contributing to upgrading max health when I’m already at max health. There are separate items for that.

I tested this. It renames them into the suit integrity item when you’re full health. If you want to see it for yourself, explore until you find a healing item while hurt - heal at the ship, then return to it and you’ll see it’s now an integrity item. I agree this is a very tedious way to handle it, but the game is so hard I find it necessary.

I had a great run, but didn’t know I could sleep in my bed (thanks Qt3!) so I attempted the boss with like 25% health. I was patient, and reading his attacks, and I was feeling good I was finally going to get him down. I get to phase 3, and I’m dodging all his bullshit, feeling good, and he does his sweeping laser. I confidently jump over it, then ADS and start hammering him. But he does a 2nd pass, and I wasn’t ready because he never did that before. I jumped off my couch, screamed “You fucking came back with it?!?” and almost threw my controller across the room.

Yeah this game is fun.

The health upgrades are called Resins and the healing items are called… idk something else. I believe when you have 100% health the green doodads spawn as Resins instead of the other thing. I haven’t really checked. You’re saying if you leave a room and come back at full HP they’ll swap to Resins?

The health upgrades are called Resins and the healing items are called… idk something else. I believe when you have 100% health the green doodads spawn as Resins instead of the other thing. I haven’t really checked. You’re saying if you leave a room and come back at full HP they’ll swap to Resins?

Yes. You can ignore them while hurt, come back at full health, and get more health by doing this. It’s time consuming and boring, but worth it (for me at least, I’m stuck on Biome 3 currently.)

Also, you can’t really abuse this much beyond Biome #1, unless you find a healing bed. I kind of wonder if this is something they will nerf eventually.

Boss 2 down on the first try. I had a good combo of artifacts and a level 10 weapon.

Onward to biome 3!

Some of these late game gun/perk combinations are just bonkers.

The fact that I haven’t even gotten to the first boss yet makes me feel kind of inferior. Still having fun though. :)

I usually die to those big tree looking monsters that like to teleport.

Don’t worry about that, I just beat the first boss yesterday. This game rewards patience so don’t stop taking your time.

Well, except the whole save situation.

I hated those guys until one was in my face and I jammed the sword button out of instinct, and it died. Sword them.

Wait. I have a sword?

Yes, but you have to find it first.

It’s in this room in Biome 1 (per my cursory Googling at least, I already forgot when I got it.)

Maybe, you find one pretty early on in the first biome and it’s a permanent unlock. It’s how you take down red barriers, and pro-tip upgrading it lets you take down the orange ones (not some late game permanent metroid upgrade, you just need to buy the artifact in the shop each run in f you want it)

Don’t feel bad. I’ve played like 4 hours and haven’t found it yet.

Ok random questions time:

  1. I found a “Vault” that had a red door on the map. Is this main path or optional? I died before I got to check it out when it showed up.
  2. Do you guys tend to leave malignant items/chests alone, or is it better to get the advantage and just deal with the malfunction for a bit? So far I’ve largely avoided them.
  3. Without the sword I don’t have yet, is there a way to take out shielded turrets? The only thing I found that worked so far was a homing missile alt-fire on a gun I had.

Are you sure you don’t have the sword? I don’t think shield enemies show up unless you have it. Hit square.

Main path doors are squares, triangles are side areas. Circle on top is a portal room, Star on top is an optional (usaully) challenge room.

Pretty sure I don’t since I still have the 'figure out how to get through xeno tech doors" goal.