How Returnal 2 could get creative with its roguelike structure

Since its launch in 2021 return has developed a passionate following among PS5 owners. Aside from the fact that Sony’s latest console still lacks exclusive “next-gen” experiences, Housemarque’s roguelike shooter is a prime example of the genre. The fact that the game’s publisher decided to acquire the studio just a few months after its release arguably speaks to its critical acclaim.

As things stand at the moment, Housemarque has yet to finally confirm its future plans. Beyond a heavily rumored PC port of the first return, the studio was rumored to be exploring the idea of ​​a new IP. However, plans in the gambling industry can change quickly. If it decides to revisit the series at some point with a return 2it’s easy to imagine the studio, with its roguelike structure, getting creative.


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Returnal’s villainous structure

During its opening hours, return introduces players to the roguelike rules along with the game’s protagonist, Selene. Trapped on the planet Atropos, both parties gradually discover that the only way to escape is to defeat the beings chasing them. From a mechanical point of view, the rules of the game take a traditional ‘Groundhog Day‘ inspired setup. After each death, enemies respawn and Selene must begin her journey again.

Selene’s progression is occasionally aided by checkpoints after meeting certain narrative criteria, meaning players don’t have to play through the entire game in one sitting. These moments are rare, however, and do little to lessen the brutal difficulty returnThe rogue structure of was created around. Certain upgrades and weapon unlocks carry over between cycles, but in general death marks a new beginning.

The potential structure of Returnal 2

Despite the applause return Given its roguelike structure, it’s easy to imagine Housemarque shaking things up in a sequel. Aside from being driven by sci-fi themes and therefore ripe for change, Selene’s time on Atropos ended on an open note. Comments from the studio since Sony’s acquisition have also pointed to the potential for a restructuring. Now that Housemarque is a first-party studio, it’s been suggested it’s free to go even wilder.

One way Housemarque could get structurally creative revolves around this return 2 become more open. For all its charms, the first game in the series was a linear affair. Even though his biomes have shifted from a layout perspective, their content has always been the same. Instead of encountering the same areas and enemies one after the other, the word could be a randomly generated sandbox with more variety. From a narrative point of view, this chaos would also suit Atropos’ atmosphere.

Housemarque hinted at that returnThe structure of was a design decision where it compromised so that the game’s narrative could flow cleanly. Thanks to the experience gained, there is a chance that the studio could now tackle this in a return 2. The first game rise DLC has taken a big step forward on this front and could even be the blueprint for a sequel. Progressing through the expansion’s procedurally generated tower was separate from the rest of the world and brought its own rewards.

Returning 2′ saves

Although the first return While receiving acclaim from critics and players alike, certain aspects of its villainous structure were less revered than others. The inability to salvage progress, for example, was a particular bone of contention for many. While it’s hard to imagine Housemarque dialing this back completely, there’s scope for a sequel to creatively give players what they want.

Adding branching narrative choices throughout the story, similar to return‘s end could be a route for the studio to explore. Effectively creating more checkpoints would allay concerns about saving, and might even come with unique weapons, class builds, and enemies. That sort of roguelike structure would also give the studio freedom to improve return 2‘s difficulty even more.

return is now available for PlayStation 5.

MORE: A look back at PlayStation Showcase 2020 How Returnal 2 could get creative with its roguelike structure

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