Housemarque has at long last revealed its AAA effort, a third-person shooter called Returnal. The game seems to feature rogue-like elements, focusing on an astronaut exploring a dangerous, distant planet after crash-landing there. Each death results in changes to both the character and the world she inhabits. Her end goal is to break the cycle of her immortality.
The cinematic nature of the debut trailer suggests that the game will have a much stronger narrative focus than has traditionally been the case for Housemarque titles. Although, while the gameplay follows the third-person adventure style, Housemarque’s penchant for flashy, fast-paced, arcade-style action is firmly on display in the debut trailer.
While the game appears similar to the likes of The Surge, its naturalistic aesthetic helps it to stand out from the crowd of sci-fi shooters. Though without a release window at present, Returnal is set to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive.
After deciding to move away from the arcade stylings of Resogun and Nex Machina, Housemarque began work on a battle royale game called Stormdivers. However, that project was paused in January 2020, with all of the studio’s resources being diverted to this new project. The team has previously teased that Returnal would define the future of the studio.
More information is expected later this year.