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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


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4 hours ago, Vemsie said:


The pandemic? Demon's Souls didn't have hands-on previews either as far as I recall and that reviewed really well. There's far less hands-on previews period. Just look at say Eurogamer's front page and compare it to a pre-pandemic one. You could do streaming like CDPR did with Cyberpunk, and look how well those raving previews related to the final product by the way, but there's a huge difference in streaming a slow-ass RPG or a twitchy arcade shooter.

I mean, nobody is forcing people to pre-order it. I'm super hyped for it based on what has been shown, knowing more about the story and Housemarque's excellent track record, but I'm waiting for reviews as well. 

We'll know soon enough anyhow. Just wait two weeks.

I’m sure it’ll be interesting enough, though bullet hell shooter isn’t really something thats immediately singing to me (I’m too crap!).

 

there is a significant difference between this and demon souls: it isn’t a launch title, kit is out there to review it on, there aren’t really the same hardware shortages or desire to keep the hardware under wraps etc. It’s also distinctly different from cyberpunk - at least I hope they haven’t got something significantly crap to hide.

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My understanding is most reviews have been digital only for a while, it's download codes or just making it digitally available on press accounts, I don't think the pandemic would have affected that.

 

Outriders just came out and had previews eight months before release, in the middle of the pandemic.

 

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55 minutes ago, footle said:

I’m sure it’ll be interesting enough, though bullet hell shooter isn’t really something thats immediately singing to me (I’m too crap!).

 

there is a significant difference between this and demon souls: it isn’t a launch title, kit is out there to review it on, there aren’t really the same hardware shortages or desire to keep the hardware under wraps etc. It’s also distinctly different from cyberpunk - at least I hope they haven’t got something significantly crap to hide.

 

Well, that's my point. Cyberpunk had glowing previews and launched in a shitty state. What good were those previews in the end? It's not like Housemarque is feeding us cinematics or vertical slices, it's all moment to moment gameplay. What would they have to hide? I don't think Sony or Housemarque have a shady track record in that regard.

 

It's such a non-issue to me. We'll know if it's good in a little over two weeks. Until then we can comment on all the stuff being released for it.

 

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1 hour ago, JPL said:

Vemsie, your enthusiasm for this is amazing! You’re like a one man PR department.

 

I hope it’s brilliant, just for you.

Ditto.

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I'm definitely in the hyped camp. I place a lot of faith in the director (Kruger) who focuses a lot on the feel of the controls and the replayability. Nex Machina had 6 levels and could be played through in 40 mins but it felt great and there was a high level of mastery to aim for. I played that for hundreds of hours. I suspect this is similar. I wouldn't be surprised if it can be "completed" in an hour, but is built for endless replayability. On top of the roguelike main game, I suspect we'll see an arcade mode mode where enemies and levels are set, possibly as a weekly challenge. 

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2 hours ago, JPL said:

Vemsie, your enthusiasm for this is amazing! You’re like a one man PR department.

 

I hope it’s brilliant, just for you.

 

Haha. Cheers. I'd be pretty sad if it isn't, as it's one of the few games this year I genuinely can't wait to play. Feels like one of those games that's made just for me.

 

48 minutes ago, Hylian said:

On top of the roguelike main game, I suspect we'll see an arcade mode mode where enemies and levels are set, possibly as a weekly challenge. 

 

There's a daily challenge mode. :)

 

https://gamingbolt.com/returnal-features-daily-challenges-color-blind-options-for-hud

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14 hours ago, Vemsie said:


Housemarque's excellent track record

 

Objection.

 

Resogun good. Ex Machina quite good but not classic. But both very derivative and I was never that keen on their busy, ugly art style. Something really clumsy and gaudy about their approach that they tried to hide with billions of voxels which get in the way of the gameplay. For all of their effort, Resogun didn't improve on Defender, it just added loads of stuff. The rest of their catalogue is mostly boring. I really, really wanted to like their games and bought all of them, shooters and uncomplicated arcade games are my thing usually, but Housemarque's games didn't have the special ingredient and magic that makes them all time greats.

 

This latest game looks alright. Derivative again though but no doubt initally impressively flashy and attention-grabbing like Housemarque games are. Beyond that? We'll see.

 

 

 

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Sony have always done in-person preview events and throughout the PS4 generation they only did them a few weeks before release (making a magazine is fun) with an embargo of a week or so before launch. I don't know if they've put debug consoles into the hands of press this gen but they grew increasingly close-hold with PS4 test kits over the years so I'm assuming not. So I wouldn't read *too* much into the lack of coverage. Nothing to say they can't at least put some people up for interviews, though, and keeping it all to official channels isn't a great look. 

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21 minutes ago, Uncle Nasty said:

 

Objection.

 

Resogun good. Ex Machina quite good but not classic. But both very derivative and I was never that keen on their busy, ugly art style. Something really clumsy and gaudy about their approach that they tried to hide with billions of voxels which get in the way of the gameplay. For all of their effort, Resogun didn't improve on Defender, it just added loads of stuff. The rest of their catalogue is mostly boring. I really, really wanted to like their games and bought all of them, shooters and uncomplicated arcade games are my thing usually, but Housemarque's games didn't have the special ingredient and magic that makes them all time greats.


Oh, I beg to differ. Resogun is superb, both visually and in terms of mechanics with a really clever combo system and fantastic DLC. Commando mode in particular is great. One of my favorurite co-op experiences of last gen. 
Nex Machine is simply the best twin stick shooter ever made. Extremely playable, awesome voxel tech and insane depth: completing the game itself is challenging enough, especially if you want to get the true ending and complete it on the highest difficulty, but if you want to compete for high scores, you basically need to keep your combo going for the entire level, which completely changes the way you play it. Housemaque at its best is really good at making games that feel really good to play (tight controls, 60 fps) and tap into that satisfying feedback loop of enemies shattering apart in shower of particle effects, but there are always layers of depth on top of that. This game with its combo system (Andrenaline), risk/rewards mechanics, Overload and daily challenges is probably no exception.
Super Stardust and Outland are excellent as well btw. Matterfall is the only real dud, and that was made by the people not working on Nex Machina.

As for interviews, they did a round of those at the end of February, right?

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-02-25-the-big-housemarque-interview

https://press-start.com.au/features/2021/02/26/we-spoke-to-housemarque-about-returnal-and-heres-everything-we-learned/

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3 minutes ago, Vemsie said:

especially if you want to get the true ending and complete it on the highest difficulty

Very few people managed to do this - maybe just a few hundred. Personally I've pumped hundreds of hours in and still haven't beaten the true final boss (NM) on Experienced. I can get to him every run but he's an unbelievable motherfucker.

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1 minute ago, Hylian said:

Very few people managed to do this - maybe just a few hundred. Personally I've pumped hundreds of hours in and still haven't beaten the true final boss (NM) on Experienced. I can get to him every run but he's an unbelievable motherfucker.


Yeah, I haven't done it either. It's eye-bleeding. I do love that kind of super crazy shit for those who are up for it though. :)

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Nex Machina really is superb. I'm keen to see how they've translated that hectic dash-shoot style to 3D here, and so far it looks promising (although the £70 price tag is off putting).

 

As for reviews, it's common for code to be sent out closer to launch than this.

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Resogun is absolutely brilliant, I’ve never played Nex Machina, must do that sometime.

 

@Vemsie I love your enthusiasm for Housemarque, it makes great reading. You’re getting me hyped for Returnal :D.

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1 hour ago, Vespa Alex said:

Nex Machina is bloody brilliant. At the time it came out there was quite a lot of rllmuk competition going on. 
A few of us were in the top 100 globally for a while. 

 

I'm making a claim on Rllmuk Champion these days :D. I picked it up again end of last year and I'm somewhere close a billion points. I think approx. 70th on Experienced. On a very good run I can chain the first 3 levels and some way into level 4. 

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23 minutes ago, Hylian said:

I'm making a claim on Rllmuk Champion these days :D. I picked it up again end of last year and I'm somewhere close a billion points. I think approx. 70th on Experienced. On a very good run I can chain the first 3 levels and some way into level 4. 


Nice. I’ve not touched it in a long time. Might give it a go while I’m waiting for this. 

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5 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

This looks pretty badass. I don't know why everyone I've heard talk about it feels pretty lukewarm towards it. Anyone know of any pre-orders around the £50-60 mark?


You’ve just missed an eBay Boss deals offer at £55, I think the best deal at the moment is probably buying with some cheap PSN Credit.

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10 minutes ago, scoobysi said:


You’ve just missed an eBay Boss deals offer at £55, I think the best deal at the moment is probably buying with some cheap PSN Credit.

 

Thanks. I'll probably get the physical version, though, so I can play it, sell it and then rebut it again more cheaply in a few years' time if I feel the urge to replay it.

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41 minutes ago, Sexton Hardcastle said:

That’s the least inspiring game protagonist I’ve ever seen. Imagine using that on the cover of something with a £70 price sticker on it. 

 

How do you think a female protagonist on the cover of a £70 game should look?

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I’m not sure where I mentioned it was a female character? But whether you like it or whether you don’t using a fairly mundane looking middle-aged woman on the cover of your super risky expensive new IP doesn’t seem like the smartest move economically. She looks like an extra from Coronation Street, and it would be equally as stupid if they had a male version of Ken Barlow too. Image is everything when you’re trying to promote something. 
 

Look, I’ll be happy to hold my hands up & say I’m wrong if it doesn’t tank on release. 

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I don't think there's any way this isn't a hit if it reviews well, even at £70. 

 

Even with stock shortages, there are too many new consoles out there with too few new games to play. Plus there's that extra chunk of disposable income that many have right now. There's surely no better time to release a game like this. 

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7 hours ago, Sexton Hardcastle said:

I’m not sure where I mentioned it was a female character? But whether you like it or whether you don’t using a fairly mundane looking middle-aged woman on the cover of your super risky expensive new IP doesn’t seem like the smartest move economically. She looks like an extra from Coronation Street, and it would be equally as stupid if they had a male version of Ken Barlow too. Image is everything when you’re trying to promote something. 
 

Look, I’ll be happy to hold my hands up & say I’m wrong if it doesn’t tank on release. 

Do you say the same about high budget films staring middle age women? 

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10 hours ago, Sexton Hardcastle said:

That’s the least inspiring game protagonist I’ve ever seen. Imagine using that on the cover of something with a £70 price sticker on it. 

 

What should the cover of a £70 game look like?

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  • Vemsie changed the title to Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?

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