The Housemarque co-founder posts a lengthy blog post about the roguelike action-horror from PlayStation 5 studio Returnal the day before its release.
Housemarque’s roguelike psychological horror Return is already showered with mostly positive reviews. With the game launching tomorrow, the development team is no doubt eager to see if their ambitious experiment pays off.
Housemarque co-founder Ilari Kuittinen published a lengthy article on the development of the game on Thursday. The article describes the studio’s motivations for developing Return and the increasingly risk averse nature of the modern games industry.
Kuittinen begins the post by expressing the studio’s enthusiasm for getting Return through the door after four years. He then explains how the team just finished work on back day one patch. “There is always something you think you can improve, add or polish,” says Kuittinen. “I think it’s not even possible to develop a ‘perfect’ game with everyone on the team thinking that we’ve now accomplished everything we’ve ever dreamed of, finally releasing the game to the world. ” He doesn’t go into detail but says the fix is mostly about improving the game rather than the need to fix some serious issues. That alone defines Return apart from other recent large-scale versions like Cyberpunk and Riders.
He goes on to discuss the studio’s situation at the start of production. According to Kuittinen, the developer was counting on the 2017 release Nex Machine to ensure its financial independence. Housemarque was also partly motivated by maintaining the arcade-style action despite the lack of interest from AAA publishers. Unfortunately, according to Kuittinen, Nex Machina’s overwhelmingly positive reviews did not translate into exceptional sales.
He explains that Nex Machina’s The disappointing popularity caused the company to lose confidence in arcade games as a viable product. However, this encouraged the team to move away from Housemarque’s usual style of play. According to the post, the studio’s lens with Return was to translate his 2D experience into a 3D action game. Kuittinen also wanted to thank publisher Sony for giving his team the freedom to experiment with the game’s design. The post ends by thanking the development team and promising other fans of the Finnish studio.
Game Rant congratulated back world, story and gameplay in its review. The game follows protagonist Selene after she crashes on the mysterious and seemingly supernatural planet of Atropos. The planet is teeming with deadly creatures and contains a reality-distorting mystery to be solved. When Selene dies, she wakes up in her ship, the planet reshaping itself after each attempt. Players must find the source of Atropos’ strange power to have any hope of escape.
The genre action game combines elements of survival horror, Metroidvania, and even hellish bullet shooters. It also takes inspiration from sci-fi horror classics like Extraterrestrial, and the game emphasizes atmospheric storytelling. Return Also features a spooky online component where different players can stumble upon the corpses of others. While games like Dark souls have similar systems, it certainly corresponds to back atmosphere.
Return releases April 30 for PlayStation 5.
MORE: Is Returnal Coming To PS4?
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