Roguelikes are one of the dark horse genres that came out of nowhere. However, Returnal, one of the PS5\u2019s newest exclusives, seeks to put it on the mainstream. For now, let\u2019s talk about what the game has to offer.\r\n\r\n \r\nWhat Is Returnal?\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nReturnal is a third-person roguelike shooter sci-fi horror by Sony Interactive Entertainment and created by Housemarque. The game is set to come out for the PS5 on April 30, 2021.\r\n\r\nCheck out Returnal on Amazon today!\r\n\r\n \r\nReturnal Game Preview\r\nGameplay\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nReturnal is a third-person shooter video game that contains roguelike additions to its gameplay. It\u2019s set in a futuristic sci-fi setting, which puts the player in control of Selene.\r\n\r\nThrough Selene, players will begin to discover and learn about the mystery of White Shadow and Atropos. All the while having to fight through the incredibly hostile environment, eldritch creatures, various traps, and hazards that Atropos has to offer. In each of the various environments, new creatures await and you'll be immersed deeper into the story as you discover new locations.\r\n\r\nDue to the shifting and shuffling environment that Atropos has, players will lose their current gear when they die. However, Selene is an incredibly resourceful woman and can use xeno-tech to look for shortcuts and get certain items permanently. There\u2019s also a lot of things that she can unpack for later runs like new weapons, new secondary fire modes, and more.\r\n\r\n \r\nCombat and Controls\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nReturnal is like Control and the recent Resident Evil remakes due to its third-person shooter nature. This means that player perspective is behind Selene, allowing you to see in front of her, while also having a bit of knowledge on things around her. This is helped by the game\u2019s 3D map located on the lower-right of the screen. The map allows the player to locate objectives and enemies in the encounter zone. This, alongside Selene\u2019s various movement options, shall be the tools in which players can use to avoid getting killed.\r\n\r\nAnd that\u2019s just the field of view; we haven\u2019t talked about the weapons and other combat essential things yet. To start that topic, we need to talk about the game\u2019s controls. Returnal is stated to make good use of the PS5\u2019s Haptic Feedback controls, allowing players to feel enemies coming closer. Other than that, though, players also can configure their control layout from the usual Console Shooter to Returnal\u2019s control layout.\r\n\r\n \r\nWeapons\r\nIn terms of weapons, players can make use of 10 different main weapons and 10 different alternate fire modes. This alone would mean quite a bit of weapon combinations and varieties. However, they\u2019re not the only things that players can play around with. The game also has Parasites, which can grant boons to Selene in exchange for demerits. Weapon traits do stack and can be applied to all weapons.\r\n\r\nMovement-wise, you have the usual, running, dashes, and a grappling hook. But the Grappling Hook isn\u2019t as freeform as the one on Doom Eternal.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, we don\u2019t have any info about the weapons, weapon traits, and Parasites yet. So we\u2019re going to have to wait until Returnal is released before stating more.\r\n\r\n \r\nGraphics\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nGraphics-wise, it looks like one of the best PS5 games that will ever come on the console. Selene looks incredibly lifelike, and her movements and actions carry well in the new generation. Not only that, but the environment looks great as well, with the alien atmosphere carried out beautifully. However, the real icing on the cake isn\u2019t Selene or the environment of Atropos; it\u2019s the Monsters.\r\n\r\nThe Monsters on Returnal are incredibly unsettling to look at, which is a good thing. After all, the game is psychological horror, so it\u2019s a good idea to have terrifying monsters to fight against. It helps that the monsters in question look cool as well. This, combined with what seems to be really good roguelike gameplay sees Returnal be a dark horse entry.\r\n\r\n \r\nStory and World\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nReturnal\u2019s story has players follows a Greek-American ASTRA deep-space scout by the name of Selene. She usually follows orders to the letter, but for the first time, disregards it and travels to the alien planet Atropos to find out what the \u201cWhite Shadow\u201d broadcast is. Upon her arrival to the planet, she crash-lands into a forest. It\u2019s here that she finds ruins of an alien civilization, with dilapidated statues, gates, various xeno-tech that\u2019s probably incredibly dangerous, and dead aliens. However, she\u2019s not alone on this planet. The planet is pretty much filled with incredibly hostile entities that attack Selene when they see her. That and the world\u2019s dead population don\u2019t like to be disturbed, as they left their nasty surprises as well.\r\n\r\nAnything and everything on Atropos is either hostile, alien, or bizarre. This means that Selene is the only sole human element that players will probably see. Thus, Housemasque made sure that Selene is compelling, complex and maybe a tad relatable that the players would try to understand better as well as root for. However, aliens and mysterious artifacts aren\u2019t the only things you\u2019ll find on Atropos.\r\n\r\nAt that point, if players are willing, and not creeped out, they can enter the house and find themselves in first-person story sequences. These story sequences are things essential for those that want to find out about Selene\u2019s past, as well as to help them put together her story, and how it relates to her situation on Atropos.\r\n\r\n \r\nSound Design and OST\r\nNow in terms of sound design and OST, we don\u2019t have anything substantial to say. There\u2019s not that much information on the game\u2019s OST. However, its sound design seems to be top-notch as per usual with Housemarque\u2019s works. If all goes well, we can expect a cool OST and sound design that matches the psychological horror tag that the game has.\r\n\r\n \r\nHow Does Returnal Compare to Similar Games?\r\nReturnal is a third-person roguelike shooter game. Thus, we need to divide our focus a bit, talking about how the game compares to third-person shooters and roguelikes in that order. We\u2019ll start with the most recent Resident Evil games, The Evil Within, and Red Dead Redemption 2. And then, we'll proceed to roguelike games to, Enter the Gungeon, Hades, and Dead Cells.\r\n\r\n \r\nResident Evil 2 & 3 Remakes\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=BBky2uCGqtM\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes are examples of how to recreate a classic title. Also, the franchise is royalty when it comes to third-person shooters. For one, while the camera is indeed on the character\u2019s right shoulder, it doesn\u2019t impede the player\u2019s line of sight. We can go on and on about how both the Resident Evil remakes are great in their gameplay and other things. However, there\u2019s one thing that differentiates both games from each other, and that\u2019s the length of available gameplay time.\r\n\r\nResident Evil 2 remake (2019) is an incredibly beefy game with a lot of cool stuff to play through. That made it incredibly cool not only for casual players but also for completionists and fans of the series at large. The graphics were the best that they\u2019ve ever been, and you can tell how far the series has gone due to the amount of quality stuff added in.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, Resident Evil 3 remake (2020) didn\u2019t follow after the lofty expectations of the people that play it. Don\u2019t get us wrong, the game still plays well with the usual third-person shooter gameplay and the horror theme racked up to 11. The main baddie, Nemesis, looks as imposing as ever, though not as terrifying compared to Mr. X. Unfortunately, the lack of content, as well as the lacking main campaign made Resident Evil 3 Remake a sore point to fans. This is unfortunate, as the series made a huge comeback due to Resident Evil VII and Resident Evil 2 Remake.\r\n\r\nStill, the series is going strong, which is good enough for a lot of fans.\r\n\r\n \r\nThe Evil Within 1 and 2\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=rEz5CnEPgps\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nFor those that have a tougher stomach and some additional grit to them, they might want to go for The Evil Within 1 and 2. It\u2019s still a third-person shooter, and it still has a whole lot of horror in it as well. However, they added in quite a bit of suspense, as well as a whole lot of gore. The various enemies are all terrifying to look at, with a lot of really cool animations and quirks to them that allow players to outmaneuver or kill them. If you\u2019re lucky, there\u2019s also a good chance that you can get away without a scratch thanks to them.\r\n\r\nHowever, if you don\u2019t, the game does have suitably gory deaths for those that aren\u2019t up to the task. Take, for example, the first encounter with an Adam Birkin-Esque lady that replaced a hand with a spinning saw blade. Yes, that\u2019s a thing, and if you\u2019re unlucky enough, you\u2019re not going to walk out of it alive, as you\u2019re gonna get sawed to pieces.\r\n\r\nAll that and a whole lot more deaths will be in your day if you\u2019re not always wary of your surroundings. But that\u2019s pretty much the norm for a lot of horror games, so what makes The Evil Within series different?\r\n\r\nWell, it\u2019s the fact that the series is a pure horror and survival game, plain and simple. Well, maybe not as much on the sequel; however, the developers wanted to make a horror survival game. This is because they felt that the survival horror games at that point have more action than horror. Thus, they decided to make The Evil Within.\r\n\r\n \r\nRed Dead Redemption\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=BeWGJ0aPwJw\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNow Red Dead Redemption isn\u2019t a horror game, but it\u2019s a third-person shooter, so we counted it in. Also, thanks to some pretty cool DLCs in the form of Undead Nightmare.\r\n\r\nThe Undead Nightmare DLC brings in quite a lot of gameplay to the usual cowboys, guns, and horses that the game has. You still play as John Marston of course, but this time you\u2019re stuck in a Wild West filled with zombies. However, you\u2019re John Marston, and you have guns. So you just need to get out and kill any zombie in your path to getting out of there. And if you can find any survivors or people that can help in doing so, then that\u2019s also great.\r\n\r\nThe DLC also has two multiplayer modes added in for some extra fun; these are Undead Overrun and Land Grab. While Land Grab, unfortunately, doesn\u2019t have any zombies in it, Undead Overrun, does.\r\n\r\n \r\nEnter the Gungeon\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=Ekp92w8EbJ8\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNow let\u2019s go to the roguelike games. First is Enter the Gungeon, which is one of the best roguelike games out there. The premise is incredibly simple, four individuals want to change their past. To do so, they went to the Gungeon, which holds the Gun that can kill the Past. Through this, they hope to change something that they regret, something in the past that they want to go.\r\n\r\nNow that\u2019s pretty simple in premise, and we can agree to some parts of their reasoning when you get at that point. But the real reason why the game was so beloved is due to its gameplay, which will be a running theme in this part of the article.\r\n\r\nEnter the Gungeon is a bullet hell roguelike and it\u2019s a tough one. If you\u2019re not careful, you will get screwed over by one of the many enemies your Gungeoneers will come across. From gun-totting bullet kin to energy-spewing skeletons, the entire Gungeon, as you can see, revolves around guns. If you have a gun and a dream, you can most definitely make it far. But you best be careful because if you make one misstep, you\u2019re going to need to go back to the start.\r\n\r\nAs one of the games that made roguelikes mainstream, Enter the Gungeon has a lot of things that make it incredibly fun to play. From the various weapons, the plentiful enemies, the harder than hard gameplay, et cetera. It also helps that the game is also incredibly malleable, allowing talented people to create mods for the game. Depending on player taste, you can get new weapons, gear, and even new gameplay and story, which is great fun.\r\n\r\n \r\nHades\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=mD8x5xLHRho\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHades was considered a dark horse game of the year candidate and for good reason. No one knew the developers, and it\u2019s a pretty unknown game until it was released. Luckily for us, however, the game is one of the best roguelike games that came out of that year.\r\n\r\nThere are many reasons why that\u2019s the case, and we can talk for hours as to said reasons. But the most obvious would be the game\u2019s awesome art direction and attention to detail. Hades is... mostly faithful to Greek Myth, with some additional blemishes here and there that only the most inscrutable would find. If you look at it from a normal perspective, the game is incredibly faithful to its source material. But, as per usual, it\u2019s the gameplay that steals the show.\r\n\r\nGameplay-wise, Hades is incredibly tight and very difficult. You have the choice of six weapons in the game, with each weapon having four weapon forms. These alone would be cause for great customization. However, you also have the boons the various Olympian Gods give you (though some don\u2019t appear in-game other than mentions), Daedalus Hammers which give tweaks to your weapons, and a permanent progression system in the Mirror of Night. The Mirror of Night allows players to trick out the main character Zagreus for the next run, giving him more HP, improving his abilities, and more.\r\n\r\nAll in all, if you\u2019re an adrenaline junkie, and you\u2019re not shy of getting yourself into danger, then Hades is a good pick for a game to get.\r\n\r\n \r\nShould You Buy Returnal?\r\nhttps:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=IqIG8o1tgE8\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIf you\u2019re a fan of or curious about roguelike games and third-person shooters as well as existential horror, then Returnal is a must-buy. The game\u2019s premise is incredibly interesting and there seems to be a cool story in the making as well. Housemarque seems to be hitting it out in the park with Returnal looking like a dark horse game for the PS5.