Is Returnal a ps5 exclusive?
Returnal was revealed at Sony's PlayStation 5 reveal stream on June 11, 2020. The game was exclusively developed for the PlayStation 5. The game was initially scheduled for a release on March 19, 2021. wikipedia.orgReturnal (video game)
Returnal managed to finish second on the UK sales charts at launch, but it debuted a lot lower than other major PlayStation exclusive titles. It’s worth noting that, in frustrating fashion, Britain’s best-sellers list is comprised of physical sales only – and thus is missing a major piece of the puzzle, as consumers continue to skew towards digital purchases.
To be fair, the Housemarque developed roguelike has been difficult to find in stores, with not many supermarkets carrying copies and the game being in-and-out of stock online. It’s also possible that Sony didn’t manufacture many units, as pre-order numbers may have been low prior to the initial round of previews, which spiked interest in the title only a couple of weeks ago. And, of course, we’d be remiss to overlook the price, which at £69.99 has always proven a difficult pill to swallow.
Still, this is just one territory with crucial digital sales excluded, so it’s certainly not the end of the world – and, to be honest, anecdotally our friends list has been filled with Returnal players all weekend.
The rest of the UK sales charts make for dull reading really, although it was a better week for boxed sales in Britain: Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War both enjoyed week-over-week increases in sales. Last week’s winner, NieR: Replicant, dropped all the way to 22nd position after a 73 per cent slide in sales, while Terminator: Resistance Enhanced snuck in at 37th place.
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They should really just get with the times and include digital sales in these. It’s not like the music charts only track how many CDs are bought.
If this game flops I don't want hear anyone bellyaching about Sony being risk averse.
It’s a fairly niche genre that polarizes people. Also, there’s the price jump which hurts it. I generally buy one or two games a year at full pop—the majority of the games I buy are at steep discount. I’m at a point where I just can’t pay $70 to $90 for a game I know I’ll be able to get for $30 or $40 within a handful of months of release. Sometimes less.
I'm rather surprised how well it's actually performed on physical sales so far, for a myriad of reasons. I'm sure Sony will be satisfied with the results thus far, and big well done to HM.
"Returnal sales are slower then other Sony AAA exclusives"? I don't get that, like were people expecting it to outsell God of War, Horizon, Spider-man and Uncharted?
I mean debuting at number 2 is still pretty good considering it's a new IP from a studio that hasn't made a game of this scale before and aren't as well known. I'm guessing it'll still do fine, with people learning there is more meat to it than initially assumed, the following weeks could have traction.
It's been out of stock at Amazon for a couple of days, which is very suprising, I didn't think that kind of thing still happened with major titles these days.
@AdamNovice We at SIE weren't no. Journalists don't make money from "Things are alright today and all is fine and as expected."
Coming second in physical sales, for a console that's got less than 1/10 the install base of its predecessor, in a niche genre and new IP by a tiny studio, should be a success story.
Ah well! SIE will be celebrating, even if the press aren't.
Just so people understand, second place in physical sales isn't considered remotely bad by any studio or publisher I've worked for.
That was a lot of deflecting from a website that said Returnal was doomed for failure from the get go
@God_of_Nowt I agree, the most it could do week 1 was come in second cos of Pokemon Snap. Personally the chart will be pointless without digital sales.
I think if Returnal sell over a million in the first week or two that’s really good for the type of game this is and the fact this is ps5 only game.
Returnal 2 wouldn't even outsell a pokemon game, so we can't look into that too much. I'm personally hoping that resi villiage smashes the number1 spot, as that should send a clear enough message 🤞
I think the price jump and limited stock in the UK is the biggest factor here.
I don't think this is all doom and gloom for Returnal yet.
@Loftimus Sadly, if Village does well and reaches top spot, all that tells publishers and investors is the following:
A game that's based on a formula and story that's been done to death more than Fast and Furious, and that sells on multiple hardware generations, and multiple hardware brands, does well.
If you want Sony to lower the price, you're going to have to hope all Sony IP releases do poorly.
A cross platform, cross generational game that's got a lot of fans in an established IP, doing well, doesn't tell publishers anything price wise.
All it tells them is consumers complain about wanting unique experiences and yet only pay for the same ones time and time again.
So I get you want the price of games to be lower upon release, but Resident Evil doing well won't send that message.
@Loftimus if games costing 70$/£ that much of a problem for you stop gaming 70$/£ isn’t gonna anywhere. games are starting to cost more to make so the price increase was bound to happen.
@God_of_Nowt i'm still getting it.
@4kgk2 unlucky then as $90 games WILL be coming your way soon. I hope you can deal with it better than i have.
@4kgk2 That’s a really terrible attitude to have. Why should prices increase when the video game industry is making more money than it ever has?
I went to 5 stores on launch day and all were sold out so thats good but they mightve inly had 5 copys..
@Jaz007 so you telling me if a super next gen looking grand theft auto 6 is 70$ at launch you and all the people complaining about 70$ ain’t buying it day one.
Is it a shock Returnal didn’t sell as well as Pokemon Snap? I mean, seriously? Second place is great news for the game! It’s the better game between the two, but both games deserve celebration, honestly. Best two games so far this year for two completely separate reasons released on the same day!
I've heard some rumours that there are much lower print runs of physical games this gen. It seems that Sony aims to keep the prices high by not flooding the market with discs and controlling the digital market at the same time.
I've noticed that the Nioh collection has completely vanished from most stores outside of Amazon and eBay too. I think some physical copies of games might become hard to come by this gen.
@4kgk2 id be too busy playing Returnal to answer, if games cost $70 here. Our RRP is worth $97. This is a UK sales article. Best place for it, what?
A lot of people were put off by a) the genre, b) the price, c) the reports of crashes and d) the lack of any save function. If they address the latter two I'd be willing to buy it myself. Even at full price.
Word of mouth will help this game achieve the success it deserves.
This is the problem I have. Sony...and people like you...will believe that the game didn't do great because it's not from a well known franchise...but it's entirely possible that the price could be another huge deterrent for buying at launch. At least, that's the reason why I haven't bought the game. It's not because I don't like it or don't know it exists or don't want to support games like this, I just don't want to pay $10 more for no real reason.
@God_of_Nowt 'a game that's based on a formula and story that's been done to death' I mean tlou 2 is also in that category & it's just won a bunch of game of the year awards 😂
How many ps5's have been sold in the UK? for all we know there could be a whole bunch of people wanting to buy it but still cant buy the system to play it on.
@4kgk2 yeah just roll over and take it. I hate this mentality, the quitter mentality. Were you also telling people to just give up because Sony was going to shut down the PSN for PS3/Vita? Game companies listen if it they aren't making a profit. The power is entirely in consumer hands, we determine what a game is worth, not them.
Disney made huge profits this past year, increased the price of their streaming platform that same year.
Netflix, started from a few million investment, worth a lot more now, and yet every now and then, their services cost more.
Apple makes record profits, their flagship phones still go for £1,000 or more.
Amazon makes record profits, Amazon Prime won't stay at £7.99 for decades though.
I get that people are not happy paying £70 for a game, but they don't have to, both these Returnal and R&C cost me around £55.
Nothing stopping others from buying at that price too.
I'm just confused that because Sony has a good few years and increase a price, the world stops turning.
Yet Netflix and Disney do the same, no one seems to bat an eyelid.
I fully support a customer waiting for sales, using means to purchase cheaper day one or day one hundred, or not at all! I just think it's shocking to see people so angry about something they don't have to pay.
My council tax went up this year too, if I don't pay that I can be inprisoned.
Now a video game I can choose to pay a price for or not. So why when in the real world everything is seemingly going up in price, do we not expect games to as well?
So can we all agree as adults here that a for profit company is going to want to keep increasing its profit?
Or are we all going to pretend we'd run a business for pure philanthropic endeavours and live in a uptopian dream?
And if we do live in a uptopian dream, can we create one where we don't buy a luxury entertainment item for £450 and be surprised by its pricey accessories?
This is going to be a long 7 or more years of console lifecycle at this rate.
Remember, if you keep saying you don't want to buy it for £70 or $70, despite this site doing a piss poor job at showing you how, you can indeed buy this game for less. Right now.
Or you can wait, and either way you save money. But to say you have to pay £70/$70 right now is categorically incorrect.
I'll be holding Google search lessons down the hall for £70 if people are interested. You can also purchase DLC which includes vital information needed to make the most of the £70 investment in your future.
@4kgk2 I don’t play GTA, so no. Really, I’d only get a game I’m gonna get a collector’s edition for at that price. I’ll admit if Persona 6 comes out, I’m grabbing that CE regardless of bad price. But 90% of games are a no go easily. It’s not worth it.
@God_of_Nowt They can want more profit all they want by raising prices. If we collectively don’t buy it enough they’ll see they’ve made less money and drop the price. So if we really think it’s the end of the world, they’ll backtrack. A good number of publisher aren’t doing it either. If it was that simple to do, more would be doing it already. Many don’t see it as worth it right now
@God_of_Nowt The moral is that corporations are bad. They will always look to make more money. It’s not as if any of that extra £10 is going to make it downstream to devs. Look at the millions and millions people like Bobby Kotick make. All that happens is the people at the top make even more money. There comes a point where you just have to refuse to line these idiots’ pockets anymore.
@God_of_Nowt Depends on the difference between first and second.
Its the price point for me. To high, unless I really want the game. I won't gamble at that price
@ATaco sure when a good game underperforms sales wise and the studio behind the good game that underperformed sales wise get shutdown, remember you guys being to cheap to buy the good game at full price are the reason why.
It's still nice to see Returnal debut at number 2.
@Jaz007 This gets said every generation, literally every one. Yet video gaming has been hugely successful recently, because people buy microtransactions, yearly sports and FPS titles at full price, they buy games on sales in bulk and so forth.
I'll believe there's a massive uprising against game prices every generation when there actually is one.
I'm approaching the best part of 30 odd years into a career and still haven't seen what people claim will happen in a grand scale.
So if what you say is the majority opinion, I say brilliant, I'm retiring soon anyway, but I don't see evidence of it each generation. I see growth in sales overall.
@God_of_Nowt Depends. SW:BF2 and Shadow of War had MTs removed. Of course we’ve had unwanted elements, but we’ve also pushed back and had it work. And games like Returnal, they’re selling it to us more than the MT throw money away crowd. Could be wrong, but we’ll see.
@nessisonett All corporation's aren't bad, all corporations operate for the main directive of becoming successful, and making more money each earnings call.
Believe it or not, that is possible without being a bad human or a bad company or treating customers terribly.
It is possible to give people what they want and still turn huge profits.
That's like saying if you and I registered as directors with Companies House tonight together, we'd immediately become some seedy hand rubbing entity that sucks customers dry without question, well I just isn't an accurate depiction of what takes place.
Profitable, board members and lots of employees doesn't equal bad, it just has the power to be, and sadly some do go that direction. But saying blanketed statements that all corporations are bad, well it's just not accurate.
I mean what are we aiming for? A "mom and pop" stores only situation and people only making video games from their bedroom with their parents money keeping them afloat?
@God_of_Nowt The purpose of a video game studio should be to create art. Not money. There are plenty of devs who really do care about making quality products but it doesn’t take a genius to see the direction that the industry has gone in the last decade. It’s only getting worse.
2nd place for physical only sales to me seems to be extremely good when:
Hades came in at #7 at half the price and on a bigger instal base.
A roguelike shooter with no save points that cost $70. I am amazed it is #2.
@nessisonett You're telling me a video game studios purpose should be to make art and not money?
How do you think we pay for all the equipment, licenses, rent, electricity, health coverage, wage above minimum living wage?
If we didn't have people in my industry focused on getting funding for us, people like me wouldn't have a job.
How absolutely stupid can you be to assume a company that is creative doesn't have to think about paying bills to allow the art to continue? Research and development just grows on trees I assume.
Look, I love your outlook, but let's face it, this whole Banksy art isn't about money angle doesn't wash in modern society.
You're saying because we work in a creative industry, we should not ever look to make a profit and should be a non-profit society.
So you're asking everyone in TV, film, music, video gaming, anyone in a creative field to only operate non-profit?
That sounds amazing, but no, it wouldn't work.
@God_of_Nowt Couldn't you argue that the reason no bat an eye at the price increase of Netflix and Disney plus is cause both costed less than a cup of coffee at star bucks?
Disney plus only went up a $1 on the monthly plan and $10 on the annual plan.
People are upset cause we was already paying a high price for games especially if you live in places other than the US.
Now Sony decides to just go and bump up the price across all of their games. It doesn't if the game is good quality or not.
I have no issue with a price increase. But it have to make sense... Returnal and Godfall was not $70 games. A yearly games like MLB The Show isn't a $70 game. They was about to have us pay $70 for Destruction AllStars. Demon's Soul and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are $70 games. I have no issue paying $80-90 for a game if it make sense
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03 May, 2021 - 03:20pm
Returnal‘s hybrid shooter and roguelite gameplay is mostly why critics have showered glowing praise upon it, but its bizarre story is also worth a similar amount of acclaim. However, the storytelling is mostly told indirectly through flashbacks, weird hallucinations, journals, and audio logs. It’s structured in a way where many people will have different interpretations of it as they piece together what they think it all means. Even though there probably isn’t one definitive answer, here are our best theories about Returnal’s ending.
Returnal’s true ending can only be unlocked after beating Act 3. This requires multiple steps and might take players some time to accomplish. But doing all the proper steps does unlock a new ending cutscene, even though the fight preceding it is the same.
This ending shows Selene confronting the decrepit woman in the wheelchair and throwing her to the ground. It then flashes and implies that Selene was the astronaut the whole time as the other Selene crashes the car into the astronaut Selene. The driver Selene that plunged into the lake then swims up to the surface of the water as it cuts to black. She gasps, “Helios!” before it goes to credits.
There are a couple ways to interpret this. “Helios” is the name of her ship and this implies that she has not escaped Atropos since her ship, Helios, is at the beginning of every loop. The game also continues on like normal and restarts the loop once again after the credits finish as if she has fallen back into the cycle.
It is also possible to see it as her calling out to her son named Helios, which would mean that she escaped the loop and found him (even though he’d probably still be inside the sinking car). The screen is black during this segment so there’s no definitive answer and the duality of the word “Helios” in this context keeps it ambiguous.
But there is much more to it than that and depends on how literal your interpretation of the game is. Even though there is some room to see it as an actual journey into space that has gone awry, the game more heavily supports the idea that Selene was never an astronaut and therefore did not venture out into the stars. In this scenario, Atropos would appear to be some sort of purgatory brought upon her by the big monster in the lake she crashed into.
Her problems could be manifesting as the events seen in the game, especially given how it indicates that she was a poor, absentee mother to Helios. This gives more meaning to the “Helios abandoned” message that pops up at the start of every loop as the player moves into the first room away from the ship. Every loop also begins with her ship crashing, symbolically mirroring her car crash that put her into the loop.
She also spins a globe in the house and says she “always wanted to leave,” hinting that she wanted to become an astronaut. The letter in the second house sequence is also a rejection letter to an “applicant” from Astra, which gives credence to this theory.
There’s also some debate on who the driver is at the end of the game, but it appears to be Selene. The big Eldritch-like being does take away the driver and this would make sense if it was Selene as it looks like her and Helios is in the back seat.
He is the same child that the player controls in a couple of the house sequences (although he is referred to as “Child” in the subtitles) and is also wearing the same watch both instances.
The driver’s identity would normally not be a point of contention, but some think it is Theia in the driver’s seat here as she was also in an accident with her child, Selene. However, this is likely more of the game showing cyclical patterns and further tying it to its roguelite foundation. The two stories surrounding the car crash sound almost identical and there are a lot parental issues going on, making it easier to mistake them for the same sequence.
The news report in the house flashback sequences states that a car veered off a bridge and the driver sustained spinal injuries and the “daughter was miraculously” fine. “Daughter” entails that this crash is about Selene and her mother. And, as shown in the final cutscene, Selene also drove off a bridge with her child in the car.
Selene also had trouble with her mother. Given how the person behind the wheel sustained potentially paralyzing injuries and the implied bad relationship between Selene and her mom, it would suggest that the woman in the wheelchair is a twisted form of her mother. Selene puts on a record and states how “she never liked this vinyl” and threateningly proclaims, “Mother, I’m home” at the final home sequence. This is far more explicit at the end of that final sequence as she says, “I regret what happened, but you deserved it” before throwing the wheelchair monster to the ground. Short blips of the wheelchair monster also pop up on the screen during some death loading screens like a subconscious horror invading her dying thoughts.
The game also illustrates that Helios also had problems with his mom. He’s home all by himself in the playable house sequences. Selene’s neglectful voicemail is on the answering machine as he struggles to find food while alone at home. The astronaut is at the table like some sort of hallucinated parental figure, which would make sense given Helios’ fascination with space (a possible interest passed down from his mother) and the distance between him and Selene.
Returnal is all about cycles so it would make sense that Selene also abandoned her child and made the same mistakes as her mom, including crashing her car with a child inside. Selene even says she and her mother were “both broken” at the final house sequence. So, while similar and easy to blend into one story, that’s exactly the point. And, as an aside, in Greek mythology, Theia is Selene’s mother, after all (but in Greek mythology, Helios is also Selene’s brother, making these ties a little bizarre).
There is possibly an interpretation that Theia and Selene are the same person or a version of Selene (as there appear to be many, given the amount of corpses on Atropos and recordings of past Selenes). But this doesn’t appear to be as strongly supported as the other theories.
It is rather clear (for this game’s standards, at least) that the astronaut is Selene in some form — she even morphs into it in the final scene in the above picture — but there are a few ways to read into it. One avenue is thinking that Selene is an actual astronaut that went to space and left her family behind. However, this is a more literal interpretation that seemingly goes against some of the other pieces of aforementioned evidence.
The other more supported avenue would be looking at Selene being an astronaut in the metaphorical sense because she was a distant parent that also happened to want to be an astronaut. There are a few examples that show the schism between Selene and Helios like when she grabs his toy octopus in the second house sequence and it begins to strangle her and when she tries to open the door to his room in the first house sequence and she can’t bring herself to.
Returnal supports all sorts of different theories and there still may be secrets out there that could change everything. It’s hard to say, but it’s remarkable that Housemarque was able to craft a game where the story is seemingly as recursive and longstanding as its gameplay.
03 May, 2021 - 03:20pm
Returnal's crashes may be due to an issue with PS5 firmware
However, since Returnal has no save system, the game’s infrequent crashes are a big problem. Developer Housemarque is working on addressing them, but suggests that the problem may be on Sony’s end.
The information comes from the game’s official Discord channel, as transcribed by Push Square. Housemarque issued an official statement on various game bugs (and one complaint that’s decidedly not a bug), addressing Returnal’s crashes in particular:
“This is an issue with the platform,” a Housemarque representative stated. “We’ve sent our report to [Sony]. Specifically, it has something to do with the pre-start system.”
The pre-start system is pretty much what it sounds like: a series of commands that gets a piece of software ready to launch. Naturally, anything that goes wrong during the pre-start system can shut the whole program down later down the line.
The Tom’s Guide staff encountered a few Returnal crashes, both during our preview and our full review. Whether a crash is annoying or devastating depends entirely on how far you’ve gotten in the game. All we can say for the moment is that Sony and Housemarque are working on the issue, and players should stay tuned for the next big patch.
Otherwise, Housemarque has promised to look into a handful of other complaints about Returnal. Some players can’t interact with doors while wearing pre-order suits; others encountered audio issues; others had problems remapping controls. Housemarque has recommended temporary fixes for these issues, and will continue to work on the root causes for future patches.
One area where the developer seems unwilling to change, however, is the save system. In response to complaints about the inability to save during Returnal runs:
“The game team is aware of the issue,” a Housemarque rep stated. “There’s no need to bring it into our attention anymore.”
Love it or hate it, the “one run per session” rule seems to be by design. If you want to beat Returnal, set aside a few consecutive hours for it.
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03 May, 2021 - 03:20pm
Update 1.003.001 has arrived for Returnal, and here’s the full list of changes and fixes added with this patch. Fans have been enjoying Returnal over the weekend since the game launched on April 30, but there have been several issues that players have been encountering as they brave the hostile world of Atropos. Outside of the game’s lack of an in-game save option, some people have been dealing with crashes and other strange bugs during their runs. Housemarque is hard at work on fixes for these issues, and this patch likely addresses some of these bugs. Here’s everything new with Returnal update 1.o03.001.
There are currently no available patch notes for Returnal update 1.003.001. We will update this article once Housemarque announces what’s included with this patch. Housemarque did not share detailed patch notes for the previous update, so there may not be an official changelog for this update either.
Even with the day one patch installed, Returnal players have been encountering some strange bugs as they move through the game’s biomes and attempt to break the cycle. Crashes have been commonplace for some players, completely destroying their runs because the game does not allow you to save mid-game. There’s also a weird bug where doors will not open, also ending runs because the only current fix is to restart the cycle.
Returnal also has a handful of audio issues that don’t quite break the game, but they do put a hamper on things and prevent players from experiencing the game’s awesome sound design. Sometimes, audio will cut out entirely until the next cycle. Other times, there will be a loud buzzing sound that seemingly comes and goes at random. Again, these issues don’t stop you from playing, but they do make it much harder to focus, a huge problem in a game that requires as much concentration as Returnal.
Because Housemarque has not released an official changelog, there’s no way to know if this patch fixes any of these issues at the moment. We’ll just have to wait until the community starts to notice any changes in the meantime. This update likely addresses the crashing issue and the door bug, but it could also fix some other minor bugs as well. Keep an eye on Housemarque’s Twitter page and the Returnal subreddit for updates.
Returnal is available now on PlayStation 5.
03 May, 2021 - 03:20pm
Selene Vassos is placed in an unthinkable and unbelievable scenario. She crash-lands on Atropos when answering a broadcast signal known as the “White Shadow.” Selene can’t find her weapon so goes off to search for it, leaving the relative safety of her ship, Helios. She stumbles across the corpse of an Astra scout and comes to the horrible realization that this corpse is hers. She can’t understand how this has happened. Thankfully, she keeps her head and takes the gun from the corpse, hoping that she won’t repeat what has transpired here.
This brief moment is telling. It gives us a glimpse of Selene’s mental stability. She keeps a cool head even when challenged by this planet and the horrors that lie within it. Time, reality, and perhaps even alien gods are against her, but she never stops. Her drive is almost inhuman. Complicating that she has to restart her journey to find the source of the “White Shadow” broadcast is that she finds recordings from her past lives.
They give her tips and knowledge that she can apply to her latest run, but when you scratch a little deeper, what they really elucidate is her state of mind. She sees the potential in some of the recordings of her losing her mind and giving into the madness of Atropos. As well as this, there are recordings where past Selene has also given into the augmentation of her own body. These recordings muse on whether she has become less human, even at times wondering whether she has become something more.
This disturbs Selene and pushes her further in her quest to achieve freedom from the tendrils of Atropos.
Within Returnal is the theme of growing stronger from the mistakes of the past. This can be seen in Selene Vassos’ visits to her home, which has somehow manifested on Atropos. Is this the planet playing some kind of trick on Selene? Is she losing her mind, or is there something far more sinister at work?
I won’t spoil this revelation, but the message is clear that Selene is running from something in her past, as sections of her house are locked off to her until she pushes further into Atropos. And each time she enters her home, we see how she has wrestled with the troubles of her life. She has tried to move on, but, like the alien planet, Selene’s past will not easily let her go. This trauma takes the shape of a silent astronaut that stalks her.
This being represents many aspects of Selene’s life. It represents her past, her relationship with her family. I think that it prominently deals with her regret — all the things left unsaid in her previous life. If Selene were a lesser character, she would be swallowed up by this planet and the trauma it is weaponizing against her. Instead, she is forged in fire. She traverses neon jungles, is battered to near exhaustion by storms while traversing a red waste, and is chased across a collapsing citadel by horrifying aliens and their broken automatons.
I’ve never seen someone face such odds and remain steadfast since I first laid eyes on Ellen Ripley — one of the premier figures in the sci-fi / horror genre. Ripley is a character that has not been replicated in style or quality, but Selene is definitely a sister in arms. Selene enters a realm of gods and stares them down. She is ready for them. She returns to the safety of Helios every time she dies, protected by the Greek god of the sun, and she leaves his embrace to face the horrors of the xeno gods — these dark and unrecognizable monsters.
It is this blind determination and inhuman focus that makes Selene Vassos a modern icon in not just the realm of roguelikes but also the sci-fi / horror genre. She is a woman trying to stay in the present and not repeat the mistakes of the past, whether they be supernatural or otherwise. She utilizes both her strengths and her weaknesses to phenomenal effect, and with the player’s help, she can escape the xeno hellscape she finds herself in.
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