Today on the PlayStation Blog, Greg Louden, the Narrative Designer for Housemarque, debuted a new story trailer for Returnal. The PS5 exclusive promises to combine explosive third person shooter action (more like bullet hell), rogue like elements, and cinematic storytelling to create an amazing looking dark, sci-fi action thriller.

Greg says that storytelling is a new feature to Housemarque and he promises the game has a bold story to tell.

Our goal with Returnal is to tell a mysterious, layered, and haunting story that – like our explosive action gameplay and roguelike twists – is something you discover, replay, and rethink on every play. Our narrative direction and storytelling philosophy with Returnal is that the story should not compromise the gameplay. Instead it should rationalise, deepen, and blend with it.

Greg Louden

A few highlights about the trailer from the Blog are found below.

An unauthorised recon mission gone wrong

Our story follows Selene, a Greek-American ASTRA deep space scout who is a complex and layered character that is driven to a fault, intelligent, and resourceful. For the first time in her career she goes against orders to travel to the alien planet Atropos to follow the “White Shadow” broadcast signal. Upon arrival she crash lands in an alien forest. Here she discovers the ruins of an alien civilisation filled with statues, gates, xeno-tech, and alien corpses. But she’s not alone. The planet’s surface is teeming with hostile creatures that attack Selene on sight, as well as other threats left by the world’s former inhabitants

How the world changes to challenge you

During her first scout, Selene scans xeno-tech, defends herself and finds useful resources, but eventually she succumbs to the elements and dies only to reawaken again in her ship’s cockpit moments before the crash. On leaving the crash site, she discovers the world has changed its layouts, making her journey to the “White Shadow” signal different on every cycle and rebirth. It’s an endless cycle where even death is no escape.

Relive other cycles that aren’t your own

During your journey through Atropos you discover the story of the alien civilization through a set of holographic statues, which are called Xeno-archives, and the disturbed writings found on Xenoglyphs, which tell the same story from another point of view. Xeno-archives are purely visual that need to be deciphered, whereas Xenoglyphs are written and need to be translated via language samples collected across Atropos. It is a new way to tell a story and we’re very excited for players to try to uncover the mysteries of this alien civilization.

Uncover a deeper mystery in first-person

Last but not least, as you noticed in our trailer, Selene also discovers a mysterious house that is strangely familiar. Returnal is primarily a third-person action experience, but Selene and players can also choose to go inside this house on Atropos in atmospheric first-person story sequences where she confronts strange and familiar events inside that you need to piece together…

Consider me hooked!

The more I see of this game the more excited I get. This game was totally off my radar until earlier this year. The game looks amazing and seems to be a great blend of several genres. It’ll probably be hard as heck and kick my butt since I such at gaming and am a pretty pathetic gamer. Oh well! I can’t wait to play this!

Are you looking forward to this game? Let us know!