Returnal is the first major release for the PS5 since the console’s launch, and it is by no means an easy game. From malignant items to weapons and how to use its controls to your advantage, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get started on your journey to discover the secrets of Atropos.
Stay on the Move
Returnal offers great movement options thanks to the versatility of its dash. Hitting circle makes the player character, Selene, dash in the direction of your left analogue stick. The important thing to note about the dash, however, is that while it offers invincibility – allowing you to dash through enemy attacks and lasers – it’s also an excellent traversal tool. If a platform looks like it’s too far to make it in a single jump, Returnal encourages the use of the dash to close the distance.
Every ranged enemy attack is a projectile, which means that each and every attack can be dodged. Ultimately, moving around a lot makes sure that you will stay alive longer. In fact, getting good at dodging at the right moments will mean that, potentially, you could even complete the game without taking a single hit.
Returnal Malignant Items Explained
Returnal features Malignant items that, while beneficial, also have a chance of causing a malfunction that hinders you in some way. Thankfully, the malfunctions aren’t permanent, and can be fixed either with special items, or just by fulfilling mini objectives.
For example, you might get a health upgrade, but the downside is that enemies you kill leave an acid pool that damages you. This malfunction is not only easy to play around—just don’t stand around after killing an enemy—but it can also be dispelled by fulfilling a mini objectives. In this example, I just had to open two chests to get rid of the malfunction.
Sure, the word ‘malignant’ might seem scary at first, but really, feel free to play around with Malignant items. If something malfunctions, it can also be fixed.
Returnal has an incredible focus on its core action gameplay, but exploration is just as important. Being a roguelike, exploring nooks and crannies, and going off the beaten path will reward you with currency, and more importantly, consumable items, new weapons, and power ups. Death is part of a never ending cycle in Returnal, so don’t be afraid to explore to your heart’s content. Alongside gameplay benefits, Returnal also rewards exploration with more details about its story and the world of Atropos.
Experiment With Weapons
While weapons largely follow the classic video game weapon template—the pistol, the rifle, the shotgun, etc.—no two weapons are the same. Even two pistols might vary wildly thanks to different stats and alt-fire modes. To that end, it’s worth experimenting with each and every weapon you pick up. Sure, the assault rifle you’re using might be great at mowing down enemies, but what if you could instead get a shotgun that can also shoot lightning? Or how about a pistol that tosses shotgun-spread grenades? Keep playing around with its weapons, and you’ll often find yourself pleasantly surprised.