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New Returnal Trailer Brings More Questions Than Answers

Sometimes, game trailers give players more questions than answers, but that just means that fans have more details to speculate over and get excited about. Returnal, the upcoming PS5 exclusive from Housemarque, features a somewhat older protagonist who must relive the same day over and over again. The game will release on March 19, 2021, and will be one of the first PS5 exclusives to utilize the full power of the new console.


A new gameplay trailer released on January 13 treats fans to a glimpse of what combat will look like in Returnal. The trailer begins with the protagonist finding a "xenotype weapon, similar to our carbine technology" and then proceeding to blast away at alien life-forms. The trailer also shows the protagonist shooting electrified beams at strange creatures, which looks very cool.

Another section of the trailer features different devices that can be used in-game, although some of them seem a little more organic than one would expect. One device, called Cthonos, is "already active" when the protagonist finds it, so active that it spews mist in her face. It seems that all of the devices on the planet are somehow living and connected, which presents a bigger mystery.


Most worrisome is the "Unknown" category, which seems to be a small alien life-form that attaches to the protagonist. The creature seems to be hurting her, weakening her suit, but it also may grant her superhuman abilities and be a major mechanic of the game. 

The end of the trailer offers snippets of different scenes from the game, including a mysterious shot of a horned creature atop a column. Though this life-form appears more demonic than alien, there's no way to confirm anything yet.

There's a lot to be excited about with Returnal, but one of the most creative ways the game uses the PS5's capabilities is in its adaptive controls. Returnal will use a new feature on the PS5 that allows for different actions assigned to half-presses and full presses of the trigger buttons. This new feature may sound a little complicated to gamers who grew up with non-adaptive triggers, but Returnal will use these adaptive controls to create a more immersive shooting experience, allowing players to experience the intuitive triggers that PC gaming controllers have utilized for years.

Gamers will have to wait until March to get their hands on Returnal, but they can hope that more gameplay trailers emerge in the meantime.