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You're Going To Need A PS5 After This Returnal - The Tide Trailer

Every console needs an exclusive killer app. It's the nature of the gaming industry beast, and the PlayStation 5 has several to choose from. When the console launched, that honor belonged to the "Demon's Souls" remake. Now, "Returnal" is gunning to serve as the console's future sales catalyst, as demonstrated by the game's new trailer.

Dubbed "The Tide (Launch Trailer)," the video takes a very different tack thanĀ the last "Returnal" trailer. Rather thanĀ demonstrate the upcoming game's armory of alien weapons, the trailer focuses on the story and themes of "Returnal." Throughout the video, the game's main character, Selene, narrates her view of time, comparing it to a tide, hence the title: "Time is like a tide. It pulls us, and shapes us, uncovers our secrets, hidden deep below the surface. With each rush upon us, it leaves a fresh scar behind. No matter how hard we fight, we can never stop it. We alone must find meaning amidst the flow, creating our own fate, finding our own answers. For when all is lost, the tide remains."

Previously, the marketing and trailers for "Returnal" have implied that time doesn't behave normally on the game's planet. After all, when the game starts, Selene is missing her pistol only to later find it on her own corpse. The new trailer deepens that mystery, since the narration implies that the game's time distortion isn't just a game mechanic. On the contrary, it seems like the mechanic will merge with the game's story, similar to way "Hades" uses the familiar features of its roguelike genre to tell an expansive, nonlinear story.

On a side note, if you compare the new "Returnal" trailer to the previous story video, you will notice that the ending shot of hands playing a piano is nearly identical to the last trailer's final shot of similar, wrinkly, liver-spotted hands playing the same piano. What does this mean? If you want to know, you will need a PS5 and the game.

In case that's not enough for you, the "Tide" trailer also displays many of the game's monsters, which go well beyond the previous videos' alien spaghetti wolves and flying polyps. Large, humanoid figures add their attack patterns to the existing bullet-hell swarms of projectiles, and many of them show up alone, which might imply they are bosses. One particular creature of note is an alien angel with a mouthless skull for a face.

All in all, the trailer provides a little bit of everything to pique audience interest. If the game lives up to the hype, "Returnal" might be just the exclusive to push PS5 console sales going forward.