Fans of our A.V. Club Twitch broadcasts might have noticed that we missed yesterday’s regular stream. There’s a very simple reason for that: We really wanted to stream Housemarque’s new, beautiful, and brutal sci-fi roguelike Returnal this week, and the embargo on video footage wasn’t up until today.
If you’re unfamiliar with Returnal, don’t worry: We weren’t super clear on what the game was all about until we got our hands on it, either. What it’s all about, as it turns out, is the latest iteration on the tried and tested roguelike structure, dropping poor doomed scout Selene onto an extremely hostile alien world, running her ragged until she dies, and then starting the whole thing over again, hopefully with some new progression benchmarks unlocked. Returnal marries the old formula to shooting combat that has a lot in common with Remedy’s Control, creating a system that makes the moment-to-moment pleasures of shooting stuff as thrilling as unraveling whatever the hell’s happening with Selene’s repeated deaths.
To show off all this fun ahead of the game’s April 30 release date, we’ll be streaming the first 45 minutes of Returnal today on The A.V. Club Twitch account, starting at 2 p.m. Central. We’re allowed to show the first two levels of the game, but given that they’re a) huge, and b) hard, we’ll be surprised if we get through even half of it in the 45 minutes allotted. Still, though: It’s going to be fun to try.
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