Confession time: The selection schema for the games we play on the A.V. Club Twitch channel is often a shockingly un-scientific process, boiling down, roughly, to, “What do we really want to play right now?” Which both explains why our stream is once again running a day late this week (due to press embargoes) and why the game in question is once again Housemarque’s new attempt to blend big-budget visuals with rock-solid roguelike gameplay on the PlayStation 5, Returnal. Could we be streaming Nier: Replicant or the latest Apex: Legends content today? Absolutely. But then we wouldn’t be playing Returnal, and that would make us sad.
Specifically, we’ll be taking aim at the Crimson Wastes, the game’s second biome (out of a reported 6). It’s basically a big, spooky desert/mountain covered with asshole robots, which admittedly sounds like a bad time, but which should make for a pretty fun stream as these robotic sentinels repeatedly murder us, forcing the game’s frequent and unforgiving restarts. (In fact, “getting” to the Wastes relies on us surviving long enough in the game’s first level to find the exit, which isn’t exactly guaranteed.) Time permitting, we might also show off the game’s Daily Challenge system, which is a neat way to try out some of Returnal’s other weapons, as well as engage in the time-honored tradition of shaming your friends for having slightly lower numbers in a video game.
You can check out the A.V. Club Twitch channel right here, at twitch.tv/AVClub Twitch. We’ll be going live with Returnal at 2 p.m. Central today. You can check out our first 45 minutes with the game, originally broadcast last week, right here.