Returnal Ascension: a DLC that makes you addicted to PS5

game news Returnal Ascension: a DLC that makes you addicted to PS5

It was one of the nice surprises in the latest State of Play: Returnal, a PS5-exclusive rogue-lite action game, just got a major free update. In the program, a new multiplayer for two players, as well as an infinite game mode, “The Tower of Sisyphus”. Good reasons to dive again with Selene in the dangerous lands of Atropos? Here is our opinion.

Despite a fairly unanimous critical reception (16/20 in our columns and 86/100 in Metacriticism), return actually quite divided. Apart from very real qualities – its gameplay, its artistic direction – the PS5 exclusive is also especially punitive, capable of turning a one or two hour game session into a waste of time, at the slightest mistake. Fortunately, The latest free content addition softens the rogue-lite action game’s radical bias. With its version 3.0 (17 GB account), Returnal welcomes a cooperative mode for two online players to progress in the main adventure with the help of a friend or a complete stranger. As a bonus: the “Tower of Sisyphus” also appears. It is a series of tests planned to be infinite, as explained by the Housemarque study in the PlayStation Blog, but which has the good idea of ​​bringing new answers to the nebulous past of Selene, the heroine embodied by the player. Excellent arguments to return to Atropos.

Atropos with friends

Let’s start with the multiplayer mode first. It’s true, facing the dangers of Returnal as a duo will make your job easier And it’s a good thing. It is more or less the equivalent of a mode that is easy to turn on or off at any time. To take advantage of it, just use a Chronosis Portal. You’ll find some directly at the crash site, where Selene comes back to life after each failure. You will then be asked to choose between a public or private loop (to get help from a complete stranger or a friend in her game) or join a loop to rescue someone in need. This last option allows you to improve your explorer rank, earning you ether at each level, but without gaining the famous permanent equipment, such as the grappling hook, often required to progress in the adventure. This precious equipment, of course, will be maintained if it is you who receives a helping hand. Rather, both players will keep unreleased Recon Journals and Xenoglyphs discovered online. In any case, there is some gain. Clarification: Scenes at Selene’s house and ship are disabled on two heroes.

The very practical thing about this mode is that it can be activated at any time and without restrictions: the multiplayer mode is available even from a new game (just play a few minutes and lose with the first sub-boss). Also note that there is not only one Chronosis Portal, but one at the start of each main area. In other words, the help can be both punctual and continuous, throughout the adventure. The best part of all this is that Returnal’s two player mode is well balanced and not too forgiving.. Yes, it’s possible to revive a downed teammate indefinitely, as long as their savior is also alive, but it’s really not much. On PlayStation Blog, the studio Housemarque explains that they have revised the damage balance in this configuration to maintain the demanding experience that you like so much. And during our games, we clearly did not have the impression of “rolling in the game”. The only downside: For temporary buffs collected along the way, it’s a first-come, first-served rule. No bonuses are applied to both heroes at the same time, and Housemarque doesn’t adapt its menus to help manage builds without voice chat (no voting system or emotes). Using it wisely seems mandatory to progress effectively.

Return Ascension: Two Is Better (Gameplay)


around the tower

Well, on the other hand, in the Tower of Sisyphus, no one will hear you scream. In this infinite mode, it is not possible to activate the multiplayer mode, and that is fine. The place was planned as a kind of condensed return experience with a faster rise than in the main adventure. On each floor, creatures whose strength obviously increases gradually, but above all much more frequent health, weapons and upgrades. A great thing to make up for long parts of the initial experience. The Tower of Sisyphus thus offers an ingenious cocktail of action in the purest rogue-lite tradition, with varied enemies, periodic bonuses to choose from to go as far as possible (there is even a scoring aspect with a point multiplier that you have to maintain ) and dynamic combat. On this last point, Housemarque places the use of the hook at the center of its arenas, also mandatory to access the Tower from the crash site, just to master the title well before venturing there. The item is obtained by defeating Ixion, the first boss.

Obviously, test after test, we recognize the randomly arranged rooms and the order in which they appear to often offer weapons, life. But The Tower of Sisyphus keeps another secret: this mode brings new elements to Selene’s nebulous past. As you ascend, you’ll find never-before-seen audio logs as well as useful items in a new dimension frozen in time, outside of the heroine’s house in the main quest. A great idea to set the scene, when the latter could be previously overshadowed by a very present difficulty or a thread that is too fragmented. The icing on the cake: everything gives rhythm to the sessions in The Tower, which is therefore not just a “bestial” endless mode. Important items are placed in downright clever places here, making you want to use them at the end of a loop. Of course, to discover all the secrets of the building (there are also new powers and enemies), you will have to go as far as possible without dying. And the Housemarque studio knows how to encourage us to do it.

Return Ascension – Lost in the Tower (Gameplay)

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