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Returnal is harder than Dark Souls, apparently

Published: 12:33, 27 April 2021
Git Gud or Get Rekt
Returnal is way more difficult than you think

How hard is Returnal? Well, according to some, Returnal could be a very difficult game, even harder than Dark Souls or Demon's Souls games, which are known for their demanding gameplay.

The upcoming Housemarque's third-person shooter with roguelike elements, Returnal, is gaining a lot of buzz on social media for the last couple of days, and all for good reasons. The game looks phenomenal in every new gameplay video that we get, and the hype around the game is getting bigger and bigger.

But, the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive could be a little bit too hard for those not familiar with roguelike games. According to, Returnal is harder than Demon's Souls/Dark Souls games, which, as you know, are insanely popular amongst hardcore gamers.

Sony Returnal screenshot showing combat 'Die, scrub!'

One user said that the game is "really difficult and unlike other roguelike games, you can't upgrade your character. You start off weak every time you die. Only you can get better which is going to cut off a lot of players who are not good at these kinds of games. You can't just grind your way to be better and get past a hard area. Can see this being a major complaint for a lot of people who are expecting this game to be a high paced shooter when in reality, I find it harder than demons souls, a game which I platinumed."

In a very comprehensive reply, PowerPyx wrote some interesting details and draw comparisons with some other roguelike games, like Hades, stating that you can not upgrade your character and level up, and go back into the fight over-levelled, thus making your enemies less powerful.

Couldn’t agree more with what SallaV said.I think people are expecting a totally different game than what this really is. They probably should have put up a demo for this, because the majority of the people spending €80 on their pre-order won’t even have the patience to finish the 2nd Act. Demon’s Souls / Dark Souls is easy in comparison because you can over-level and thereby reduce the difficulty and you keep your progress (except souls) between deaths + you can spec your character to suit your playstyle.

In Returnal you lose everything when you die or when you leave the game. You can’t even pick your weapon because everything is randomized. You can’t “cheat” it by backing up your save game either, because you get wiped out when you exit the game and will respawn at the start of the act. It’s very punishing because you need to run through large portions of the game again if you die, and some enemies can kill you in 2-3 hits. 

I never heard about this in the game’s marketing materials which seems like the first thing they should tell consumers. If you want a challenge, this game is great, and I’m all for it because we don’t get enough of these nowadays. But it will definitely take most players by surprise, especially if you never completed a Roguelike game before.

Housemarque / PlayStation Studios didn’t do a great job at promoting the game for what it really is – in trailers and gameplays it looked like a semi-story driven arcade-style 3rd person shooter with maybe a bit of horror/survival elements. When in fact it’s a “Roguelike” genre. Rogue’like’ is probably not the right genre either, because it’s more ‘Rogue’ and less ‘like’… in some Roguelikes (e.g. Hades) you at least have a hub area where you can upgrade some stuff between deaths and you retain some useful leveling that gives you an advantage on the next try. But in Returnal you get none of that. 

It’s going to be at least 8/10 difficulty platinum and quite an annoying grind for the gold trophies to complete the databases in each world (because the game is randomized it can take a while).

Returnal is closer to Wolfenstein 2 Mein Leben difficulty, but with a randomized map each time. There are no difficulty options so it will be the same hardcore experience for everyone.

Returnal is shaping out to be a very interesting release in 2021. Housemarque's shooter is randomizing to PlayStation 5 console on April 30.

Source .

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