In an interview with GamesRadar, game director Harry Krueger said that Housemarque has a “core arcade philosophy” in that it “relentlessly” tries to create unlimited replay value. “Returnal is no exception in that regard, and our central pillar for the vision has also been to ‘design for replayability,'” Krueger added. “Everything we put in the game goes through the same scrutiny: how will this survive repetition? Anything that is only fun once should only be experienced once.”
In Returnal, if protagonist Selene dies, her journey starts over again with a new variation of the attack that follows her crash. Kreuger said that Housemarque’s goal is to make sure that each run feels unique.
“The roguelike formula in some ways felt like a natural continuation of our creative philosophy,” he continued. “Our levels are generated procedurally in Returnal, and our goal is to ensure that every run feels unique and offers rich variation for gameplay and combat scenarios.”
Kreuger also revealed that players will have tons to explore and experiment with, including weapons, items, “systems, and strange alien technology.” Returnal will also offer a lot of exploration and traversal gameplay, rewarding those who look around.
Narrative director Gregory Louden concluded by promising that Returnal is “bold, brave, new,” and something next-gen players are looking for. “It’s been such an exciting project to be a part of because there aren’t any other games like it,” he added.
Returnal will release on March 19th.