Sony have announced that the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive shooter Returnal has been delayed. The game will now be released on 30th April 2021, with SIE and Housemarque making the decision to add a final bit of spit and polish to the title.
Update: Returnal has a new release date of 30th April, 2021. SIE and Housemarque have made the decision to move the release date in order to give the team extra time to continue to polish the game to the level of quality players expect from Housemarque.
See you in April! pic.twitter.com/xwB9OdO7I8
— PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) January 28, 2021
It wasn’t that long ago that the game’s release date was announced, with a trailer at The Game Awards 2020 setting the release date for 19th March. Clearly, this side of Christmas, Housemarque have realised that there was a bit more work to do than they thought, or they’ve found that the bugs they were ironing out were a bit more challenging and time-consuming than they had hoped.
The game features a third person view, stepping away from pure arcade delights of Housemarque’s most popular games and wrapping a narrative around the action. Returnal delves into the mind of Selene, an Astra space scout who’s trapped in a Groundhog Day loop on an alien planet. It’s a roguelite in structure, with exploration elements to go alongside the bullet hell of projectiles coming your way.
On PS5, it’ll obviously look fantastic, and loading times will be nigh on invisible, but you’ll feel the difference on the DualSense with the Adaptive Triggers able to define a half squeeze to shift from aiming down sights and activating the alt-fire that each weapon has.
Housemarque built a name for themselves with outstanding arcade shooter action through games like Super Stardust HD and Resogun, but found that returning to that well for later games wasn’t delivering diminishing returns. That saw them try to diversify, dipping a toe into the battle royale genre with the development of Stormdivers, but with the difficulty of making a hit in this genre, they shelved that game (and other projects) and instead shifted to focus on Returnal.
We’ll have a little longer to wait to see if the new genre and viewpoint pays off for the team.