With the promise of high-octane action, a fascinating setting and narrative premise, and plenty of horror elements to boot, Returnal is looking extremely promising- but there are other reasons to be excited about the game as well. As a PS5 exclusive Sony published game, Returnal is also shouldering the responsibility of showing the potential of the new console’s hardware, and according to its developers at Housemarque, it’s not going to disappoint in that area.
Speaking in an interview with BBC, Returnal’s marketing director Mikael Haveri said that Housemarque is “really getting everything we can from the specs” of the PS5 where Returnal’s visuals are concerned. According to him, what’s even more impressive is how the game uses other hardware features, such as the DualSense’s adaptive triggers and the console’s 3D audio engine, Tempest.
“I think we’re doing a lot with the visuals and really getting everything we can from the specs,” he said. “And I think that comes across with the contrast of the really dark environment against the really bright and colourful bullet-hell neon.
“What really shines through, exclusively with the PS5, is the 3D audio is something that really lets players tap into that feedback loop. When somebody appears behind you, immediately, you can turn around and shoot them without any kind of visual clues.
“Similarly, with the DualSense controller for example, if you press the L2 trigger half-way you’ll aim down sights. But, if you press it the full way, you’ll reach an alternative fire for your weapon.
“All of this communication can be done without the screen elements. That’s quite unique and lets you get deeper into the game.”