Fans of Returnal likely weren’t expecting the game to show up in a PlayStation State of Play show dedicated to Japanese developers, but it seems like Sony likes surprises. The game showed up for long enough to reveal its next major update coming later this month. The Returnal Ascension update will introduce campaign co-op and a new survival mode.
When will Returnal Ascension be released?
Returnal Ascension, otherwise known as Update 3.0, will be released on March 22. The free update will add online campaign co-op for two players, although the Haunted House sequences will remain restricted to single player, as will Challenge Mode. A second Selene can be invited into the game through the Chronosis portal near the crash landing and other locations throughout the game. Likewise, players can use these portals to jump into another player’s game. Players who get too far apart will be tethered back together so play is focused on co-op. Downed players can be revived but this takes time. Progression will only be saved by the host, although companions will get to keep their logs, xenoglyphs, and increased Scout Rank. Sony did confirm PlayStation Plus membership would be required to play online co-op.
The survival mode / Endless mode comes in the form of the The Tower of Sisyphus. Players will face numerous floors full of enemies of increasing difficulty that each end with an encounter with new boss Algos. Once every enemy is eliminated on the current floor, players can ascend to the next. Unlike the campaign, this mode will be scored with multipliers helping to increase that total, although these decrease when players are hit or don’t dish out damage quickly enough. Players can compete to top the leaderboard, with secrets and optimal routes the key to success. The trailer seemed to suggest the game would be offering new items as floors are completed to help with the more dangerous enemies, while new narrative content gives another glimpse into Selene’s past. The Tower is accessible once players unlock the Icarian Grapnel although it will not be available in co-op mode.
In other news, the State of Play show was also the place for free-to-play hero shooter Gundam Evolution to be revealed. The game will launch with three different game modes on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 later this year. Elsewhere, Warner Bros. announced Gotham Knights would be released at the end of October, just in time for the holiday season.
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