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Returnal dev could make things easier, but won’t, because…

Anyone who has played Returnal can agree to one thing: it ain’t no interstellar picnic. Dying is part of the experience, and therefore, you’ll be doing a lot of it. But some players die so damn often that it might start to become an annoyance. This annoyance could easily be softened by developer Housemarque, but they still choose not to. And Returnal’s director – Harry Krueger – doesn’t mind telling us why.

While making an appearance on PS I Love You XOXO, journo Greg Miller popped that million-dollar question: “Y tho? Why won’t you guys just make Returnal more accessible? Can’t you see you’re making people mentally unstable?” Well… maybe not in those exact words. Anywho, this was Krueger’s response:

“[For example], the character, Celine, she is talking about dying over and over and how these are insurmountable odds, and she can’t keep going on, and there’s this descent into madness that is happening purely because of the challenges she’s facing, and her challenges are the player’s challenges as well in many ways.”

“It feels like if you were allowed to just power through a boss without any challenge, or just go from A to B to C through the narrative points, it almost feels like it would create a bit of dissonance.

“The game is telling you this is really challenging, and that you’re overcoming these obstacles but you wouldn’t have had to experience that friction. So that’s always a line to walk, but it’s something we’re going to keep in mind.”

Great. That’s just what every frustrated Returnal player needed to hear. Celine is in pain and going fucknuts, and so should you. Then again, it’s not like the game isn’t throwing you a bone from time to time. Certain items can grant you a second lease on life. Plus, there’s also that one suspension per run in case you really need to take an 8-hour long crap, referred to by some as “work” or “sleep”. And… you won’t have to suffer alone anymore, since co-op has been introduced in an update called Ascension.