Returnal is a game about trying and dying in rapid succession, and it’s about to get a new update. The PlayStation 5 exclusive by developer Housemarque was originally released in April 2021, and has received updates since launch. The next one, the version 3.0 Ascension update, was announced during Sony’s latest State of Play livestream.
On Wednesday, Housemarque published 19 minutes of gameplay from Ascension, which includes online co-op multiplayer for players with a PlayStation Plus subscription. There’s also a new Tower of Sisyphus, a challenging 20-floor tower that gets increasingly tough as Seline battles through its inhabitants and ascends to higher levels.
The 19-minute preview of Ascension gives players a look at what climbing the Tower of Sisyphus actually looks like. Each floor has multiple rooms, and players will have to survive and try to complete bonus objections. There’s also a points multiplier — the longer a player dallies, the more they risk losing that multiplier, so they’ll need to balance between covering as much ground as possible and trying to do it quickly.
“While there are secrets and optional routes to take, the Tower is intended to be Returnal distilled into an arcade action experience, where the emphasis is on survival, skill, and focused progression,” said game director Harry Krueger in a PlayStation Blog post.
The demonstration also shows off a new boss called Algos and some new story cutscenes, which suggest that we’ll be discovering more about the world of Returnal and its protagonist Seline. The Ascension update is free and set to be released on March 22.