Will Ascension offer more closure? (pic: Sony)
The PS5’s best exclusive is getting a major new update that adds two new modes and a deeper look into the psyche of the main character.
The theme of Wednesday night’s State of Play was Japanese developed games but Sony warned there would be a few Western titles in there too and the most significant announcement was a new, free update for Returnal.
The Ascension update will be out later this month and according to the PlayStation Blog it will add both campaign co-op and a brand new endless survival mode.
Unlike certain other games you could mention cough Halo Infinite cough campaign co-op was never originally meant to be part of the game, so it’s inclusion is a welcome surprise, especially as the whole point of the story seemed to be that you were completely on your own.
It sounds like rather just being a switch you turn on the co-op works a bit like Elden Ring et al., as you choose to host other players via various portals located in different parts of the game world.
Cooperators play as an alternate timeline version of main character Selene and will be able to keep some elements their progress, including their Scout Rank and any new logs and xenoglyphs they might find.
Perhaps the most important co-op feature is that you’ll be able to revive the other play if they die, which is extremely useful given Returnal is a roguelike and death usually means you lose everything – although it sounds like it’ll take some time to activate, so it probably won’t be much use in a boss fight.
Returnal Ascension – Selene has always been fighting with herself (pic: Sony)
The endless mode is called the Tower of Sisyphus and, as you might already guess, involves seeing how far up the tower you can get, with each floor becoming filled with progressively harder enemies.
Quite a bit of work seems to have gone into it, including a new recurring boss called Algos and new items and story elements that give a glimpse of main character Selene’s ‘haunting past’ and ‘further insight into her state of mind’.
Even if you get the extended ending, the game’s story currently ends on an ambiguous note and yet current rumours suggest that Housemarque is not planning a sequel.
As such, this update may be intended to add a bit more closure to the story and the game as a whole.
The Ascension update will be released on March 22, only for PlayStation 5, and will be completely free.
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