Returnal cut content used in Housemarque's new PlayStation Studio IP

By Sean Lawson,

Housemarque has talked about how it would like to implement all the axed content that was intended to be used in Returnal into other projects that it works on in the future — specifically its next IP.

As reported by VGC, Housemarque learnt a lot of lessons when developing Returnal for the PlayStation 5. Eevi Korhonen, the narrative director of Returnal, discussed, what it was like creating a brand new IP for a new console generation and what new knowledge the company will be capitalising on going forward.

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returnalReturnal was a welcome addition to the PlayStation exclusives list

Korhonen talks about how "Returnal was so ambitious" and that a huge portion of the ideas the team came up with ended up falling on the cutting room floor. The team dreamt big when it came to Returnal and they were flush with ideas the company wanted to try and implement into the game. Sadly they underestimated just how big of a project Returnal would end up being and had to give some of those ideas the chop.

Korhonen goes on to discuss how all those narrative ideas won't be going to waste and she can't wait to pick them up and utilise them instead for Housemarque's next IP — which won't be a sequel to Returnal, surprisingly. Instead, Housemarque is creating a brand new IP for Sony. So far there hasn't been any information on what genre or gameplay style this new IP will be, so for now, all we can do is wait for more information to trickle in.
returnalCreating a nice flowing narrative was a struggle for Returnal

Taking the lessons learnt from Returnal, Korhonen says that: "Now we have that team that has gone through the fire and learned how to build a game like Returnal. Now we get to start off stronger.” The quote indicates that the team has grown through their experiences and can now set their sights on ambitious, yet obtainable goals.

Korhonen mentions the difficulties of creating a nicely flowing narrative in a rogue-like game. Returnal is essentially a giant sandbox world that players can explore in their own unique way, finding a way for players to experience a story coherently is no easy feat. What Housemarque decided to do, was have a big portion of the narrative play out after the player has died and is revived in their ship.
Returnal TrophiesReturnal went on to win multiple BAFTA's for PlayStation

Despite this being the main way for players to experience the story of Returnal, huge portions of the narrative can be completely missed if players aren't exploring thoroughly enough. There are sections of the game world that can provide players with deeper and richer story elements, so keep your eyes peeled when exploring the world of Returnal. Despite these difficulties in telling a competent story, Returnal won multiple BAFTAs so Housemarque can take pride in knowing they achieved many of its goals, despite having to abandon some ideas.

How do you feel about Returnal? Do you think it was one of PlayStation's better exclusives? Are you excited about what Housemarque's next IP will be? Sound off in the comments below!
Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer with a focus on the geekiest Sony news. He writes stories about PlayStation exclusives such as Demon’s Souls, Marvel’s Wolverine, as well as RPGs. Sean’s favourite games include Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, Tekken, and Persona.