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Returnal shows off just what the PS5 is capable of — here's how

Returnal
(Image credit: Housemarque)

Returnal is the procedurally generated sci-fi horror shooter set to launch next week. It's one of the first major PS5 exclusives, and Sony's marketing materials promise a game that will finally put the console's power to good use.

Sony has wrapped up everything fans will want to know about the upcoming title over on the PlayStation website. The page features quotes from developer Housemarque, as well as some of the technical specs. Gamers are promised a "consistent" 60 frames per second and a dynamic 4K resolution. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

"By leveraging PS5’s ray-tracing hardware, we are able to deliver high-quality lighting in real time. Our global illumination system uniquely adapts to the randomized placement of the world, while neon-lit projectiles create that arcade, fever-dream feel our team is known for," explained Housemarque technology director Ethan Watson. 

The studio's signature visuals aren't the only thing getting a helping hand from the hardware. Players can look forward to "full fluid simulations controlling weather and environments alongside innovative particle animations for enemies and environments."

Returnal is using every aspect of the PS5 to create a truly next-gen experience. Game director Harry Krueger praised "the unique features of PS5" like the Tempest 3D Audio, DualSense controller, and super fast SSD which have allowed the team to "shoot for the stars" in terms of development.

This translates into the game experience, offering near-instant loading thanks to the SSD, while the advanced 3D audio makes for greater immersion and spatial awareness in the in-game environment.

Some of the coolest features are provided by the DualSense controller. Its haptic feedback contributes to the game's atmosphere and immersion, simulating "the feeling of heavy mud underfoot, or raindrops falling on your suit."

The adaptive triggers make the frantic shooter even more unique, allowing "for unique multifunctional trigger systems where different firing modes can be activated by applying different pressure to the triggers."

If you've managed to pick up a PS5, Returnal should be at the top of your list as one of the titles that will showcase the capabilities of the system. It launches on Friday, April 30 with a standard edition and Digital Deluxe Edition available to choose from. 

  • More: Looking for something to play? These are the best PS5 games right now
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, she's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies.