PlayStation has announced today a short delay that sees PS5 exclusive Returnal no longer penciled in for release as planned on March 19, 2021. The third-person shooter – developed by Housemarque and first unveiled during Sony’s Future of Gaming event back in June 2020 – will instead land on store shelves on April 30. In a short tweet announcing the delay, PlayStation cited a need for additional polish as the reason behind the decision to push back Returnal’s release. While not mentioned, the lingering stench of grossly under-cooked Cyberpunk 2077’s disastrous launch and the pandemic’s ongoing impact likely played a part. The full tweet reads:
Update: Returnal has a new release date of April 30, 2021. SIE and Housemarque have made the decision to move the release date in order to give the team extra time to continue to polish the game to the level of quality players expect from Housemarque. See you in April!
Returnal joins a growing list of high-profile games pushed back in recent months. Most recently, we saw Ubisoft opt to delay Riders Republic – a spiritual successor to open-world extreme snow sports game Steep – to an undefined date later this year.
Housemarque Abandons Its Arcade Roots With Returnal
Diverging from Housemarque’s traditional arcade output, Returnal is among the more intriguing PS5 exclusives announced to date, if only for the promise of a bleak, haunting narrative. Marrying elements of third-person shooters, rogue-like games, resource management, and an unsettling ambiance, Returnal drops players in the shoes of a space scout named Selene, marooned on a far-flung shape-shifting planet.
Immune to permanent death, Selene resurrects with every fatal blow, stuck in an endless good-old-fashioned rogue-like loop. As a result, each death means starting again from scratch. Armed with an arsenal of heavy weaponry and gadgets, Selene sets off to not only discover the mysteries of an ancient civilization but piece together her fractured memory.
Fortunately, those interested by the premise won’t have to wait too long to jump as the delay only shift release back by a little over five weeks.