Return is a combination of things I’ve seen before, great ideas from a dozen different rogelites and sci-fi games. But one of ReturnThe easiest additional description is Metroid. Selenium, ReturnThe main character is a blond woman in a constantly evolving space suit. It is an intergalactic pilot with its own ship. She is on a solo mission to a dark, sinister, hostile, alien planet, where she collects bio-technology from the planet’s original inhabitants to survive. If it rings the bells, it’s because you̵
Still, none of this is why Return really reminds me of Metroid. The visual and thematic similarities are easy to see, but the first time I moved like Selena, I felt like Samus. This is because Return takes to heart one of Metroid’s most underrated gameplay lessons: speed.
In the initial moments of ReturnI crash on an alien planet. And as I recover, I begin to explore this new world and begin to unravel the mystery. I soon learn that I have fallen into a time cycle. Have I always been here?
The game is played as a game of hellish bullets from a third person. I run around the environment, picking up better items and weapons to make my life easier. I struggle with the local flora and fauna and avoid through waves of colorful energy explosions. The fast, big bullet avoidance goes back to the days of developer Housemarque Super Stardust HD and Resogun.
When I die, I keep some currency and a few key items. I leave everything else in the past. I wake up in my shipwreck and set off on another adventure. This is where ReturnThe game’s own version of backtracking comes into play. Unlike Metroid, ReturnThe layout of the map is random, so I have to rediscover the map every time I come back to life.
This need to rediscover made me think about Selene’s super sound speed.
The second I put my hands on the controller and put Selena ReturnI said, “Oh, it’s like Metroid,” loud enough for my cats to hear.
Selenium moves fast Return. When I touch the controller, it rushes forward with unnatural speed and yet I never feel out of control. The way I swim in the air with precision and burn around the room in seconds is more like Super Metroid than modern fast-paced games like Doom (2016).
Metroid games, especially 2D games, are well known for requiring a lot of tracking. You’ll see a door in the first 20 minutes of the Metroid 2D adventure that you won’t be able to open until your last 20 minutes. Tracking back can be a serious pain, but it would be worse if Samus didn’t move extremely fast, even before he found any dash-related improvements.
You can cover a lot of land very quickly like Samus, especially wide open spaces where you don’t have to stop often. This is a series defined by movement, complemented by gadgets that better prepare Samus for her long journey between multiple points.
Return there is a different approach to backtracking. As a Selene, I can teleport between areas I’ve already been to during my current run. I also maintain some key elements and upgrades, such as my hook, between deaths. So, after I beat the boss of the first area, I have everything I need to take the portal to the second biome. But since the map is shuffled at the beginning of each new run, I have to find the portal again.
Rediscovering a card just to find a door I’ve already been through can be frustrating Returnbut Selene’s speed helps relieve some of the pressure. Minutes after I die, I can enter three rooms in my next run, chasing the portal to the next area, sprinting past the bullets. He creates a frantic dash at the beginning of each performance, which helps maintain it Return exciting, even on the 20th time I go through the same forest environment.
Hunting for something I know is somewhere near c Return it feels like trying to find that super rocket door in Metroid that I first encountered six hours ago. Speed is an aspect that Metroid itself softens at a slower pace, but still great Metroid Prime a trilogy that sharpens the long sections for tracking back this game. It is interesting to see Return learn so much from Metroid Primeis a more immersive environment, while returning to the 2D era to adapt the super speed of the Samus. It wasn’t the Metroid influence I expected when I first saw trailers for Selene’s adventure, but it’s the perfect way to make every run feel like a sprint to progress.