A Return to Returnal with Expansive “Returnal Ascension”

The PlayStation State of Play for March just dropped some major releases and amongst them was the return of a fan favourite Returnal with a much-anticipated DLC drop called Ascension that acts as an expansion pack.

This free update includes two new modes and is coming later in the month.

Returnal Ascension Brings Co-Op

A new two-player online co-op mode is introduced meaning players can now combine their forces on the hostile planet Atropos together. 

By accessing the Chronosis portal near the crash landing (and in other select parts of the game), you’ll have the option to either host or join a public cycle. Or, if you’d like to share the experience with a friend, you can also choose to host a private cycle instead. Once your connection is established, a Selene from another timeline will join your session and your shared journey will begin.

In co-op, the game works in a similar fashion to single-player Returnal.

Returnal Ascension
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A few points to consider though, if your player characters stray too far apart from one another, they will be forced back together. So make sure you stick close to your partner and work together.

If one of the players is downed, the other player has the option to revive them. But it takes a considerable amount of time and leaves you prone, so do it at your own risk, are you that big of a hero?  

Game progression is tied to the host, so if you’re struggling to overcome a certain boss or biome, bringing in another player to help may open your road to triumph. Client players who join to help will also get to keep some progress they make (such as collecting logs and xenoglyphs) and the more games they assist with the more their Scout Rank will grow so it’s really a win/win scenario. 

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Not to be confused with the Tower of Syphilis (that’s a whole different game)

Returnal Ascension Journeys to The “Tower of Sisyphus”

The Tower of Sisyphus is an “Endless mode”. Players will strive to ascend the Tower as high as possible. But be warned, much like the tragic story of Sisyphus, there is no end to the climb and players are tragically destined to meet their demise as the mode gets increasingly harder.

The only questions are:

how far can you get before succumbing?

& Who will be the player that tests the claim that it’s endless?

Each Phase in the Tower will culminate with an encounter with Algos, which will also get increasingly harder as you advance through the mode. Unlike the campaign, in the Tower players will also have a score to chase. You can track your progress and the highest score on a leaderboard, and compete against other players for the highest rank.

The Score Multiplier will deplete if you get hit or if you don’t deal damage for a while, so keep the momentum up. While there are secrets and optional routes to take, the Tower is intended to be Returnal distilled into an arcade action experience, where the emphasis is on survival, skill, and focused progression.

Aside from the new levels, there’s also a new Boss and some items to discover. The Tower will have a whole new narrative and more insight into the characters and lore of the world the team have created.

Returnal Ascension is a free expansion for the popular game Returnal that was released in April last year. The DLC will be released in late March as a true PS5 exclusive.

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