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Watch 18 minutes of Returnal: Ascension’s new endless mode

Housemarque has released an extended gameplay preview of Returnal’s upcoming free expansion Ascension, focusing on its new Tower of Sisyphus game mode.

The 18-minute video (watch it below) is a deep dive into the upcoming endless mode and features game director Harry Krueger and narrative director Gregory Louden walking us through a run of the ascending gauntlet.

You'll fight your way up the floors of the titular tower, entering at its base before making your way through progressively tougher rooms of enemies.

Housemarque says it’s drawn on its arcade action game roots to develop Tower of Sisyphus, with Louden saying in the video that the team “wanted to take the strongest elements of Returnal’s combat and distill them into a very focused package full of intense action”.

Instead of trying to progress through a set number of levels, like the Returnal base game, you’ll be making runs up the tower to compete for a high score. It'll pay to keep special attention on your score multiplier for this reason. 

Ascending the tower will involve defeating the enemies of each room before making your way to the ‘translocator’ at their center, which will transport you to the next area. Any time spent dallying will reduce your score multiplier, encouraging you to play fast and furious.

It’s not all running and gunning, though. Secret areas will provide you with additional items that can help you on your run, and there’s new narrative content to discover as well.

Returnal: Ascension will release on March 22. Alongside the Tower of Sisyphus, a new co-op mode will also be introduced in the update, which we’ve already had a good look at.

If sci-fi timeloops aren't your style, check out our pick of the best roguelike games to sink your teeth into, or the best FPS games you should play.

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