When Housemarque first announced that it simply felt it had no choice but to leave the shmup scene behind, the Finnish developer’s fans were understandably a little disappointed, fearing that the developer would lose its unique style among a suffocating market of third-and-first person shooters. But with the studio’s upcoming PS5 release Returnal, it seems that Housemarque is working hard to find a comfortable middle-ground.
As demonstrated in its new “Hostiles” trailer, Housemarque is attempting to blend its colorful, visually splendid aesthetic with a more conventionally popular third-person action approach, while also maintaining the twitchy, pulse-pounding bullet-hell action of the studio’s former releases, such as Super Stardust HD, Resogun, and Nex Machina.
While I’d love to have seen Housemarque continue its twin-stick ways, the studio’s survival simply required that it step away from its comfort zone and toward mainstream genre gaming at large. This is why it’s heartening, at the very least, to see the studio work hard to maintain its unique visual signature, pushing to stand out with a recognizable style – in both visuals and gameplay – as it attempts to break into the cookie-cutter world of AAA gaming.
Source: Destructoid Returnal shows Housemarque hasn’t forgotten its shmup roots