Announced at today’s State of Play, Returnal will be getting a new free update later this month that includes a new major challenge, as well as the ability to play cooperatively with a friend.
Returnal’s Ascension update 3.0 drops on March 22, 2022, and will feature both online campaign co-op as well as a new survival mode called The Tower of Sisyphus.
Per the PlayStation Blog, co-op mode will be accessed through the Chronosis portal near the crash landing, as well as in other select parts of the game. You can either host a co-op game or join another public one, or host or join a private game with a friend. Players will be tethered together to prevent them from getting too far apart and can revive one another if downed. Game progression is tied to the host.
The Tower of Sisyphus is effectively an endless survival game mode where you try to climb as high as you can, with challenges and enemies getting more difficult the higher you get. Each phase in the tower culminates in a battle with Algos that gets progressively harder as well, and scores will be tracked on a leaderboard. The Tower also includes some new narrative content.
Notably, The Tower of Sisyphus cannot be done in co-op (and a few story moments are solo only as well), but the majority of the game seems to be available to play alongside a friend – a welcome assistance given how tough Returnal can be.
In our review, we loved Returnal’s gameplay, weapon selection, and punishing difficulty, calling it “an incredible roguelike, and one of Housemarque’s best games to date.”
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.