Returnal Review Round-Up (VIDEO)

Returnal PS5 Housemarque

Featuring a vibrant and brooding sci-fi atmosphere, Housemarque’s Returnal has looked to be one of the trippiest experiences on the way for the next-gen PlayStation 5. The ominous third-person shooter follows space explorer Selene as she’s repeatedly killed and resurrected in the pursuit to escape and confront the horrific mysteries of a hostile alien planet. Reminiscent of roguelikes and bullet-hell shooters, the unique combat experience boasts a host of procedurally generated environments and an alternating arsenal of tech-based and organic alien weaponry.

As Returnal looks to offer no shortage of otherworldly atmosphere and stunning cutting-edge visuals, expectations are understandably high for Housemarque’s dive into the sci-fi shooter genre. However, how are critics aligning on the release of Returnal? Well, according to emerging reviews, Returnal appears to be more than worth the hype as multiple outlets praise the shooter’s compelling narrative, stunning environments, and immense replayability. However, some also note that the game’s considerable challenge may not prove fun for everyone.

“Returnal gets halfway to doing it. It is full of real, bona fide video game magic, but with each death it becomes less special, more mundane, and this is why it feels so difficult to pick up the controller again, why Returnal feels like it doesn’t want to be played. But the magic it does have is transcendent. And so I do still want to play it – whether Returnal likes it or not.”

“Returnal is a relentless nightmare that’s a dream to play. The journey is full of horror and terrible discoveries, but also unbridled curiosity and wonder. If you have the taste for it, this is an adventure that begs to be experienced.”

“Returnal is constantly unsettling and consistently challenging. Its mysterious story and demanding action feel intense, urgent, and fresh. The fast-moving combat manages to appear incredibly daunting, bordering on overwhelming, without ever actually becoming insurmountable. Every moment is a rush, either because you just barely evaded a giant purple laser or because you have no idea why there’s an Apollo-era astronaut following your every move. Do you need to be a little brave to play Returnal? Yeah. Do you need to be glutton for punishment? It helps. They say that anything worth doing should scare you at least a little bit. I’m not sure if that’s always true, but Returnal makes a strong case.”

“Housemarque has delivered the PS5 promise with Returnal. All the console’s bells and whistles enhance the experience, making this a real showpiece for the hardware. But more than that, the game is a force to be reckoned with; the breathless combat, super slick gameplay, and the subtle but unsettling story combine for an experience of surprising scale. Rogue-lite aspects mean it won’t gel with everyone, but for those looking for a challenging, addictive arcade shooter, this comes highly recommended.”

“While Returnal’s marriage of rogue-like loops and serpentine story isn’t perfect, it’s a dark, engaging, and innovative experience which provides plenty of gameplay grunt to match its brain-teasing plot. There’s symbolism to ponder, Easter eggs to spot, and tons of memorable moments across the 20 or so hours it’ll take you to reach the end the first time, with yet more to unlock and mess with after you’ve mastered the core concepts on your initial clear.”

Returnal releases for PlayStation 5 on April 30th. What do you think? Are you loving the positive swell of reviews rolling in for Housemarque’s Returnal? Are you planning to brave the game’s horrors for yourself? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you enjoy this writer’s work, please consider supporting them by tossing a Ko-fi their way! Every little bit helps and aims to keep DFTG independent and free of bias. Thank you so much for your support! Eric Hall @ Ko-fi

Eric Hall2678 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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