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Forums - Sony Discussion - Returnal Review Thread - Current 86 Metacritic / 86 Open Critic

Current 86 on Metactricic, 87 on Opencritic after 50+ reviews.

Most of the negative comments I'm seeing are due to either the price of the game or it being too difficult (get gud!)

Looks like Housemarque really delivered on their big jump to AAA.


Can't wait to play it tomorrow!

Android CentralApr 29, 2021

100

Returnal is a tour de force for Housemarque and Sony, and is one of the best games I've played this year with gorgeous visuals, a surprising story, and great roguelike gameplay.

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Het NieuwsbladApr 29, 2021

100

Returnal masterfully makes use of the technical possibilities of the PS5 and succeeds in creating an immersive gaming experience that has rarely been seen before. The end result is a rock-solid game that is not for the faint-hearted, but has raised the bar just that little bit higher for all the games to come.

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GameSpewApr 29, 2021

100

Playing Returnal, it feels like next-gen has truly begun. The way it seamlessly moves from third-person to first-person; how you move from biome to biome without loading screens taking you out of the action; the DualSense implementation; the fluidity of the gameplay; the phenomenal visuals and audio; all of these elements, and more, come together to create an experience that is truly like no other. This is not only Housemarque's best game to date, but perhaps also the best game currently available on PS5. It's a genre-defying delight that raises the bar on so many levels. If you own a PS5 you need to play Returnal. It's as simple as that.

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PLAY! ZineApr 29, 2021

100

Returnal is a must-play and a first perfect true next-gen experience that utilizes all that Sony has marketed for its new console. A sci-fi third-person shooter that uses its roguelite attribute in combination with its time loop story that surprises with its originality and surpasses the expectations by far.

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Game InformerApr 29, 2021

95

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.

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WellPlayedApr 29, 2021

95

Returnal is a challenging, atmospheric and creative experience that boasts amazingly smooth and satisfying gameplay. Add in an intriguing narrative, graphical excellence and some impressive utilisation of the DualSense controller and Returnal might just be an instant PlayStation classic.

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God is a GeekApr 29, 2021

95

Returnal's fluid, graceful movement and satisfying, punchy gunplay combine with a sense of exploration at once both wondrous and morbid, and a drip-fed progression system that makes you feel like you're always discovering or unlocking something new.

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WccftechApr 29, 2021

93

Barring a sci-fi horror tale that doesn't quite nail the slow building reveal, Housemarque has absolutely succeeded with their fusion of third-person shooting and roguelike elements in Returnal, one of my personal favorite PlayStation 5 titles so far.

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IGN ItaliaApr 29, 2021

93

Housemarque delivers an unforgettable experience: Returnal is an intoxicating action game that thrives on its design and aesthetic.

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Video ChumsApr 29, 2021

92

Returnal absolutely blew me away with its challenging combat, atmospheric exploration, amazing sound design, and rewarding campaign setup. Housemarque crammed a ton of elements into this experience and everything comes together brilliantly.

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COGconnectedApr 29, 2021

92

Returnal is so much more than a rogue-like bullet-hell game. It tells a captivating, mysterious, and oftentimes haunting narrative with gorgeous, unsettling visuals and compelling voice acting. It offers a wide variety of collectibles, health upgrades, and unique features to give you a fresh and varied experience with each cycle, and gives players shortcuts so they can continue to press on with the story rather than have to complete every single biome time and time again.

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Player 2Apr 29, 2021

91

Though a much harder game to pitch than many other exclusive titles that come from PlayStation Studios, Returnal has every right to belong in the same conversation that titles from the likes of Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Guerilla, and Santa Monica do. It’s a wonderful point of difference within the PS5 portfolio of titles, but in its own right, it shines too. It might feel like you’re beating your head against a very smart wall, but persist, because as you learn to play by the game’s very specific set of rules, mastery will reward you with one of the finest titles you’re likely to play in 2021.

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VideoGamerApr 29, 2021

90

Complex systems are made simple, by committing their clutter to muscle memory, and play—good play, at any rate—requires that you, like Selene, ride its enigmatic loop.

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GamingBoltApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is an astounding game, one that easily and instantly claims the proud title of being Housemarque’s best game to date, and is an unmissable killer app very early in the PS5’s life.

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PSX-Sense.nlApr 29, 2021

90

Quotation forthcoming.

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Push SquareApr 29, 2021

90

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.

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TrueGamingApr 29, 2021

90

Housemarque successfully pulls off what made their arcade games so addictive into a beautifully crafted 3D mysterious world.

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We Got This CoveredApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal cast a spell on me -- awing with explosive combat, immersing with haptics, and captivating with a monumental atmosphere. Not only is it an easy game of the year contender, but it might also be one of the best action rogue-lites ever made.

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XGNApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is an amazing game from Housemarque that translates the arcade gameplay the studio is known for to an intriguing 3D world. Gameplay doesn't get better than this, making Returnal a must-play for anyone who wants to experience what next-gen is truly about.

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GameSpotApr 29, 2021

90

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.

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GamingTrendApr 29, 2021

90

Firsts don’t come around very often, but this is one of PlayStation’s first PS5 exclusives and Housemarque’s first triple A releases, and the combination is a triumphant success. I’m not sure how they’ve managed everything in play, taking the bullet-hell stylings of old and meshing them with the trappings of a third-person roguelike, but it works to a fantastic degree. On top of that, the action-packed gameplay is some of the best around, additionally being one of the most immersive and next-gen experiences available thanks to an incredible understanding of the DualSense controller. Yes, the story may take a backseat, but that’s the nature of the roguelike genre, and doesn’t hinder Returnal in the slightest. I may not be much for roguelikes, but I can see myself “returning” to play this one again and again.

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GfinityApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is undoubtedly one of Housemarque’s best games and is a triumph for the PlayStation 5. The premise is interesting right off the bat, and the way the game feeds narrative breadcrumbs throughout the game only made me want to continue on. With the tight gameplay that the studio is known for, along with an intriguing story and blockbuster presentation, Housemarque hits all the right spots. Returnal sits as one of PlayStation’s most unique exclusives.

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Metro GameCentralApr 29, 2021

90

What should have been a hotchpotch of other people’s ideas, made worse by frustratingly high difficulty, is in reality one of the most cleverly designed video games of recent years, with superb action and endless replayability.

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PlayStation UniverseApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is a masterclass in how to create gripping, exhilarating arcade action and feels like the first game to truly realise the PS5's potential. It uses everything the system offers to craft an experience completely unlike anything else available today at this budget. Apart from narrative missteps, Housemarque's latest is flawless and a game that everyone who owns a PS5 and every gamer should experience at some point. I hope this is the start of a new, prosperous franchise for PlayStation and Housemaque.

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Press Start AustraliaApr 29, 2021

90

With some doubt at the front of people’s minds, Returnal is a shushing finger across the lips of detractors as well as a tremendous example that PlayStation’s middle line titles can still offer as much value and entertainment as its tentpole exclusives. Housemarque achieves an atmosphere like few can and set up a universe ripe for expansion while marrying it to a grind — which is more forgiving than most of its kind but will still alienate some —that’s both brutal and gratifying all at once.

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AreajugonesApr 29, 2021

90

Given that Returnal was not amongst the most anticipated upcoming games of 2021, carrying a sort of underdog label, it is a massive surprise. Housemarque has carried out its most ambitious project and, although it has slight shortcomings, it is one of the games that best use the DualSense and PS5 characteristics, thus becoming an essential pick for both shooters and roguelikes fans alike. And, of course, it's very addictive.

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CGMagazineApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal sets a new standard for Housemarque and delivers a must-play game for fans of roguelike titles while offering everyone else a genuinely unique experience. The game masterfully blends arcade-inspired gameplay with AAA quality chops usually reserved for a first-party PlayStation developer.

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Critical HitApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is an unrelenting and unforgiving challenge for the ages, but it still captures the magic of what makes Housemarque so special. It has a weirdly unique style and substance, every level is an unpredictable white-knuckle ride and it fully commits to its rogue-like influences. The end result isn’t just a showcase title for what the PS5 is capable of, it’s a thrilling mix of arcade bullet-hell gaming with precision thrill power.

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DualShockersApr 29, 2021

90

From the moment it starts, Returnal is unrelentingly challenging in a way that begs the player to try just one more time.

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Eurogamer ItalyApr 29, 2021

90

Returnal is a captivating PS5 exclusive which blends a third person shooter with several cornerstones of the roguelike/roguelite genre in an astounding result. Housemarque creates a challenging and rewarding gameplay delivering in every other aspect of the experience: graphics, sound and DualSense features above all. Then the plot...a complex and convoluted mystery that will definitely capture you.

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GamePro GermanyApr 29, 2021

88

Returnal is a difficult rogue-like shooter in a class of its own, whose many strengths outweigh the balancing weaknesses.

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MGG SpainApr 29, 2021

88

Returnal may have made people think "this game is not for everybody", but after playing it, this quote definitely does not make much sense. Returnal is fresh, addictive and maybe can end up being a game that can break barriers for the roguelike genre.

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4Players.deApr 29, 2021

88

There are many rogue-likes out there. Returnal is one of the best - and the first on a AAA-level. Have fun and don’t quit – it is worth it!

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Easy AlliesApr 29, 2021

85

Returnal is a great debut for Housmarque on the PS5. The $70 price tag may be off-putting for some, but it makes a great case for itself thanks to excellent gameplay, an intriguing narrative, and replayability. It would be nice if some of the areas felt more distinct from one another and there are a few tech issues left to iron out. Regardless, Returnal is a blast to play and worth going down the rabbit hole in search of its secrets.

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GamesRadar+Apr 29, 2021

80

Returnal can be messy, tough, and perhaps a little too uncompromising for a $70 game. And yet, despite the moments of pad-clenching exasperation, it remains a moreish experience even after you’ve plummeted its depths.

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VG247Apr 29, 2021

80

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.

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IGNApr 29, 2021

80

The moment-to-moment gameplay of Returnal is sublime, with a great selection of weapons that each have a wide variety of interesting possible traits, meaningful strategic decisions that can either keep a run afloat or doom it to sink, and punishingly challenging yet rewarding gunplay that is consistently exhilarating. Even with all of this focus on action, it never drops the ball on the story. Its big issue is that runs last way too long, and there’s no way to save progress outside of putting the PS5 in rest mode. That saps the desire to immediately return and try again after a failure, though not enough to grind it to a halt. Even so, Returnal is an incredible roguelike, and one of Housemarque’s best games to date.

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VGCApr 29, 2021

80

Returnal's constant action and clever semi-procedural structure make it an engaging adventure, not to mention a visually stunning one. The lack of any difficulty levels may unfortunately exclude less experienced gamers, but anyone who doesn't mind dying a bunch of times will thoroughly enjoy themselves.

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GameOver.grApr 29, 2021

80

Returnal is a blast to play, with nice visuals, exceptional sound production and one of the best DualSense implementations to date. There is a significant degree of difficulty that might discourage a lot of players, but the gameplay is so addictive that it keeps you coming back for more.

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Gamer.noApr 29, 2021

80

Despite certain shortcomings in variety and clarity, Returnal manages to deliver both an engaging story and fast-paced gameplay at almost every turn.

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GAMES.CHApr 29, 2021

80

Quotation forthcoming.

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IGN FranceApr 29, 2021

80

Not the 80 euros system seller Sony wants it to be, but Returnal is still a great roguelite shooter, original and inventive.

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MilleniumApr 29, 2021

80

Returnal is a fascinating mix of genres, between science fiction, horror, and psychology, which gives a much more immersive and scary adventure than what we are used to in a Rogue-like. The realization is good, and the game takes full advantage of the PS5's performance to achieve this result. The gameplay is solid and the fights are intense, especially when you have to desperately survive in the middle of a deluge of projectiles in order to progress further and further. It's a shame, though, that it quickly becomes repetitive, even with its somewhat short lifespan (about 30 hours), with the added bonus of a game design that breaks the rhythm by encouraging us to go back and forth too much.

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Screen RantApr 29, 2021

80

People who love hard video games will find a lot to praise in Returnal, but the haunting beauty of Atropos is surrounded by a harsh environment that will overwhelm those who can't keep up.

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Digitally DownloadedApr 29, 2021

80

I do admire Returnal. From aesthetics and atmosphere, through to its structure, this is a game that is confident, and even brave in the “blockbuster” space that it will be playing in. You can see that the team at Housemarque had a creative vision and were prepared to lose players over it, in return for delivering a purity of that vision. And as a result, this is the first original PlayStation 5 title that I’ve found compelling, given that Demon’s Souls was a remake. When I look at why I find it compelling, it’s for the effectiveness of the horror and the slick vision for action games that it offers. Scratch beneath that surface and the game doesn’t say much to justify its existence, and it is going to be far too challenging for a lot of players, but within its fairly narrow scope, for the audience that it was made for, Returnal is going to be a vividly entertaining ride.

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EGMApr 29, 2021

80

Returnal excellently blends third-person shooter gameplay with bullet-hell style enemies and roguelike elements to craft a fun, challenging action game that you’ll have a blast learning to master. The only real shame is that the action is yoked to a story that mistakes being vague for being smart and interesting.

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DestructoidApr 29, 2021

75

Returnal is a thrilling sci-fi action romp that suffers from a lack of scale at times.

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TheGamerApr 29, 2021

70

At its core, Returnal is one of the most satisfying third-person shooters I’ve played - it’s Hades via Vanquish. It forces you to meet it at its tempo and doesn’t relent. It makes Doom Eternal seem like Baby’s First Shooter. It’s gorgeous, frenetic, and endlessly replayable. I just wish success wasn’t so tied to fortune and misfortune, which only exacerbates any frustrations you have when repeatedly trekking through areas you’ve already beaten. Even after the credits rolled, I felt satisfied, but that satisfaction was also mixed with relief - the ordeal was finally over and the chiropractor's elbow has been removed from the small of my back.

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ShindigApr 29, 2021

70

I'm torn. On the one hand, Returnal is one of the best third-person shooters you'll find, full of the kind of frantic, precise action that's so satisfying to master, but on a scale and with a sense of atmosphere that's far beyond anything Housemarque has done before. On the other, the ill-conceived idea to make it a roguelike sits at odds with everything the game does best, undermining its greatest strengths and turning an exciting game into a tedious and frustrating one. If you've got the patience for it, this is an adventure that's absolutely worth taking, but I can't help but wonder how incredible Returnal could be if it didn't keep getting in its own way.



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Sony kicked themselves in the butt. A more traditional price tag and they'll probably be look at a 90s and far more day one sales.

Very happy to have this kind of sci fi title given the spotlight but I'm gonna wait until its £50 or less

Last edited by Otter - on 29 April 2021

We will see how it does in sales.



Up to 87 on Metacritic at the time of this post. Higher than Ghost of Tsushima for now.

Sony has done it again. Ushered in a new hit game from a partner studio.

New IP. PS5 true exclusive (not cross gen). Well reviewed. Within the launch window. Wonder how people will try to downplay this success...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1gWECYYOSo

Please Watch/Share this video so it gets shown in Hollywood.

Well now it looks like I might actually buy it when it's cheaper and when I finally can get a PS5. Up until now I wasn't completely sure.



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Otter said:

Sony kicked themselves in the butt. A more traditional price tag and they'll probably be look at a 90s and far more day one sales.

Not really, GOT had 83/100 and did great sales.

Once it goes on sale it will go from $70 to 50-60 and a lot of people will jump into it. Meaning more profit for everybody (not the gamers sadly). 



kazuyamishima said:
Otter said:

Sony kicked themselves in the butt. A more traditional price tag and they'll probably be look at a 90s and far more day one sales.

Not really, GOT had 83/100 and did great sales.

Once it goes on sale it will go from $70 to 50-60 and a lot of people will jump into it. Meaning more profit for everybody (not the gamers sadly). 

I said "far more" day one sales, not that it can't sell well at its current rating. Thats based of $60 making people more comfortable testing the waters and the metacritic being higher as a result of lower price tag (since it was brought up in several reviews). I also wouldn't compare it to a game like GOT which had far more hype. 

200k at $70= $14,000,000

250k at $60= $15,000,000

Sony should reserve $70 for games which either have huge budgets, or games with such obvious appeal that there is no concern about that the price tag dampening early success. This is neither. Its made by a team of 75 people (so not crazy budget wise) and every time its promoted on social media there's immediately a wave of comments questioning its price tag which I think may unfortunately stop it from being the huge runaway success I think it could be.

Last edited by Otter - on 29 April 2021

It looks fun. Will most likely pick it up sometime after I get a PS5. Just not for full price.



KLXVER said:

It looks fun. Will most likely pick it up sometime after I get a PS5. Just not for full price.

Full price, which stands at 89.99$ here in Canada, is ludicrously expensive.




Otter said:
kazuyamishima said:

Not really, GOT had 83/100 and did great sales.

Once it goes on sale it will go from $70 to 50-60 and a lot of people will jump into it. Meaning more profit for everybody (not the gamers sadly). 

I said "far more" day one sales, not that it can't sell well at its current rating. Thats based of $60 making people more comfortable testing the waters and the metacritic being higher as a result of lower price tag (since it was brought up in several reviews). I also wouldn't compare it to a game like GOT which had far more hype. 

200k at $70= $14,000,000

250k at $60= $15,000,000

Sony should reserve $70 for games which either have huge budgets, or games with such obvious appeal there is no concern about the price tag dampening early success.

I doubt most current PS5 owners are price sensitive. Hell, they may have even paid extra for a scalped console.

I am willing to bet that anyone who bought a PS5 so early into its lifecycle is itching for new and exclusive content that you can't get anywhere else. Returnal being a hit and a graphical showcase bodes well for its sales prospects.

Besides most gamers are buying games digitally now and it is doubtful Sony will reduce the price of this game on the PS Store any time soon.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1gWECYYOSo

Please Watch/Share this video so it gets shown in Hollywood.