Game “review” – Returnal

Reviewing info: How I rate/review and other info is HERE[] . W.I.P This sentence will not be included if review format is finalized and blog updated.
Review layout: STEAM
Review type: Game
Review format: Normal, lazy


✅ Interesting fragmented storytelling
✅ Fairly challenging combat & solid gunplay
✅ Main story bosses are quite fun, but underwhelming in lot of cases
✅ Tower content is fun to do once through
✅ Solid visual style & audio design


❌ Very loose conceptual story (whenever story is about MC mental issues or stuff is actually happening and how much is up to a player pretty much by the end)
❌ Not particularly good roguelike, item variation is ok but quality is average. Other games of such genre do much better job.
❌ A lot of negative “effect” items/gear take fun out of gearing (mods can fix that)
❌ Quite few bugs and some being rather obnoxious
❌ CoOp partner can join once per session per area. Making you forced to play LOOOONG sessions if you do full clears.
❌ No tower coop without mod
❌ Tower boss rinse & repeated
❌ Lot of boring/trash artifacts/items
❌ Abysmal performance (especially In later sections of the game)


Firsts things first, review is from full CoOp experience. Played the game from start to finish in CoOp with occasional forced solo sessions to do solo instance required story stuff.

Gunplay and cooping is pretty okay game. Storytelling is fragmented, where you piece together stuff, but concept of story is open in the air. Of few characters actually being who/what and whenever how much of story happened and how much was in main characters head. Lot of theories about it apparently on the web as well.

Think most fun part was the gunplay and boss fights. Although funnily enough by then end of the game boss fights were easier than actual elite mobs around the world.

As far as roguelike element goes. Found rather average it in this game. Not too much variation when compare to rogue game kings. Weapons do have some number of perks that you can unlock to make certain combinations fun, but quite limiting amount. Lot of artifacts in the game are rather minor or boring effect ones. Plus too much of stuff in the game is behind “has some sort of negative effect, thus either don’t pick or bamboozle yourself (which can be fixed with mods thankfully)” . But yeah, main issue as whole rather than amount of stuff, is the quality of stuff of roguelike element gear.

Tower content is essentially tier based combat arena. Kill stuff, clear rooms, get rewards, faster you do the more score you get with floor boss, which sadly is same boss every time. But doing once through 4-5 floors is fun & with a mod you can play it with a friend. (do keep in mind though, it scales like hell in coop by tier 4-5 stuff essentially one hits you)

There were plenty of bugs as well… but most of them affected whoever joined the co-op session. As host had few issues, but not enough to mention them. Speaking of CoOp, what I absolutely hated that once you start, you are forced to play for damn long AF sessions… as you cannot invite friend again until you reach new area, and if you do invite friend in new area, friend gets to join in in a blank state again. So yeah… for full experience, either play 6+ hours straight, which normally people don’t have leisure of time for… or just sacrifice your stuff per area. Sadly not really co-op friendly.

The performance in latter portion of the game was absolutely horrible. (endgame areas and the tower) had fps dips all the way down to 20 or so. And I’m running 7800x3D with 7900XTX . First maps of the game were so-so, had some dips there and there but wasn’t as bad.

One of those games I can’t recommend nor really say it’s “bad” . But sadly steam reviews have no “mixed feelings” button.

🌟 Total score: 5/10 🌟

Game status:
✅ Finished

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