Returnal Review: The PS5 Exclusive Pushes PCs to the Limit


PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal has made its way to PC, giving PC gamers a chance to experience the thrill of the game for themselves. Developed by Housemarque, this third-person shooter has a roguelike design with an intriguing sci-fi twist, where the protagonist, Selene, must navigate through an ever-changing environment to solve a Groundhog Day-style mystery. The game is filled with challenging alien creatures and intense boss fights at a pretty high-level of difficulty that requires skill and reaction time to conquer the various challenges thrown at the player. Although the game isn’t for everyone, those who enjoy challenging games and roguelike mechanics will have an enjoyable time with Returnal.

Players follow Selene as she explores the procedurally generated world of planet Atropos, encountering strange alien creatures along the way. As Selene destroys these enemies with whatever weapons she finds, she also needs to avoid all incoming attacks because dying means restarting the entire “cycle” over. Returnal is a fast-paced bullet hell game that’s not just about the visuals and the graphics, but the gameplay. The game’s environments are claustrophobic and oppressive, and the player must navigate through them as quickly as possible. Fights against standard Returnal enemies are nerve-wracking enough, but things are cranked up considerably when players are squaring off against one of the game’s bosses. Returnal boss fights are incredibly challenging and a real highlight of the experience, pushing players’ skills to their limits and forcing them to come in prepared with the best upgrades possible.

While the game’s high difficulty level may frustrate some players, especially when they realize it would be pretty short if it weren’t for all the times they died and came back to life, Returnal is rewarding for those who take the time to master it. The PC port of Returnal offers additional enhancements in terms of graphics and visual effects, making it even more breathtaking than the PS5 version. The game’s pure visual spectacle, with bright and multicolored visuals that pop, on beefy PCs. However, to get the most out of the game, it’s recommended to use a PS5 DualSense controller for the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers as it enhances the combat significantly.

Returnal’s Ascension update added co-op mode and Tower of Sisyphus, which is accessible to Returnal PC players right from the start, making it more fully-featured than the PS5 version. The Tower of Sisyphus is a wave-based mode geared to those who have already mastered the game and are looking for more to do. The PC version also includes the quality-of-life features introduced in the original game post-launch, including the ability to suspend one’s current cycle, which lacked a proper save system.

Returnal is an impressive game that sets a new standard for PS5-to-PC ports. The game is challenging, well-balanced, and offers a unique combination of shooter and platformer gameplay. The game’s benchmarking tools are incredibly helpful in determining optimal settings, and the inclusion of ultrawide aspect ratios, while not always beneficial, is a welcome addition.

RATING: 4.0 out of 5.0

YouTube player

You may also like...