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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Android Central (Apr 29, 2021)
Returnal is a roguelike. Returnal is about trauma. Returnal is a Metroidvania. Returnal is about retribution. Every time I awakened from my death at the base of my destroyed ship, I only wanted to try again. Like Selene, I was obsessed with the mystery of the White Shadow, and it drove me deeper into the heart of Atropos, and beyond the point of no return. Whether it's divine punishment or redemption, Returnal is greater than the sum of its parts and is a must-play for every PS5 owner.
Daily Star (Apr 29, 2021)
I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Returnal so far and its unique die-and-start-over mechanic, excellent graphics, gameplay and sound all work brilliantly to deliver yet another fantastic first-party exclusive for the PS5.
Game Rant (Apr 29, 2021)
Returnal is an excellent video game flirting with perfection. It has the most satisfying gameplay loop Housemarque has crafted to date, which says a lot considering the studio's pedigree. If PlayStation's other PS5 exclusives feel even half as satisfying as Returnal does, fans are in for one hell of a console generation.
PlayStation Lifestyle (Apr 29, 2021)
Returnal is an essential PS5 title, now and throughout the console’s life. Housemarque took the rogue-like bullet-hell formula and applied it to a AAA experience in a way that creates something exceptionally unique yet wholly familiar. Returnal is an engaging experience in narrative, gameplay, and player discovery, consistently surprising on every level. Utilizing the PS5 technology in a way that most other developers are barely tapping into, Returnal feels like one of the first truly next-gen experiences, letting Housemarque set the stage for the new console. And like Housemarque games before it, it’s the kind of game that will withstand the test of time, begging for additional cycles well into the future.
IndieWire (Apr 29, 2021)
“Returnal” also makes full use of the DualSense controller’s built-in speakers, with reload effects and the sounds of alien wildlife spilling into your living room in auditory 3D. While “Spider-Man” and the “Demon’s Souls” remake showcased the system’s horsepower, and “Astro’s Playroom” insisted that Sony’s latest console wouldn’t just be more of the same, “Returnal” so inherently seizes upon what the new tech can do that it feels like nothing less than the first true PS5 game. Strangely, that promise has a material effect on the experience of playing it. No matter how many times Selene dies, and no matter how unfathomable it seems that you’ll ever have the ability or the willpower to defeat the boss that killed her, you just can’t shake the hard-won hope that tomorrow is still worth fighting for all over again.
Digital Chumps (Apr 29, 2021)
Housemarque’s Returnal is a brutal rogue-lite that constantly keeps the fun coming through its well-thought-through item system that is exquisitely balanced and its randomized gameplay design that feels fresh after every death. Definitely a must-have game for the PlayStation 5.
GamesCreed (May 17, 2021)
Returnal is an amazing game. It has the most satisfying gameplay Housemarque has created to date.
Game Informer Magazine (Apr 29, 2021)
A deadly alien planet is a playground for your senses and curiosity.
Video Chums (Apr 29, 2021)
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.
88 (Apr 29, 2021)
Glückwunsch an Housemarque! Mit Returnal beweisen die Finnen, dass sie sowohl an ihre Arcade-Tradition anknüpfen als auch neue Wege hin zu größeren Abenteuern beschreiten können. Die Science-Fiction-Story wird auf mehreren Ebenen erzählt, verwebt das Schicksal der Heldin mit den Geheimnissen des Alien-Planeten und sorgt für Horrorflair à la P.T. Trotzdem ist das nur der stimmungsvolle Rahmen für den faszinierenden Kern: Der steckt nicht nur in der hochwertigen Präsentation, sondern in der wunderbaren Shooter-Mechanik, den adrenalinhaltigen Gefechten, dem ausgefeilten Leveldesign und der verblüffenden prozeduralen Überraschung - selbst nach zig Durchläufen entdeckt man noch Geheimnisse, Artefakte oder Areale. (...) Es gibt viele "Roguelikes" da draußen - Returnal ist eines der besten seiner Art und das erste auf Triple-A-Niveau. Viel Spaß, nicht aufgeben, es lohnt sich!
80 (May 07, 2021)
Kotimainen Housemarque on jo parin vuosikymmenen ajan tehtaillut erinomaisen toimivia ja näyttäviä uusioversioita vanhoista kolikkopelihiteistä. Ei mitenkään suoraan ”Asteroids HD” -henkisesti, vaan selkeästi inspiraatiota niistä hakien ja sitten sekoitellen joukkoon omia ideoitaan.
Returnal delivers in spades where it counts most, delivering a mostly-excellent experience that embraces the studio’s history and charts a path forward. Selene’s harrowing adventures on Atropos are wonderfully conveyed through exploration and discovery. Though the ending doesn’t fully deliver on the hours of build-up, it’s still a worthwhile tale to explore. The combination of roguelike design with third-person bullet-hell gameplay mechanics is a true treat, keeping players on their toes and continuously challenging them to get better. Returnal can get repetitive, particularly in the second half due to the repetition of layouts and long bouts between the biomes. Still, the addictive, fast-paced nature of the gameplay helps keep players engaged. Holding it all together is a beautiful presentation filled with next-gen flair and spectacular audio design. Housemarque has done a wonderful job with Returnal and it’s well worth living, dying and repeating to get to the final credits.
GamesRadar (Apr 29, 2021)
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 plumbed its depths.