I liked Housemarque’s tight arcade gems like Super Stardust HD and Resogun, but Returnal gave me pause after seeing its hefty $89.99 asking price and the incongruent make up of the gameplay and aesthetics. I couldn’t reconcile the serious tone and visuals with the arcade style third person shooting mechanics. It wasn’t my jam at full price, but I kept hearing good things. I also heard they fixed some of its major criticisms (suspend cycle) and considering I was a fan of roguelikes such as Hades, I felt I had no excuse to try it once I subscribed to PlayStation Plus Extra.
After finishing the first act and nearly finishing the second, I was done sinking time into it. I don’t mind dying and having to start a cycle anew, but the game was so devoid of entertaining personalities that I dreaded having to see the same biomes again and again. Unless it was a very quick death, I often just shut the game down to go play something else after each attempt.
Early on, I would look forward to pushing forward to see new biomes, enemies, and bosses. I was even a little bit intrigued by the story. However, by the time the second act came around, each new enemy quickly bored me. Each new weapon wore out its welcome. And I found whatever Selene was going through to be largely uninteresting.
If Hades got everything right, I felt Returnal got everything wrong.
I didn’t like it