Have you ever wanted to be trapped on an alien planet, facing non-stop challenges and never-ending deaths?

Returnal follows Selene, a space explorer who crash-lands on a mysterious planet called Atropos. But this isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill planet. No, this one has a nasty habit of reshaping itself every time you die. Which, if you’re playing Returnal, will happen a lot.

As Selene, you’ll fight through hordes of alien monsters, explore dark and creepy ruins, and unravel the mysteries of Atropos. But here’s the twist: every time you die, you’ll start back at the beginning of the game, with a new, randomized map to navigate.

Mysteries of Atropo

If you’re thinking “Oh, that doesn’t sound so bad”, well, let’s just say that Atropos is no walk in the park. Think of it more like a walk in a haunted house, except the house is trying to kill you.

But fear not! Selene is no pushover. Armed with an array of weapons, including a pretty cool-looking space suit, she’s more than capable of taking on whatever the planet throws at her.

Returnal - Alien Fight 1
Selene fights an array of extraterrestrial foes, ranging from slimy and creepy to downright terrifying, all while trying to survive on the ever-shifting planet of Atropos.

With the game’s challenging difficulty, you’ll feel like a true space hero when you finally make it to the end. It’s like Groundhog Day, except with more monsters and less Bill Murray.

Combat and Upgrades: Roguelike Genre Meets Bullet Hell

Returnal is a game that’s all about blasting your way through an alien planet while trying not to die (although you will die.. a lot). The world of Atropo is filled with bloodthirsty aliens, dangerous traps, and mysterious artifacts.

Combat in Returnal is fast, frantic, and downright exhilarating. You’ll need to use every trick in the book to stay alive, from dodging incoming attacks to unleashing a hail of bullets on your enemies.

Luckily, you’ve got a pretty impressive arsenal of weapons at your disposal, ranging from standard rifles and shotguns to more tools of destruction like the lightning-spewing Electropylon Driver.

Returnal Review - Xenotype Weapon
Selene gets a Xenotype Weapon.

Each weapon has its own unique feel and playstyle, so you’ll need to experiment to find the perfect loadout for your playstyle.

Returnal’s Upgrade System

Of course, even the best weapon won’t save you if you don’t know how to upgrade it properly. As you progress through the game, you’ll find a variety of items and resources that you can use to enhance your weapons and abilities.

Returnal Review - Upgrades

Whether you’re upgrading your suit for better defense, installing new weapon mods for increased damage, or boosting your health for a little extra survivability, there’s always something new to work towards.

Design and Visuals: Beauty and Horror of an Alien World

Returnal is like a visually stunning acid trip through an intergalactic fever dream. The game’s world design is a dizzying blend of sci-fi and horror that feels both familiar and completely alien at the same time.

From the moment you crash land on the planet Atropos, you’ll be immediately struck by the game’s stunning visuals.

The planet is a mish-mash of eerie landscapes and alien architecture that is both awe-inspiring and terrifying. It’s like someone mashed up Ridley Scott’s Alien with a trippy Pink Floyd music video and then threw in some Lovecraftian horror for good measure.

Breathtaking and Immersive

But it’s not just the overall design of the world that’s impressive. The attention to detail in Returnal is outstanding, from the way the plants and creatures on Atropos react to your presence, to the intricate and otherworldly designs of the weapons you’ll use to survive.

Returnal Review - Design and Visuals

It’s a game that will leave you feeling like you’ve been on a wild ride through the cosmos. It’s a trip you won’t soon forget.

Returnal’s Sound and Music: Haunting Soundtrack of a Sci-Fi Nightmare

The game’s sound and music are just as crucial as the graphics. From the eerie whispers of the alien creatures to the pulse-pounding beats of the combat music, the audio design creates an unforgettable atmosphere of tension and danger.

The game’s music is just as engaging, with a mix of ambient tracks that create an otherworldly atmosphere and intense battle music that gets your heart racing.

Returnal’s sound and music are a perfect match for the game’s intense and unpredictable gameplay. Whether you’re creeping through a dark, foreboding cave or engaged in a high-speed shootout with a horde of aliens, the audio design keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Difficulty and Replayability: Endless Possibilities and Randomness

Returnal is the type of game that will make you want to throw your mouse/controller through your TV screen, and then pick it up and keep playing because it’s just that addictively challenging. This game is like the Dark Souls of space shooter games, except instead of fighting dragons and demons, you’re fighting for your life against hordes of extraterrestrial monsters.

Returnal Review - Difficulty and Replayability
Selene’s first encounter with the extraterrestrial scavenger fauna.

But don’t worry, dying is just a part of the game! In fact, it’s an essential part of the experience. Every time you die, you’ll respawn at the beginning of the game, but the levels will be procedurally generated, so it’s never the same experience twice. It’s like playing a slot machine, except instead of money, you’re betting on your sanity.

Challenge of Permadeath and Learning from Failure

Returnal’s replayability is off the charts, and you’ll keep coming back for more punishment because every time you die, you’ll learn something new about the game, and you’ll be one step closer to finally beating it. It’s like a puzzle that keeps changing, and every time you try to solve it, the puzzle pieces are shuffled in a different order.

3 Different Endings: Actions and Decisions

  • “Normal Ending”: This is the default ending of the game. You just need to finish the game’s story campaign. In this ending, Selene discovers the truth about her situation and confronts the game’s final boss.
  • “True Ending”: This ending can be unlocked by completing the game’s story campaign and then performing additional tasks during subsequent playthroughs. In this ending, Selene uncovers the true nature of her situation and gains access to a new area of the game.

  • “Secret Ending”: This ending can be unlocked by performing a specific sequence of actions during the game’s story campaign. In this ending, Selene discovers a secret about the alien planet and gains new abilities.

Conclusion: Must-Play for Fans of Challenging and Unique Games

As Selene’s journey on Atropos comes to a close, it’s clear that Returnal is a game that demands your full attention and respect. From its challenging gameplay to its stunning graphics and sound design, the game has set a new bar for rogue-like action games.

But let’s not forget the true star of the show: Selene. She’s like the sci-fi version of Bear Grylls. She survived in the harshest of environments with nothing but her wits and a trusty blaster. And let’s be honest, we all secretly want to be as badass as her.

Returnal Review - Conclusion

Check out our Returnal PS5 Review here!


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