Returnal PC Review
One of the first true PlayStation 5 exclusive games was Housemarque’s Returnal, a tough-as-nails third-person shooter with bleeding-edge graphics, roguelike mechanics, and an intriguing sci-fi twist on a Groundhog Day-style mystery driving it all. The game was a hit with PlayStation gamers who could stomach its high difficulty level, and now PC gamers can finally see what the fuss with Returnal is all about thanks to a new port from Climax Studios.
Returnal is the latest PlayStation exclusive to make the jump to PC, and it does so with all the expected bells and whistles. While Returnal is certainly no slouch on PS5, the PC port offers some additional enhancements so the game looks and runs even better, assuming one has the hardware to support it. We tested the game with an AMD Ryzen 9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, and it ran like a dream. Players with beefy PCs will be wowed by Returnal’s pure visual spectacle while exploring planet Atropos as unlucky protagonist Selene.
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Returnal is filled with strange alien creatures that bombard Selene with multicolored, brilliantly bright energy beams that really pop in the game’s darker environments. As Selene destroys these enemies with whatever weapons she manages to find while exploring Atropos’ procedurally generated world, she also needs to be careful to avoid all incoming attacks. Dying means restarting the entire “cycle” over, so there’s always a great deal of tension during Returnal’s battles.
Fights against standard Returnal enemies are nerve-wracking enough, but things are cranked up considerably when players find themselves squaring off against one of the game’s bosses. Returnal boss fights are incredibly challenging and a real highlight of the experience, pushing players’ skill to their limit and forcing them to come in prepared with the best upgrades possible. Conquering a boss in Returnal feels like a major accomplishment because it comes with genuine progression….