Generally favorable reviews - based on 115 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 115
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. Apr 29, 2021
    Returnal is frenetic and challenging. It takes all the roguelike basics and applies the kind of fast-paced shooter that Housemarque has always loved to make. [Recommended]
  2. Apr 29, 2021
    I really like Returnal, but if you check the Ars Slack logs, you'll find that I complained quite a bit along the way. I needed a full 10 hours for its combat and universe to click in a crucial, "I want to beat this game" way, and I'm still left wondering how many good ideas and systems were left out of this game just to get its sky-high aspirations out the door. Maybe some of my positive bias comes from dreams of a sequel, which might build upon Housemarque's first stab at the genre. But I won't blame anyone for having less patience with Returnal's uneven ambition (or its $70 price point, which, from what I've seen, does not favorably compare to last year's $60 Last of Us Part 2 or Ghost of Tsushima, also published by Sony). But this is the stuff that keeps Sony fanboys drooling: ambitious new IP that succeeds more than it fails while turning the familiar into something fresh. Returnal clearly heralds a new era for Housemarque, in terms of turning the focused arcade-blasting likes of Super Stardust HD into quest-worthy 3D action. Keep it coming, Sony and Housemarque. [Ars Technica Approved]
  3. Apr 29, 2021
    The result is a game that has everything I wanted to love, but when the stakes are this high, unfair design is unforgivable. No doubt some PS5 owners will love the gauntlet that Returnal offers – the satisfaction of progress, when it all clicks together, can be excellent. But it’s not a game that respects your time. So I’ll just go back and play Hades instead – a game made retroactively even better now that its greatest strengths have been laid bare by Returnal's shortcomings.
  4. May 6, 2021
    Returnal misinterprets the incremental progress integral to the success of the roguelite. These games are supposed to carry a level of frustration and feel difficult early on in order to challenge players. But Roguelites are supposed to carry a glimmer of hope: Next time will be easier. Next time I'll be stronger. All too often, Returnal denies players that hope and that makes it difficult to keep going when it feels like all is lost. The game is about being stuck in a time loop, but it's not supposed to feel like I'm actually stuck in a time loop.
  5. Apr 29, 2021
    Returnal gets halfway to doing it. It is full of real, bona fide video game magic, but with each death it becomes less special, more mundane, and this is why it feels so difficult to pick up the controller again, why Returnal feels like it doesn't want to be played. But the magic it does have is transcendent. And so I do still want to play it - whether Returnal likes it or not. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  6. Apr 29, 2021
    The game is freakin’ gorgeous. You get the standard next-gen fidelity benchmarks—4K resolution and a framerate of 60 frames per second—but the beauty of Returnal is more than mere numbers. It’s how moonlight peeks through the forest canopy, or how blue-tendril fauna arcs toward Selene in moments of respite. It’s the way snow shuffles in the wind. It’s the way fog parts as you stroll through buried tombs. Returnal moves at a brisk pace, but I’ve spent long moments just standing still, drinking in the sights.
  7. I didn’t get very far in Returnal, and it’s not for lack of trying. The game is tough for me — and I play “Dark Souls” to relax. [Impressions]
  8. Apr 29, 2021
    Returnal expertly weaves shoot 'em up and Metroidvania mechanics into its base, roguelike gameplay. Though its tight controls, visual fidelity, and intriguing story may entice you to play, the game's almost insurmountable difficulty will certainly alienate a portion of its intended audience.
  9. Apr 29, 2021
    Even after more than 60 runs of Returnal, the enchanting presentation and sense of discovery still remain. I now feel vigorous compared to the creatures that have tried to defend their territory against an unwanted visitor. The last boss only took me one try to beat it, yet I could barely make any progress in finding the right answers. I feel like I’m running in circles. But I’m not giving up.
  10. Apr 30, 2021
    Returnal is not a system seller. (Damn thing’s $500, so what could live up to that?) But it is bold, cool, and fearless, full of shocking moments and highly addictive systems. (I haven’t even dipped into the game’s obsessive focus on risk and reward, constantly daring you to take a debilitating weakness in exchange for a much-needed dose of power.) If you already own one of Sony’s big white bookends, though, I’ll be blunt: You probably owe it to yourself to check out the first really great PlayStation 5 game.
  11. Apr 30, 2021
    The more pressing problem: the second zone isn't that interesting. But the shooting is good. Really good. I just don't know how long that'll last. [10-Hour Impressions]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 3914 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. May 1, 2021
    A brilliant game. I was sceptical because this is my first roguelike game I have ever played and yes, it is hard af. All souls games seemed toA brilliant game. I was sceptical because this is my first roguelike game I have ever played and yes, it is hard af. All souls games seemed to be hard at the beginning but "practice makes you perfect definitely" so I beated all souls-like game on the market with big smile on my face.
    Atmosphere, sound and graphics are just amazing, gameplay is so addictive. I love this game.
    Well done Housemarque!
    Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2021
    UPDATE REVIEW.... I am dropping my score from 9 to 4. This game completely wastes your time without a save or checkpoint feature. I have putUPDATE REVIEW.... I am dropping my score from 9 to 4. This game completely wastes your time without a save or checkpoint feature. I have put hours into this game since launch and I am done until this feature is added. People don't have time to reply levels over and over again and that novelity wears off quickly. I am done and Returnaling and tradting in this game ASAP for Rachet and Clank, which will have saving and checkpoint features.

    Oringinal review....Yes and this is a Sony Exclusive that just shows off a little of what the PS5 can do. I think this game is incredible but the graphics will be better with games to come. Don't get me wrong and this games story, graphics, ray tracing, use of the PS5 controllers functions and everything is here. I don't mind dying all the time and jumping back in but with no check points or saving options this is really not what games are about these days. People's time is worth that function to be put into this game and then it's a 10. Great first PS5 exclusive and worth the buy because of what it brings to the table for gamers. You need to see it to beleive it!
    Full Review »
  3. May 1, 2021
    Glorioso juego, uno de los mejores en cuanto a su genero. Housemarque cada vez lo hace mejor