At last! Returnal, the hit bullet-hell roguelike that set PS5 owners hearts’ a flutter back in 2021, is launching on PC on February 15th. It’ll be prettier and ray-tracier too, if this new PC features trailer is to be believed.
I played Returnal last year and can confirm that it is splendid, and also that you will grow to hate the kamikaze squid in the final area with every fibre of your being. Presuming you get that far.
There’s nothing revelatory in that PC features trailer, though ray-tracing and DLSS support are nice to have. The most notable detail on the tech front is that you’ll need a whopping 32GB of RAM to meet the recommended system specs.
Returnal is about shooting your way through an alien hellhole, except the hellhole is not what it first seems. Every death sees you wake up next to your crashed spaceship, armed with little more than extra knowledge on how to maybe not die to the same tentacled horror that got you last time. For a prestigious 2021 game, it’s remarkably light on the kind of perma-stat progression you see in the likes of Hades.
The combat feels crunchy, and overcoming the challenge is satisfying – but it really shines because it weds often oppressive difficulty to such a sinister and absorbing world. Every element coheres in an unusually effective way, and it’s catnip for people who like stories where you can’t trust what you’re seeing.
I think you’re likely to love it, but, gah, I also think £50/$60/€60 is a bit steep. It costs that much from Steam or the Epic Games Store.
Disclosure: Alec Meer (RPS in peace) works at Housemarque these days, and wrote Returnal’s DLC.