Now Returnal isnt new, in fact it was originally on the PS5 as an exclusive to Sony’s latest console. During it’s review by numerous media and reviewers, it garners a favorable high scores and gives a great experience over the storyline as well as the graphics fidelity that harness all the processing power from the PlayStation 5.

Here we will look at the latest port of Returnal to the PC, and we will play it over 2 sets different configured PC, one which is an AMD Ryzen 5000 series PC paired with AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and another will be on a Steam Deck during the gameplay and experience.

And yes before we start, this game does won multiple award before, from Golden Joysticks Awards to The Game Awards for its Audio, Action Games, and Direction.

The following gameplay is based on early hours of gameplay.

Storyline & Gameplay

Lets meet Selene an ASTRA Corporation Space Explorer that crash landed to a planet off it’s limits and being crash landed, the ship is badly damage in the process. As things are getting bad, Selene was unable to contact the HQ, so the adventure starts by going out to a vast big world waiting to be discovered with aliens waiting and she must fight thru to look for the source of White Shadow. So you as Selene will have to fight off all the aliens and be prepared for more, as this is a combination of a rougelike (like Hades) and bullet hell shooter where you really have to shoot, kill the aliens, and then with mixed to reversing time loop element everytime Selene dies. In actual fact Selene was actually trapped in the Atropos. So you really gotta slightly repeat the process towards act to act to further complete the whole game and the storyline itself. But all I can say for most rougelike, some of the ending within the player’s mindset is always, up to your own interpretation, similar to Inception, where the ending is really, sometime, up to what the player thinks and feels.

Experience & Performance

Grind, Shoot, Kill, Repeat and of course enjoy is definitely on of the enjoyments you can get by playing Returnal. You will start by the in game intro along with a go along tutorial that guides you from control, shooting, jumping, to the least basic ones, then towards a little further when you encounter more aliens, more information is provided such as collecting items and so on. As you traverse deeper to the storyline, there is more to discover moving forward, puzzles to solved, and I would say each section of the maps can be pretty big that goes deep in levels like dungeon crawling style, expect to go in back and forth just to get items and explore further. Some of the sub levels or objectives can take as short as 20 minutes to more than an hour. Do remember to stock up your ether, you will need it to unlock new weapons on the way and depending on the enemy type, different weapons is used to defeat one or a group. Do remember that the death loop is not a bad thing, everytime you die, it opens a new experience for you to discover further and enemies changes at the same time. If you are fancy of multiplayer, you can always connect as a host or join in another game, benefits will be if another player has play further, they might be able to guide you

Touching on the performance, there is a vast aspect of the game that is greatly improved by the developers port to the PC, such as 21:9 aspect ratio mode, Super Ultrawide mode, as well as AMD FSR and Nvidia DLSS, which in return lessens the burden for certain combined PC build specs to run better, it is also known that slightly lower specs can run also with acceptable framerate and playable performance level. A benchmark tool is also provided in game so that you can test your PC performance.

System Requirements

  • Gameplay can be used with Keyboard + Mouse or Game Controllers (XBOX or PS4/5)
OS: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1903)

Processor: Intel Core i5-6400 (4 core 2.7GHz) AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (4 core 3.5GHz)

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB) AMD Radeon RX 580 (8 GB)

Storage: 60 GB available space

Additional Notes: SSD Recommended
OS: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1903)

Processor: Intel i7-8700 (6 core 3.7 GHz) AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (8 core 3.7 GHz)

Memory: 16 GB RAM

Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super (8 GB) AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (12 GB)

Storage: 60 GB available space

Verdict & Conclusion


It is very safe to say that Returnal port to the PC is a welcoming one, and definitely Housemarque and Sony did a good job in the conversion that did upgrade many features that suits the gaming specification standards, while at the same time implementing FSR and DLSS does help in improving performance and visuals further, and while we did play this upon launch, several improvement patches has been done to keep thing even smoother, however during our Steam Deck gameplay, it is still struggling to run at near 30FPS only, however this could change as developers may try to make things even compatible in the future. On the other hand, this is a worthy game to play and grind, and although it does have multiplayer, playing it alone is still one of the many enjoyable experience you may have and you can play whenever you want at anytime, since this game can be kinda repetitive, but every repetition means a stronger better challenge to the player.

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