Game news Returnal: A crash-like takeoff on PC?
Published on 02/20/2023 at 18:02
With a rather unanimous critical success, Returnal is one of those rare PlayStation exclusives that nevertheless appear disappointing. It has just arrived on PC, the reception is not more favorable.
Halfway between the release of the PS5 and that of Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart, Returnal had the daunting task of being Sony’s first 100% next-gen exclusive – Demon’s Souls being “only” a remake. A big role for Housemarque, a studio which – at the time – had not yet been bought by the Japanese company and which departed from its usual “blockbuster machines” (Naughty Dog: Santa Monica; Insomniac Games; etc. ). Returnal then shows PlayStation’s desire to bet on other teams and get out of the “action-adventure” straightjacket à la Uncharted | The Last of Us | God of War… The project is a rogue-lite (levels generated randomly after each death) whose aesthetics recall the Alien saga.
Too radical for a PlayStation game?
Despite a lot of qualities, a Metacritic at 86/100 and a nice 16/20 in our columns, the mayonnaise does not seem to take the players. According to official figures published in August 2021 (three months after the game was released on PS5) Returnal has sold 560,000 units! A figure that corresponds to expectations at the time of Sony, notes VGC | but which is really below the war machines of PlayStation. At the same time: the last Ratchet & Clank exceeded 1 million in two months.
But, what do we blame Returnal for? Skimming the conclusions on Metacritic, we find the word “punishment” several times. The Telegraph writes that it is “a punishing game” with a challenge that is “not always fair”, for example. Returnal is quite radical in its approach to rogue-lite! Unlike many games in the genre, Housemarque’s title rarely provides enough to boost your hero’s abilities. When a game is lost: it is (somewhere) “definitively”.
Know that you are missing out on one of the best games of this generation, the best PlayStation Studios prod on PS5 to date.
That my opinion but it deserves so much better reception on PC and I hope it finds its audience sooner or later there. https://t.co/c9U6ovTDgV
— MisterPixel (@MisterPxl) February 20, 2023
No shine on PS5, what about the PC?
Which doesn’t mean that everyone didn’t like Returnal, far from it… In response to the arrival of the software on PC, MisterPixel (well known in video game news on Twitter) explains that he sees in him “ one of the best games of this generation, the best PlayStation Studios product on PS5 to date”. A post that seeks to rekindle the flame of Steam players, where the title of Housemarque is the subject of a shy reception, not to say cautious. As we can learn on SteamDB, during its 1st week of launch, the rogue-lite achieved a maximum of 7,000 simultaneous players on the Valve platform. This is the second “worst” number for a PlayStation PC game after Sackboy A Big Adventure.