I’m sure you’ve felt it too. For the past year and some change, life has fallen into a rut more than usual. Life is always cyclical to some degree—humans are, after all, creatures of habit—but the stresses that go hand-in-hand with a certain mismanaged pandemic have made the day-to-day feel more dreary and cyclical than ever. Returnal, an action game out tomorrow for PlayStation 5, captures that sensation in a bottle.
To play Returnal is to subject yourself to repeated lessons in failure. Every time you play, you’ll do the same thing, except slightly different, except the same, really. You might, at the end of a session, walk away with the inexorable, all-consuming notion that everything is futile, that nothing will ultimately change, and that it’s just not worth it, man.
Good thing the game is such a blast.