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Returnal is voted the best game of 2021 by The Guardian

Fredrik

Gold Member
Game awards are weird imo. I figured it would be based on popularity a little more to get votes and recognition and games like COD or even Fortnite would clean up each year effortlessly. It seems like less popularity and sales equates more to be a candidate for GOTY. It Takes Two and Sekiro for example won an awards recently and I doubt those sold millions and are widely popular.

Wow, that is too expensive. I really enjoyed Returnal, but I can’t blame you for waiting for a price drop on that one.
Sales isn’t everything, the games has to be enjoyed of course, and the userbase must be interested enough in awards to vote for it, it helps to be fresh enough so people still think about it too. But a big userbase is definitely helping no doubt.

And you’re underestimating the reach It Takes Two has, it’s literally everywhere, and it was highly rated by critics and is on Gamepass as well. I haven’t seen sales figures or player count but it must be several millions for sure.

In comparison Returnal has by far the smallest userbase right now out of the games people talk about, simply by being PS5 exclusive. And only 500k bought it. And it’s a niche game for core gamers. Even for critics awards I can easily see it miss votes simply because people hasn’t played it yet. It’s doing incredibly well tbh.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
I beat Returnal last week, also the secret ending. In the beginning the game makes you feel its impossible to beat. You lose everything and have to hope for a good weapon to drop. But in fact, your weapons grow and perks get unlocked. Those perks can be game breaking. Artefacts don't really matter. There are some very good ones (shield disruptor is god tier imo; it removes all risk in your gameplay), but its a matter of getting a good weapon and knowing what enemies do and how to evade.

Returnal has some issues though. It starts to eventually run like shit if you keep it suspended. You need to relaunch it. And there used to be some hard crashes but those seem to be gone. Its one of the most addicting games out there. Youll typically pick it up for a round or 2 but stay for hours.
 

skit_data

Member
When one console has way more fanboys then other consoles, you get average exclusive games as GOTY...
Nothing about Returnal could be considered average, it has been the most fresh and bold games I’ve played in a long time.

It may not be your cup of tea, it may not excel in areas normally considered GOTY associated but an average, run-of-the-mill game it is not.
 
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Zimmy68

Member
Guys I've beat the game now. 🤣. My issue with the game still stands. In Hades I didn't mind it so much, but in Returnal you can play for an hour, wipe your run and feel like you achieved absolutely nothing. I despise that aspect of it and I'll never enjoy it. Also, I refuse to scum save my way through a game that isn't intended to be played that way.

I did however enjoy the game a hell of a lot and one of the biomes and it's boss is pretty much one of the levels in a game I have ever played in my life. So amazing.

GOTY contender for sure, but I HATE restarting in this game.
BTW, I stopped save scrumming after I beat the 2nd boss. I just wanted to explore the first biome with the grapple.
But if you get lucky rolls. its nice to keep that build as long as possible.
I died on the third biome from a grapple glitch, not a kill from an enemy. It was tough losing all that progress over something so trivial but back to the beginning I went.

The game would be perfect if your weapon proficiency carried over, or at least making it power up faster.
 

GametimeUK

Member
BTW, I stopped save scrumming after I beat the 2nd boss. I just wanted to explore the first biome with the grapple.
But if you get lucky rolls. its nice to keep that build as long as possible.
I died on the third biome from a grapple glitch, not a kill from an enemy. It was tough losing all that progress over something so trivial but back to the beginning I went.

The game would be perfect if your weapon proficiency carried over, or at least making it power up faster.
If you go from Biome 1 and take the shortcut straight to Biome 3 for example you get a pickup that raises your weapon proficiency so you're good to go.
 
BTW, I stopped save scrumming after I beat the 2nd boss. I just wanted to explore the first biome with the grapple.
But if you get lucky rolls. its nice to keep that build as long as possible.
I died on the third biome from a grapple glitch, not a kill from an enemy. It was tough losing all that progress over something so trivial but back to the beginning I went.

The game would be perfect if your weapon proficiency carried over, or at least making it power up faster.

It does, in a way. For instance, at the beginning of Biome 2, there is a calibrator that is there that increases your proficiency to whatever it was when you initially transferred biomes. So, for me, it was level 5. So, when I go to Biome 2 now, I get level 5 proficiency without doing anything.
 

Superwave

Banned
Less popular genre. With 500k copies sold you shouldn’t expect that everyone has played Returnal, and if they haven’t - no vote.

I haven’t played it either, still waiting for a proper price drop, still 849kr (93.86 USD) in my country and while I understand it’s a great game I’m not paying that much.
Even though I'm not the game's most ardent fan I think anyone who is in a position to give out GOTY awards for any sort of name publication will definitely have played Returnal. It's the PS5's only real next gen game apart from Ratchet. Any publication who hasn't given it a fair shake would be a laughing stock.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
Even though I'm not the game's most ardent fan I think anyone who is in a position to give out GOTY awards for any sort of name publication will definitely have played Returnal. It's the PS5's only real next gen game apart from Ratchet. Any publication who hasn't given it a fair shake would be a laughing stock.
I have no idea how the voting process is done at a publication but I’m guessing they have a voting jury, a group of people sitting down to decide the GOTY. The person who reviewed the game has presumably played through it, and might vote for it. But if nobody else has played it, how can it get enough votes?
 

RobertsK

Member
I was really looking forward to playing it. I love rogue-like genre and Hades is just about one of my favourite games ever. And then I played this and it simply didn't click for me. Basically forced myself to keep on playing until the point where I dropped it. Don't want to sound like some asshole contrarian, but the game is just so dull.
 

Zimmy68

Member
I was really looking forward to playing it. I love rogue-like genre and Hades is just about one of my favourite games ever. And then I played this and it simply didn't click for me. Basically forced myself to keep on playing until the point where I dropped it. Don't want to sound like some asshole contrarian, but the game is just so dull.
That is funny. If you swap Hades with Returnal from your comment, that is exactly how I felt.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
Proficiency doesn't really matter. I beat most of 4-6 with a level 16 god roll Hollowseeker. Yesterday I beat the game with a level 22 Carbine which is also quite a bit below the abyssal scar weapon level, but it had Rising pitch 3 and leech rounds. Its the perks. If you find a sub level 20 seeker with Portal, serrated and retarget or something, you'll be stupid to trade it with a level 30 version that doesn't have these. Some weapon perks are just too powerful.
 
Didn’t enjoy the game at all. Still don’t know what the big deal is. I also dislike rogue likes so that’s probably it.

Rogue like games are not enjoyable to me at all. Replaying content is not for me. Not here to replay content over and over.
 

Lognor

Member
Didn’t enjoy the game at all. Still don’t know what the big deal is. I also dislike rogue likes so that’s probably it.

Rogue like games are not enjoyable to me at all. Replaying content is not for me. Not here to replay content over and over.
Have you played Hades? I usually feel the same way as you but Hades made me appreciate what a rogue like can be. The way the story unfolds is really cool. Yes, you are doing the same content over and over (with some variations) but the gameplay is really good in Hades so I didn't mind. Actually Dead Cells is another rogue like I really enjoyed. And Slay the Spire is great. But other than those three, I agree with you completely!
 

Ebidramon

Banned
I haven't played Returnal yet, and from what I saw even if I did, it most likely wouldn't end up among my Top 10 favorite games of all time, but it still looks like a title which, if you are fan of action games, and sci-fi, you ARE going to have a good time with it.

And, I guess that is what really counts when it comes to games.

Even if it turns out that I end up never playing it, it is still kind of nice to know that there is yet another fun game that exists.
 

kyoji

Member
Didn’t enjoy the game at all. Still don’t know what the big deal is. I also dislike rogue likes so that’s probably it.

Rogue like games are not enjoyable to me at all. Replaying content is not for me. Not here to replay content over and over.
What content did you replay over and over ? I mean at what part?

Even when i was dying a lot the procedurally based maps kept everything fresh outside of the handful of static spawn rooms for sake of the story.
 

Superwave

Banned
A talk then, or arm wrestle, doesn’t matter, I doubt it’s just one person choosing the GOTY for the whole publication so then a game few people has played won’t have the same chance.
You are basically saying these people are not doing their job. Anyone included in the discussion HAS to have played it.

No game lost out on GOTY because some fucker didn't feel like playing it.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
You are basically saying these people are not doing their job. Anyone included in the discussion HAS to have played it.

No game lost out on GOTY because some fucker didn't feel like playing it.
Lol so you’re saying everyone in that group of people choosing the GOTY has played all games that was released that year? on all platforms?
It’s literally not even physically possible.
 

Boss Mog

Member
I wonder if they'll rescind it if they find out one of the devs thinks things that don't align with their politics.
 

T0minator

Member
Didn’t enjoy the game at all. Still don’t know what the big deal is. I also dislike rogue likes so that’s probably it.

Rogue like games are not enjoyable to me at all. Replaying content is not for me. Not here to replay content over and over.

The procedurally generated layouts of each biome does help the areas feel fresh though.

I think the big appeal for me initially was the worlds style and enemy types. What kept me enjoying my playthrough were the weapons though.

The weapons are probably some of the most satisfying weapons I've used in a game. I was occasionally switch back and forth between Halo Infinite and Returnal and Returnal made Halo's weapons feel "weak" somehow. The DualSense was a huge contributor to how awesome it was to play Returnal.
 

Superwave

Banned
Lol so you’re saying everyone in that group of people choosing the GOTY has played all games that was released that year? on all platforms?
It’s literally not even physically possible.
No they only played the contenders which is less 1% of all games released all year, so easily doable. The cream rises to the top.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
No they only played the contenders which is less 1% of all games released all year, so easily doable. The cream rises to the top.
Then you’re essentially saying what I’m saying. A small game don’t have the same chance. First it needs to qualify into this mysterious 1% group (what’s that based on? Sales? Metacritic scores?) and then it needs to have enough devoted fans choosing it as the actual GOTY.

Nah, it’s a popularity contest. And if two games are equally great a more popular game will get more votes. And while Returnal have a vocal fanbase on core gamer boards it never really had a chance to win at all publications where lots of people probably thought it was way too niche. Plus, reader votes is even worse since people might not have played it simply by not owning the new console. Games like Halo and Forza never had that problem, they’re on Steam, Windows Store, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles + cloud, it’s a potentially huge userbase compared to only being on PS5.
 
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Superwave

Banned
I don't know what your point is. Returnal got Guardian GOTY. It's on most shortlists. Everyone knows about it. You actually think Returnal should win GOTY at every publication??
 

Markio128

Member
Finally got my Returnal wellies and got to the last boss, before being obliterated by it. Back to Biome 4 it is then. Now I have the ability to jump into the water, I’m guessing I don’t need to collect those 3 keys again?
 

SLB1904

Member
The procedurally generated layouts of each biome does help the areas feel fresh though.

I think the big appeal for me initially was the worlds style and enemy types. What kept me enjoying my playthrough were the weapons though.

The weapons are probably some of the most satisfying weapons I've used in a game. I was occasionally switch back and forth between Halo Infinite and Returnal and Returnal made Halo's weapons feel "weak" somehow. The DualSense was a huge contributor to how awesome it was to play Returnal.
i don't know about the halo part but, the weapons in returnal are so underrated because the game doesn't tell how to level up or why you should, once you find out that a weak weapon after level up some portal starts to pop dealing loads of damage. what was a weak weapon now is overpowered. The game is great, and because is mostly gameplay i can jump anything and just enjoy the gameplay, and all those rooms i was avoiding (you know the ones with a start) are so good. the particles. masterpiece
 
Then you’re essentially saying what I’m saying. A small game don’t have the same chance. First it needs to qualify into this mysterious 1% group (what’s that based on? Sales? Metacritic scores?) and then it needs to have enough devoted fans choosing it as the actual GOTY.
The same way every diamond in the rough is found. Those who do play it, spread the word of mouth how good it is. Then, a small game quickly becomes a household name. We've see it every year. Games like Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight, Undertale all become "must plays", even if no one saw it coming.

Look who won GOTY at the Game Awards this year. No one has to play every game released to know which games need to be played for GOTY voting. If a game truly is that good, they will know about it, regardless if it's AAA or a previously unknown indie developer. Then, they can play those handful of games to vote amongst the best of the best.
 
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T0minator

Member
If a game truly is that good, they will know about it, regardless if it's AAA or a previously unknown indie developer. Then, they can play those handful of games to vote amongst the best of the best.

That's true, especially nowadays. I've said it before and I'll say it again...

Returnal is gonna be one of those games that gets very positive LTTP threads for years to come with a huge cult following for the remainder of this generation. People will take notice. Especially since it hits a nice price drop
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
The same way every diamond in the rough is found. Those who do play it, spread the word of mouth how good it is. Then, a small game quickly becomes a household name. We've see it every year. Games like Hollow Knight, Shovel Knight, Undertale all become "must plays", even if no one saw it coming.

Look who won GOTY at the Game Awards this year. No one has to play every game released to know which games need to be played for GOTY voting. If a game truly is that good, they will know about it, regardless if it's AAA or a previously unknown indie developer. Then, they can play those handful of games to vote amongst the best of the best.
Sure they’ll be talked about but it’s a vocal minority doing that and in the end something bigger will win.
Small platform/less popular/less talked about/niche = few people are playing it = less people are voting for it.
That’s my thinking.

Returnal:
A niche action shooter for core gamers, 500k have played it, available exclusively on a relatively small platform people can’t even buy.

Did Returnal really have the same chance here? I don’t see it.
 

TexMex

Member
I beat Returnal last week, also the secret ending. In the beginning the game makes you feel its impossible to beat. You lose everything and have to hope for a good weapon to drop. But in fact, your weapons grow and perks get unlocked. Those perks can be game breaking. Artefacts don't really matter. There are some very good ones (shield disruptor is god tier imo; it removes all risk in your gameplay), but its a matter of getting a good weapon and knowing what enemies do and how to evade.

Returnal has some issues though. It starts to eventually run like shit if you keep it suspended. You need to relaunch it. And there used to be some hard crashes but those seem to be gone. Its one of the most addicting games out there. Youll typically pick it up for a round or 2 but stay for hours.

I'm in the same boat. I actually shelved it earlier in the year (despite liking it quite a bit) and just finally beat it. The suspend cycle update really helped. Working on the second ending now.

It really is insanely rewarding, but it's a huge hill to climb to so I don't blame people for bouncing off of it.

And don't feel bad about save scumming people. If you want to see the end, do it. It's super easy and removes a lot of the frustration, and there's some incredibly cool late game stuff to see.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
And don't feel bad about save scumming people. If you want to see the end, do it. It's super easy and removes a lot of the frustration, and there's some incredibly cool late game stuff to see.
I googled on that. Awesome!
You still can’t cloud save without PS+ though right?
 

8BiTw0LF

Gold Member
Another one:


1. Returnal


If you’ve read this far and you’ve followed me on social media, you probably expected this one. Let me tell you though, if you’d told me a hard-as-nails roguelike would be my favorite game of the year, I’d have told you you’re goddamn crazy lol. Like I said a bit above, I’m generally not a fan of this type of game design. I don’t usually like going through levels, gathering resources and weapons, fighting super powerful enemies, dying, and then restarting to progress further. As a father of three who works full time, I just don’t have the patience or the *time* for it.

But what can I even say…Housemarque took all of that and wrapped it up in a package that was genuinely palatable and even likable to my tastes. It’s a combination of many things that added up to push it over that roguelike hurdle for me. Tight third-person shooting, and disturbing yet beautiful Gieger-esque science fiction aesthetic, a genuinely intriguing narrative that I sought to understand, some of the best bosses in any game, a stunning soundtrack, and incredible visuals punctuated with fantastic destruction physics. I loved exploring the different biomes and unraveling more and more of that alien world in each run. There were moments of doubt for sure. The Derelict Citadel and Fractured Wastes (biomes 3 and 5 respectively) kicked my ASS hard. There are enemies in the game that can drive you up a wall (*shakes fist at drones*), but stick with it and persevere, and you’re rewarded with a sense of accomplishment you don't get every day in a game.

I felt like a god by the end, and that’s not something I get to say every day playing video games as I continue to age! I can’t praise Housemarque enough for being able to mesh their love and passion for arcade within a AAA framework.

Returnal is my Game of the Year for 2021.

 
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Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
I don't get how people like halo. I beat it in 25 hours doing some boring side stuff. The dialogue is so cringe and the story is beyond mediocre.
I dont hate the game by any means but it feels like a solid 7/10 for me. Lot of good ideas but nothing revolutionary. The story is bad which even people who ike it a lot admit and the lack of diverse objectives in the open world make it boring for me after the first couple hours.

I fired it up every week or so for a few hours and have a blast when the Haloness is fresh. But after that first hour or two of being away from it the open world doesn't keep me going by utilizing fresh ideas.
 

iHaunter

Member
I dont hate the game by any means but it feels like a solid 7/10 for me. Lot of good ideas but nothing revolutionary. The story is bad which even people who ike it a lot admit and the lack of diverse objectives in the open world make it boring for me after the first couple hours.

I fired it up every week or so for a few hours and have a blast when the Haloness is fresh. But after that first hour or two of being away from it the open world doesn't keep me going by utilizing fresh ideas.
I would give Infinite a 4/10. But I liked the Multiplayer. I actually played it more than the Campaign. Reason I'm not fuming was I played for $1 on GP lol.
 
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