HomeReviews4/5 ReviewReturn to Grace Review

Return to Grace Review

-

The rise of AI is one of the great talking points of this moment in time, and one of our most prominent fears. Will AI start running the world, deciding our jobs, futures and freedoms? Who will watch the AI if the AI is watching us? 

In Return to Grace, we find ourselves in the future, set up with the idea of AI being a theology in itself. People worship the AI being, putting all their hopes and dreams into their saviours of zeros and ones. That AI is called Grace and, hopefully, she will have all the answers to our future. 

Return to Grace review 1
Ready to Return to Grace?

Return to Grace is a first-person narrative adventure with no combat, some puzzling, and a bit of platforming. It focuses on a story set in the year 3820 AD as we play an astronaut/archaeologist called Adie Ito. At the very start of the game, she is found landing on Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede. The landing goes wrong, she crashes and, much to the annoyance of her onboard AI, she sets off in search of something she has been looking for her entire life. That is Grace, the guide to humankind’s Golden Age. The thing is, she went missing over 900 years ago and Adie has sourced her location to this moon. 

The story is excellent and well-crafted. It has a brilliantly engaging concept that keeps you engrossed through its three hours of playtime. The writing of the main character is superb and the unraveling of the cult of Grace is a brilliant mystery to discover. 

As you progress you have to help a series of AIs, each with different personalities. One of them is Logic, a straightforward personality. Another is Control a sort of power maniac and zealot. There is Empathy, a hippy relaxed, a mother-type, and a sort of teenager one who likes the action and the risk called Pal. These characters, and the writing of them, is wonderful, funny, and charming. They make the game, and there’s a chance it could have gone very wrong indeed in different hands. 

Return to Grace review 2
Puzzling

The gameplay works in the first person and requires you to walk around this moon and the interior of something called The Spire; a place where Grace might be hiding. You get to point at things to examine them, but also to jump or to climb up or onto items. There are some simple puzzles to work out along the way, like a whole door activation system where you have to draw a pattern from ancient Greek words or remember a sequence played out in front of you. 

Other puzzles include working out electrical currents to get the right voltage by switching trip switches. There are some action sequences too; these involve a jet pack and a segment in which you are left to remove ice. There are also moments where you have to cross beams, keeping your nerve throughout. The gameplay elements are certainly challenging and I never found myself tiring of them; that’s always a bonus.  

The visuals come with a pristine 1960’s sci-fi vibe to them. All the controls and computers are delivered in switch, tape deck and blinking coloured light form. It’s not a huge budget game and you can tell that at times, but the locations themselves are very impressive – a huge church arena that has memories of a rebellion stands out for me. The sound score is impressive as well with some lovely emotive music and excellent voice work throughout.  

Return to Grace review 3
What’s going on here then?

Return to Grace is like reading a great book in one sitting, or watching a comforting film on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not going to wow, nor show much that is new or fresh, but what it is capable of telling is an absorbing story in three hours with some excellent writing and voice-over. The exploration is good but linear, whilst the gameplay and puzzle-solving are simple. But for me, it’s the journey and how we get to the end which is the important factor. And Return to Grace doesn’t disappoint at all. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Writing and story
  • Excellent voice over
  • Relaxing gameplay
  • 60's sci-fi visuals
Cons:
  • Pretty basic in terms of gameplay
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC
  • Release date and price - 20 February 2024 | £12.49
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,670SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2801 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1513 POSTS2 COMMENTS
1267 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1007 POSTS46 COMMENTS
856 POSTS0 COMMENTS
391 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
81 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS
12 POSTS10 COMMENTS
8 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Writing and story</li> <li>Excellent voice over</li> <li>Relaxing gameplay</li> <li>60's sci-fi visuals</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Pretty basic in terms of gameplay</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC <li>Release date and price - 20 February 2024 | £12.49</li> </ul>Return to Grace Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x