Re:Turn - One Way Trip (PC) Review

By Athanasios 11.12.2021

Review for Re:Turn - One Way Trip on PC

If there is a type of game that can be found in the hundreds nowadays, that would be horror titles. Titles that try to be the next Resident Evil, titles that offer the "cute stuff jump-scare you" of Five Nights at Freddy's, those that add a bit of b-movie sexploitation to the scares as in Red Colony, walking sims that lean towards psychological horror like Sagebrush, "run away from the invincible monster" ones, and many, many, many more. What this tries to say, is that it's hard to find something good amidst the mountains of horror indies out there. Looking at a trailer or a screenshot or two from Re:Turn - One Way Trip makes it easy to assume that it's one of the better ones. Sadly, it isn't, with the main reason being the one sin that can never be forgiven in horror: this isn't scary…

The music that plays during the introductory cut-scene is quite moody. The scene is of a bunch of young people sitting around at a campfire. The pixel art is extra-crispy, and very pleasing to the eye. The atmosphere is strong. It's a good start… then it all goes downhill the moment the characters start talking. The pastel-coloured visual novel portraits show a lack of care compared to the detailed world around them. Even worse, apart from the two girls of the group, they all look the same. In fact, if the main character wasn't well endowed and dressed in more vibrant colours, most would mistake her for the other girl. That's not the biggest issue, of course. That would be the actual writing. The words that are coming out of their mouths.

Screenshot for Re:Turn - One Way Trip on PC

Imagine a somewhat melodramatic teen drama, where men are making stupid jokes, the girls get annoyed by "those darn boys," A is jealous of B for loving C, while D is looking for love, and yada-yada-yada. It's boring. It's uninteresting. It's tension ruining. After a while, the protagonist, named Saki, is left on her own, and the horror aura gets a small, yet well-needed boost. Then that boost gets ruined by the appearance of the customary creepy girl; a moment whose delivery was almost comedic. Moments later, and you are inside an abandoned train, which [checks Book of Horror Clichés page #2424] starts moving, with no way to go outside.

A weird eye appears in the window; a scream is heard; a ghost child runs through you; a crushing sound in the distance. *Gasp!* or more precicely "Huh?" No, Re:Turn isn't scary, it's more like those mildly enjoyable horror theme park rides. That's partly a matter of direction, which is painfully weak here, but it's also a matter of world-building and story. You won't feel scared because your subconscious won't be given anything to work with. The first time a character dies is the perfect example. Players probably won't care when they discover that one of Saki's friends committed suicide. Why? Because they won't get to know him. It's as if NPC #2583 from Skyrim dies. Would you feel a thing?

Screenshot for Re:Turn - One Way Trip on PC

The next problem is how the story leaves you with more questions than answers. The initial premise is relatively simple. Saki begins going back and forth in time, with her essentially being a ghost in the past. There she learns that there was a great accident, with a couple of side stories being explored, revolving around a problematic marriage, a little bit of infidelity, and more "creepy" children. Sadly, apart from those chapters that take place in the past ruining what's left of the horror aspect via the sunny and colourful look of it all, the various plot threads are neither interesting, nor that very well handled, leaving you with more questions than answers. It's not mysterious and ambiguous, it's just aggravating.

Screenshot for Re:Turn - One Way Trip on PC

The worst part is the actual gameplay. Marketed as an adventure with puzzles and so on, in reality it's a five-to-six hour-long fetch quest. Saki finds a rope that needs to be cut? See must run to the other end of the wagon and search the few hotspots that she can interact with. Next she needs a crowbar? Ok, this time she must enter the next wagon, and run to the very end where she can find it lying around. She goes back, uses the crowbar, now she needs a key, thus she backtracks quite a lot, finds the key… and so on and forth. That's not fun. That's padding, and besides the storytelling aspect, that's all there is here.

It gets even worse when you don't understand what needs to be done, and are forced to keep trekking back to the various areas that Saki has already explored, in hoped of finding the correct spot to interact with, and trigger the necessary scene, or find the item she needs to move on with her quest, right before doing it all over again. Re;Turn is really all about that. Watching boring cut-scenes, and running like an idiot from A to B, and then to A once more, with nothing really giving you the incentive to keep on doing all that. In other words, not worth the trouble…

Screenshot for Re:Turn - One Way Trip on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Re:Turn - One Way Trip is pleasant to the eyes, works ok with no bugs or whatnot… and that's about it. Sadly, there's nothing good to say about it. Apart from just not being scary (like at all), and having an uninteresting story, the bulk of the experience revolves around running from A to B for about five hours, picking key items, and using them in the obvious spot. It's a fetch quest, plain and simple.

Developer

Red Ego

Publisher

Green Man Gaming Publishing

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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