top of page
  • Writer's pictureAntal Bokor

Return to Grace Has a Great Premise but No Payoff

I’m a sucker for games that have the player character exploring abandoned sci-fi facilities and derelict spacecraft. I love to piece together a mystery, and Return to Grace promised a mystery wrapped in a 60’s sci-fi aesthetic.

Return to Grace is a first person narrative heavy adventure game with a few minor puzzles. In it you play as Adie, an archeologist looking for an AI that ushered in a golden age for humanity, but disappeared, only to plunge humanity into a new dark age. As Adie you’ve found the spire—the facility that housed Grace. As you explore deeper into the spire you will find the answers to what was beyond Grace’s disappearance.

Screenshot: Return to Grace

Adie is accompanied by several AI voices that are piped in through Adie’s suit. These different personalities are probably the highlight of the game, and they drive the story and serve as a way to give context to the environments that Adie finds herself in. Each of these AIs are driven by different personalities.

Return to Grace can probably be best described as a “walking simulator” but it does have a few—very simple—puzzles. Most of the game is about linear exploration and lots of dialogue. While this might sound boring to some, I was definitely intrigued until the very end—but there is no payoff whatsoever, and a bunch of questions that are left unanswered.

Screenshot: Return to Grace

I can’t really say that Return to Grace is a bad game—it has some contemplative moments and good voice acting—but I’m not sure it even accomplished what the developers were hoping for. When I got to the end and the answers to the mysteries of Grace’s disappearance, it all was so anticlimactic I almost couldn’t believe it when the credits started to roll.

There is so much potential and built-up backstory that is never satisfactorily answered in Return to Grace. In fact, in retrospect, it’s hard to even fathom what the ultimate goal of this experience was. It doesn’t come to any philosophical epiphany, the main character doesn’t really grow—and as the player, I was left with just as many questions as answers. There are some snazzy visuals, and a great mid-century modern styled sci-fi aesthetic—but it fails to stick the landing, nor does it have many compelling gameplay moments.

Return to Grace is available today

A Steam key was provided to us for this review



bottom of page