Someday You’ll Return is one of those indie games that I had really high hopes for, but turned out to be an utter disappointment. The game has so many issues that listing them all would be hard. Therefore, I’ll stick to the core problems and try to think of anything positive about the game.
Someday You’ll Return sees you take on the role of Daniel, a single dad, trying to find his daughter in a mysterious forest. Right off the bat, this reminded me of BioShock Infinite, not just because of the relationship between the characters, but also the recurring themes. Both Booker and Daniel keep forgetting their past and present motivations, finding themselves in situations of their own making.
The first and most annoying issue I kept running into while playing Someday You’ll Return are bugs – game-breaking bugs. At multiple points in the game, there are paths that essentially render you stranded: you can’t go back, neither can you progress ahead. I ran into this problem at three different points in the game: Once while I was in the Beast’s lair, once in Daniel’s “dreams” and another time towards the end of the game after which I just gave up.
The second thing that really killed it for me was the environment. The game fails to define itself. In the beginning, it plays like a story-rich mystery, then it suddenly turns into a lousy survival horror with silly jump-scares. Then the game turns into a walking simulator for a good 4-5 hours, after which it keeps transitioning between the three. The worst part is that none of them are well executed. The environment is quite monotonous, and there’s not much to see, so the walking simulator part falls right through. The story isn’t impressive either, and the horror elements are downright terrible.
My last gripe with Someday You’ll Return is with respect to the visuals. Although the game looks pretty average, it’s really hard to get it to run at 60 FPS even with capable hardware. The shadows and ambient occlusion are on par with console graphics, and yet they are quite taxing. At times, the latter is even buggy distorting the entire image. Lighting also appears to be broken at times resulting in conflicting contrast ratios in the outer environment.
I’m sure this review sounds like a rant, but it was a much-needed rant. As far as the good parts of the game are concerned, the only thing I can think of is the crafting. It was a pretty neat little implementation, unlike any other I’ve seen, but that’s about it. Everything else was flawed: the voice acting, performance, visuals, story, gameplay, hell, even the graphics settings were buggy. They kept defaulting to the stock settings every now and then.