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Returnal
Accessibility Report

21 Accessibility Features

We've documented 21 accessibility features for Returnal, including Large Subtitles, Large Text, Control Assists, No Repeated Pressing and No Holds. Its accessibility is strongest in Controls and Reading but it also has features in Getting Started, Navigation and Visual to reduce unintended barriers.

This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

Returnal is a sci-fi shooting game played in repeating rounds that slowly change the world and your character. You are a pilot stranded on a mysterious planet and must investigate and fight through the world to both survive and solve the repeating problem.

Our accessibility examiner, Jo Robertson, first checked Returnal accessibility 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 2 years ago.

NotesAccessibility Notes


On PlayStation 5 the DualSense controller offers detailed haptic feedback about what is happening in the game. There is a very good aim assist option. You can opt to toggle to sprint, scan or interact with "risky" objects. You can also adjust the size of the cross hair. Extensive audio options including one to improves the clarity against all background noises when turned on.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 30/04/2021, updated in 2023

Price: 33% off

Out Now: PC and PS5

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Action, Shooting (Collecting, Narrative and Traversal)

Accessibility: 21 features

Components: 3D Third-Person

Developer: House Marque (@HouseMarque)

Costs: Purchase cost, In-Game Purchases and In-Game Pass

 

ControlsControls

We've documented 8 accessibility features for Controls in Returnal which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Can play with the following:

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Select Preset Controller Mappings: You can select preset button layouts from options provided by the developer.

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons for prolonged periods (a second or more) is not required or can be switched to toggling the action on and off. This is in addition to the movement stick/button which is not considered a hold for this purpose.

Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing (more than 2 times a second) is not required, can be skipped or switched to holding a button to trigger a repeated action.

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Informative Vibration: Controller vibration indicates events or interactions in the game, echoing visual and audio cues. This can provide additional information about progress, approaching enemies or hitting a target.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Returnal, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

DifficultyDifficulty

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Difficulty in Returnal which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and whether this is locked once chosen or can be adjusted as you play. The following games are similar to Returnal, and offer accessibility features for Difficulty:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Getting Started in Returnal which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials and instructions on how to play. Information is provided in a timely manner, with appropriate level of detail.

Assistance With Controls: The game can automatically assist with aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc. This reduces the challenge of certain aspects of play to remove barriers and make control of characters more accessible.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Save Progress Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time. This doesn’t mean you never lose progress, but it does mean you can stop whenever you want (without having to get to a save point) without losing progress.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Returnal, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 6 accessibility features for Reading in Returnal which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Reading Level

How much reading is required to play the game's main path or story and how complex the language is. The presence of voiced characters doesn't reduce this requirement, as it's recorded as a separate datapoint.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required. The quantity and complexity of reading are at a level that a high school student (14-year-old) would appreciate.

Text Visibility

Large Clear Text: All essential text is large and clear or can be adjusted to be. The general text used throughout the game in menus, instructions and other key information (excluding subtitles that are assessed separately) is at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height on landscape screens and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters.

High Contrast Text: Text colour contrasts to the background or can be adjusted to be. The text in menus, instructions and other information is presented in high contrast with a solid background.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast. They are at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of a landscape screen and at least 1/40 height on portrait screens, or can be adjusted to be. We base this on the full line-height, including the space above and below the letters. Considered separately from the general text of the game, the subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast.

All Speech Subtitled (Or No Speech In Game): All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to hear spoken dialogue or narrative to play the game.

Captions

Speaker Indicator and their Tone: Textual captions indicate who is speaking and their tone (or there is only ever one person speaking). This can also be indicated visually in the game with character icons or character expressions with text in speech bubbles next to the person speaking.

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 3 accessibility features for Navigation in Returnal which deal with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Head-Up Display

Head-Up Display Navigation: Indication of where to go next with overlaid arrows, minimaps and waypoint markers. This supplements in-game visual and audible cues with additional guidance about where you are and where you need to go.

Adjust Head-Up Display: Resize and adjust the content of the head-up display. This enables it to be made more visible. It can also enable the removal of too much information that can be distracting or confusing.

Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with the landscape, points of interest and missions highlighted throughout the entire game. This enables the orientation of the player and the world, confirming a direction of movement and the location of destinations or points of exploration.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Returnal, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Visual in Returnal which deals with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Colour Options

Colour Adjustments: Adjust colours of characters or game elements for greater visibility. Includes the ability to select which type of colour blind mode you require.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Returnal, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We haven’t documented any accessibility features for Audio in Returnal which deal with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see. The following games are similar to Returnal, and offer accessibility features for Audio:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
PlayStation 5
PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors Andy Robertson and Jo Robertson


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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