Return to Grace

Creative Byte Studios's Return to Grace was a nice, two-hour diversion from the seemingly endless adventure I've been having with Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey. It popped up on Game Pass yesterday and I had a feeling it would be over quickly, so I pushed through it (quite literally, most of the game consists of pushing forward on the left stick and performing rote interactions that advance the narrative) and was happy it didn't overstay its welcome.

Narrative and “puzzle” wise the game felt designed for the six- to twelve-year-old set, with a lot of grand hand-waving at concepts that were very much on the nose if you've read anything more complex than a comic book. The environments were simplistic but consistent, and the massive power of Unreal Engine was leveraged in ways that added extra gleam to what would have otherwise been a mediocre presentation.

I say all of this with love and respect: this is precisely the type of game I would have ended up making had I stuck with my own independent video game developments. I'd made two similar experiences, albeit magnitudes smaller scale, prior to giving up. Return to Grace did not inspire me to make another.

2024.02.20 – 2024.02.21

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