Top Critic Average
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust mixes its two art styles in such a way that it culminates in a highly enjoyable gaming experience. Where some developers continue the endless arms race of best graphics possible. Here they return to the olden days and create something quite profound and memorable. Exploring the 3D landscapes was soothing for the soul, knowing when I did get bored of it there was fun Zelda like dungeons to enjoy after. Anodyne 2 reminded me of the old days of gaming in all the right ways.
There was never any doubt that Anodyne 2: Return to Dust would look and run exactly as the designer intended on Xbox Series S. It feels very tight and responsive at all times; the 2D action sequences especially have no noticeable input lag.
Games can often feel like some kind of sorcery, impossibly complex and created by people with inhuman ability. But they’re just people. Highly talented people, but still. Anodyne 2 is not sorcery, but it is a kind of magic, an ordinary magic that is all the more exceptional because of it.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a game that defies classification, but if I had to make an effort to describe it, I’d call it a combination of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, Super Mario 64, and Jade Cocoon. Then again, you never know when it’ll decide to be something else entirely, diving headlong into a different genre and experience that you had no reason to expect based on what came prior, but that’s polished and unexpectedly enjoyable nevertheless.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a surprisingly fascinating game. Merging 3D and 2D gameplay, it offers a vast world for exploration and fascinating microcosms that allow the player to sift through the feelings and obsessions of New Terreland residents. Despite some small problems, it is an adventure game whose universe is thought-provoking and invites the player to dive into its history.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a testament that indies can go where AAA fears to tread. A unique concept supported by strong gameplay that evolves frequently enough to keep you playing- right until it ends all too soon. At the bottom of it all, there is nothing quite like it.
I enjoy most of the games that I review, but occasionally one takes me by surprise. This brilliant indie title’s success is down to a combination of factors. A wonderful story that reimagines long-forgotten titles, the detailed approach of the touching audio and the pace and lore of the core tale. I know this won’t be for everyone, but I recommend you take a gamble and buy it here! The world of New Theland has become corrupted and a microscopic plague is taking over. Can Nova save humanity and restore order before its too late?
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a good example of taking chances with blending in several styles in order to tell a story. While the concept itself is nothing new, often it’s taken too far and too many styles are attempted and the whole experience just either comes apart or is a mess to play. Thankfully, that is definitely not the case here and I both look forward to both the developer’s next project and to finally sitting down to the original Anodyne.
While just a 10 to 15-hour adventure, more crazy things happen in Anodyne 2: Return to Dust than in any other 100-hour RPG. What starts as a simple 3D explorer/platformer and Zelda-esque dungeon crawler, soon turns into a journey through a realm that is otherworldly beyond any doubt, and yet manages to feel so familiar... like a faint memory, or a place you paid a visit in your sleep. It's not a game that was designed to be experienced by everyone, yet everyone is advised to experience it, if only for its beautiful, vintage PS1 visuals.
Anodyne 2 is a game that the farther away I'm from playing it, the more I'll think about it fondly. In a year I'll only remember the amazing atmosphere and setup that led to the scary chase sequence and forget how difficult to control that section of the game was. Right now, I'm living with all the great things and the frustrations simultaneously.
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust is a unique 3D and 2D story with many gameplay mechanics. However, the controls may be finicky, and the game can get repetitive after a while.
Uncompromising to a fault, Anodyne 2's sublime polygonal world and oblique writing will pull the player in, only to mire them in a slow-to-navigate open world bits and willfully opaque environmental puzzles. Feels almost too academic to fully enjoy.