Returnal dev Housemarque wins this year’s Breakthrough Award at the Golden Joysticks

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Returning developer Housemark took home the Breakthrough Award at this year’s Golden Joystick Awards.

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The trophy, judged by critics from Gamesradar+, PC Gamer, Edge, Play Magazine and Retro Gamer, has now gone to the PlayStation-owned studio, which delivered the PS5 exclusive title Returnal in March of this year.

Housemark has released several games before this, but our panel believes this is the game that has truly put the studio in the spotlight. Other titles from the developer include Nex Machina, Matterfall, Resogun, and Alienation.


Returnl took PS5 gamers on a roguelike adventure like no other took on the genre that mixed it with a third-person shooter. Delivering a peculiar blockbuster, with a narrative that keeps evolving every time you beat it, it was the first time this year that an eternal time loop was explored. It’s bullet-hell, it’s roguelike, but it’s also totally its own.

This came to the PS5 exclusively after its first launch in March, and beautifully showcased many of the console’s unique features. From 3D audio to delicate recreations of raindrops using haptic feedback in DualSense, it was quite a technical spectacle.

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Returns differs from the kind that Sony has focused on in recent years, using a style that has recently come back into fashion as the starting point of a story that takes you through the task at hand to make sense of it. Offers a lot to chew on, without wrapping it up neatly,” we wrote in our return review. “It’s an unexpectedly daring move for a developer who has made their style so appealing while adding new elements.”

You can play Returnal on PS5 now.

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