Like other roguelikes, the question of how long it’ll take you to “beat” Returnal in part comes down to a combination of your personal skill and the luck of the draw. Weapons, upgrades, and health drops are all randomized, as is the map you face on each run and the challenges that might stand in your way. So how long it takes you to hit the credits is going to come down to whether you get a series of solid runs or not and how much difficulty you find in the bullet-hell battles developer Housemarque throws at you.
But there are more caveats to the length of Returnal as well. Though it’s not immediately apparent, the game is divided into sections, with some key story developments dividing up the experience. The end of the first section leads to significant changes in the game, creating something of a midpoint from there on out. After the next section, you’ll see the credits and an ending cutscene.
However, there’s more to uncover in Returnal after that point. So with all those exceptions in mind, here’s a rough idea of how long it’ll take you to complete each of the big portions of Returnal and how much time you will likely sink into the game.