Originally announced at Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal stream in June 2020, Returnal was one of the first big titles released for the powerful new gaming console. The game, developed by Housemarque, was in development for over four years, and took full control of the DualSense controller and console capabilities, with advanced haptic feedback, 3D spatial audio, and real-time ray tracing. It was everything players wanted to see in a next-gen title, and yet, one big flaw quickly became apparent–the save feature, or lack thereof.
It’s hard to imagine that a game released in 2021 wouldn’t allow players to save, but the issue has been a cause for concern since the title’s release. A rogue-like, Returnal doesn’t allow players to save, instead opting to utilize the risk-reward dynamic. This would be fine, but some playthroughs can last for hours–much too long for this kind of title. Thankfully, today’s update has solved this problem, at least temporarily.
A new ‘Suspend Cycle’ feature allows players to pause their gameplay to continue later. Players are now free to exit the game and completely turn off their system without losing their progress, something that wasn’t possible before the 2.0 patch. However, don’t get too comfortable: the game’s director Harry Kreuger noted in a PlayStation blog post that the feature is only a single-use save state, and not a normal ‘Save Game’ option. By using ‘Suspend Cycle,’ Returnal creates a single-use suspend point, and upon turning the game back on, that suspend point is completely deleted and cannot be used a second time.
The update also added a Photo Mode to the game. From the pause screen, players can take screenshots of their game and modify it with different filters and features.
Back in May, a Returnal patch released by Housemarque was immediately pulled after causing critical save file errors.
Returnal was originally released on April 30, 2021, and is available exclusively on PlayStation 5.