A major new update has been released for Returnal which lets players create a save state.
The version 2.0 patch, which is released today, adds a new ‘Suspend Cycle’ feature, which lets players pause their cycle and continue it later.
This means players can exit the game and turn off their console fully without losing their progress during a session, something that wasn’t possible before.
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“By suspending the cycle, Returnal will simply create a single use suspend point, and once you resume playing the suspend point is deleted and cannot be used again,” Krueger explained.
“Your game will continue directly from the moment you left it, and if you want to suspend the cycle again, your progress will be captured from that new point onwards.”
There are some moments where players will not be able to suspend the cycle, including during boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences or intense combat.
“With this approach, we can keep the roguelike spirit and ‘high stakes’ commitment to your run intact, while still providing some quality-of-life convenience for players who like to experience Returnal in shorter bursts,” Krueger said.
“So next time you’re deep into a lengthy session on Atropos and life comes knocking at your door, you’ll be able to simply Suspend Cycle and jump back in at a more convenient time.”
The new update also adds a Photo Mode to the game, allowing players to pause the game at any point (except during first-person sequences) and move the camera around to take a photo, then tinker with various filters and features to modify it.
Housemarque said in May that it hadn’t yet decided how best to resolve the game’s criticised lack of save options, with the issue said to be complicated by different players having different expectations.
As a rogue-like, the PS5 exclusive does not allow players to save their progress during gameplay, as the risk-reward dynamic – which upon death sees players sent back to the beginning of the game with virtually none of their items – is considered a key part of the genre.
Shortly after Returnal’s release, the Finnish studio acknowledged criticism from fans over the issue, with some complaining that gameplay sessions can last too long – sometimes several hours – and there’s no means to stop and save, outside of keeping the PS5 console in sleep mode.