Talks about a potential save system in Returnal have been going on within the community since before the game even launched when reviews started to come out, and the discussions haven't been ignored by developer Housemarque. The Returnal creators have heard the concerns and have said they're "very actively" trying to get out a solution to the problem some players have, but they're not exactly sure what that solution will look like right now.
The latest on Returnal's save system woes came from the upcoming Axios Gaming newsletter. Stephen Totilo shared an excerpt from the interview with Housemarque's Mikael Havari on Thursday to preview some of what the developer had to say about the matter.
I talked about Returnal's save system with Housemarque's Mikael Havari today. Regarding an update: "It's something that we're actively, very actively trying to get out as soon as we can," he told me.
A bit more in today's newsletter. Much more from the interview in tomorrow's. pic.twitter.com/8iI4i7ckPH— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) May 13, 2021
"We understand that there are some systems in place that are currently a hindering factor," said Havari about the requests for a save system.
Havari's further comments about Returnal's lack of a save system echoed some sentiments shared by members of the game's community who'd prefer not to see such a feature added or at least think that the game doesn't need it. He said jokingly that the intent was to get people into a "hardcore mindset" when playing Returnal, something not wholly unheard of when it comes to roguelikes, but he acknowledged the feedback about the whole situation and said the team is looking for a solution.
"But currently, we just don't know exactly what that is," he continued. "So it's very difficult to announce anything, because I think there's a lot of different people looking for different things."
Does Returnal actually need a save system? The two schools of thinking on the matter are the aforementioned party that says it doesn't need it and the game's being played the way it was supposed to be while the others think it needs the option as a convenience feature. Returnal's runs are indeed longer than some of the other roguelike runs you'll go on, and because putting the console in rest mode is the only way to preserve a cycle, it's not convenient by any means. Some people don't prefer to keep their devices in rest mode while others who have multiple PlayStation 5 users in a household will have to keep hands off the console until the Returnal player's run is finished. That situation alone was annoying enough when reviewing the game to make the case for a save feature even if many players decide not to use it.
Whatever the solution may be, we'll likely hear Housemarque talk about it more soon.