Returnal was received well at launch thanks to its tight shooter systems and innovative use of the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller, but it was criticized by some for lacking any sort of save system. Those concerns have now been addressed in the game's latest update that released this week with developer Housemarque adding an option that allows players to suspend their playthrough if needed. It's not a traditional save system, but it does give people a way to break up a run through the Returnal cycle so that they're not committing to so much just by playing.
The issues people had with Returnal's setup previously was that once you started a run in the roguelike game, you had to keep going until you completely finished the run, were forced to respawn at a starting point, or had to shut off your PlayStation 5. You could always put the console in rest mode between sessions, but that meant no other applications could be used unless you wanted your current Returnal run to be erased as if you'd quit out anyway. That in turn resulted in a pretty big time commitment to Returnal, especially if you have more than one person using a console.
Housemarque's update released this week should help remedy many of those issues. The "Suspend Cycle" feature allows players to suspend their game at any point without losing progress so that you can close out of the application and return to it at a later time. It does not double as a traditional save system, however, so once you resume your playthrough, "the suspend point is deleted and cannot be used again," Housemarque said. There are a few other rules governing this Suspend Cycle option to preserve what Returnal's all about.
"There are some limitations in place – for example, players won't be able to create a suspend point during Boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences or during intense combat scenarios – as we felt there are certain moments in Returnal that are best experienced unfragmented to preserve the intended challenge and flow," Housemarque said.
In addition to the Suspend Cycle option, the game also got a photo mode in the same update. By pausing the game during moments other than first-person sequences and other select situations, you can enter the photo mode and swing the camera around to get the perfect shot.
Returnal's latest update is now available for the PlayStation 5.