Returnal Update Finally Lets You Save Your Progress

The latest update for Returnal from Housemarque has added a Suspend Cycle function as well as a snazzy new Photo Mode.

Earlier this month rumours were circulating the internet that a new update for Returnal was on the way. Gamers were speculating as to whether this expected update will finally add some form of save function. Well, those gamers have their wish, kind of.

Returnal is a challenging roguelike third-person shooter. It throws the player into a procedurally generated alien world. When the player dies, they will be thrown back right at the start losing weapons and progress. The alien world would also change, a fantastic mechanic that would keep the players on their toes.

Each time the player dies, they would not only learn more about the alien world and its hostile inhabitants, but you would also have the strong urge to fight on. However, Returnal featured no save whatsoever. No autosave or manual save at a designated location. This was a welcomed feature for many but not ideal for all.

Credit: Sony/Housemarque

Progress lost!

After all, as frustrating as it can be losing all progress, nothing is more frustrating than having to leave the house and save Returnal for later. Sure, you can suspend the game and come back later, but that is not ideal for all. Especially if you come back after a few hours and you forget that Returnal is suspended. Consequently, you start up another game, totally wiping all your progress.

I have even had a situation when I had to leave the house, so I suspended Returnal leaving my PS5 in rest mode. However, when I was out, there was a power cut. As a result, all my progress was lost to no fault of my own. Thankfully, Housemarque has produced a solution that offers players some form of save function but loses no developer integrity.

Credit: Sony/Housemarque

So, what is Suspend Cycle?

Suspend Cycle will allow you to pause the game and continue later. You can even leave the game and turn your console off. Yet, you will not lose any progression for that session. According to a post on the PlayStation Blog: “the structure of the game remains unchanged, so this functionality is not a traditional mid-game “Save Game” option: 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.

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.

The blog post goes on to explain that there will be some limitations to the Suspend Cycle. For example, players will not be able to use this function during a boss battle, cinematics, during combat or first-person sequences. Which is fair game to me.

YouTube video

Furthermore, Returnal now has a dedicated Photo Mode, which is fantastic news as this is a visually stunning game. To access Photo Mode, simply pause the game, select the feature and you will be able to save those epic moments and dress them up with some fancy filters, and more.

Are you happy with the new Returnal update which has offered some form of compromise on a save function? Let us know your thoughts across our social media channels.

Shop with GameByte!

Do not forget you can find great games and more on the GameByte Shop! Our store is stocked up with the latest games, merch, and accessories. We might even have a new-gen console or two! Sign up to our newsletter to be notified of our console drops, deals and more. Please note that the GameByte Shop is available for UK customers Credit only.

Featured Image Credit: Sony/Housemarque