Something many players had been anxiously requesting developer Housemarque for has finally made it into Returnal but not in its traditional sense.
According to patch notes from earlier today, update 2.0 adds a “Suspend Cycle” functionality to Returnal which will allow players to pause their gameplay run at any point. They can then exit the game and even turn their console off if they want without losing any progress in the process.
When players decide to resume their run, they will do so from the same suspended point in the game. However, the suspended point can only be used once in the entire playthrough and will be deleted forever once players continue from that exact save point.
“The structure of the game remains unchanged, so this functionality is not a traditional mid-game save game option,” explained Housemarque. “Returnal will simply create a single use suspend point, and once you resume playing the suspend point is deleted and cannot be used again.”
The Suspend Cycle feature does come with a few more limitations. For example, players will not be allowed to create a suspended save point during boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences, or during intense combat scenarios.
There have been numerous requests by players to have additional save options. Returnal offers a challenging rogue-like gameplay experience which has a steep difficulty curve and with a storyline stretching for around 50 hours, players have to become familiar with death at every nook and cranny. Having save options allows players to take a break during their daunting runs. However, the same save options may as well reduce the fun of the challenge as well. Hence, the Suspended Cycle functionality comes as a best-of-both-worlds solution.
Unfortunately, update 2.0 does not introduce any new playable content. Housemarque has always stated that there are no plans for post-release content support, but a leaked installation size of update 2.0 had many players keeping their fingers crossed nonetheless.
Returnal is now available exclusively on PlayStation 5.