A new version 2.0 update for PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal has added a system that allows players to temporarily save their progress and shut down their console. This fixes a long-standing player complaint, and will allow players to play a run of the roguelike across multiple sessions of play.
Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the new system is called Suspend Cycle. This feature allows you to pause your current run, exit the game, and turn off your console. Rebooting the game will then allow you to continue your run.
It’s important to note that while Suspend Cycle creates a save state, this save is not permanent, and can only be reloaded once. As Returnal’s Game Director, Harry Krueger, explains: “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.”
“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,” concluded Krueger.
The Suspend Cycle system does have some limitations; it will not be able to create suspend points during boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences, or “intense combat scenarios”.
In addition to Suspend Cycle, the Returnal 2.0 update adds a photo mode, which functions much like similar modes seen in many other games. Alongside fine tuning an angle for your subject, there are also different sources of light to highlight the scene, a variety of different filters, effects, frames, coloring options, and more to be used.
Returnal was critically acclaimed, but players quickly became frustrated by how long its runs are. Roguelikes typically do not have saves, but are usually short games that can be attempted in a single session. The multi-hour length of a single run of Returnal meant that it demanded a lot of time from players, especially if they died and had to start over. Where roguelikes such as Hades have systems that hold your progress from the start of an area, Returnal’s design did not originally incorporate anything like that. This new Suspend Cycle system will hopefully make it accessible to those who don’t have so many hours each day to dedicate to playing games.
For more, check out this breakdown of Returnal’s VFX features, and the devs reacting to a blisteringly fast 46 minute speed run.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.
Source: IGN Video Games All