Returnal's launch on PlayStation 5 went well, to say the least. The title, in which, as astronaut Selene, we relive the disaster of a spaceship time and time again, received positive reviews and turned out to be quite a success. However, the game is not without flaws - the biggest one was the strange save system, which makes it impossible to close the game at any time because it causes loss of progress. The good news is that dev's at Housemarque have promised to look into this issue and find a solution. The bad news - we'll have to wait a bit for changes to be implemented.
Such information was given by Mikael Havari, marketing director of the Finnish studio. In an interview with Axios Gaming he admitted that work is underway to eliminate the issues, which - in his opinion - is due to very different expectations of the audience.
"We understand that there are some systems in place that are currently a hindering factor. So it’s very difficult to announce anything because I think there’s a lot of different people looking for different things."
Havari added that the intention of the developers was to put the audience in a state of maximum concentration during the game. This explanation makes a bit of sense, but considering the length of one playthrough in Returnal, which can last up to several hours, the developers should have immediately thought about adding a 'save and quit' option. Many roguelike games use the mechanic - take last year's hit, Hades, as an example - and it works out for the better rather than the worse.
It's hard to say how long the developers will work on improving the save system. On the day of the title's release, the studio announced on Twitter that it would be paying close attention to community feedback and taking it into account in future patches. This was the case, for example, with update 1.3.3... but in this case, the developers had no choice and had to quickly remove the changes made because the patch corrupted save game data. Finding and implementing the right solution will surely take some time - for now, the developers advise putting the console in standby mode when we want to stop playing. This method is far from perfect because it will not work if we experience a blackout or want to start another game.
The whole situation is a bit reminiscent of what Warhorse, the devs of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, struggled within 2018. Back then, the players also complained about the save system, which was quickly changed thanks to mods. Eventually, the developers responded and added a 'save and exit' option, the community's desired solution, in one of the patches... only to watch mods being created to remove this option from their title. Not surprisingly, Housemarque wants to thoroughly investigate the problem first.
Returnal was released on April 30 exclusively for PlayStation 5.