Housemarque, the developer behind Returnal, has finally acknowledged the community’s complaints about the game’s lack of an autosave feature. The third-person roguelike shooter was recently released exclusively for the PlayStation 5 to mostly positive reception from fans and critics, although many have identified the game’s inability to autosave as a major issue.
In Returnal, players assume the role of the protagonist Selene, who finds herself caught in a time-loop during a scouting mission on the planet Atropos. Seemingly stranded, she has only one objective in mind - to find the source of what she calls the “White Shadow Signal.” Since the game is a roguelike, dying in Returnal means that the levels, being procedurally generated, will change with every death. Unfortunately, the game is also devoid of check-points or a manual save option, meaning that players are forced to fully complete a level in order to save their progress, which can sometimes take hours.
As reported by GamesRadar, the developers of Returnal have finally acknowledged the complaints from players on the lack of autosave for the game. In a Tweet by Housemarque, the devs refer to a Reddit post in which user AbUndMax states their case on why an autosave or even a manual save feature should be implemented in the game, arguing that many players may simply not have the time to spend hours fully completing levels in order to save their game. Housemarque responded to the post by stating “We hear the community and we love you all. Nothing to announce now, but keep playing and enjoying the challenge as you can!”
We hear the community and we love you all. Nothing to announce now, but keep playing and enjoying the challenge as you can!#Returnal #PS5
AbUndMax goes on to suggest a way that save options could be implemented without sacrificing the roguelike aspect of the game; “players shouldn't be able to choose between save-files and the save-files should be automatically deleted as soon as you die so the roguelike character of the game won't get destroyed.” Many commenters also went on to point out that similar roguelike games such as Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac have a save and resume option, which is automatically deleted should the player die. Others expressed their frustration at the lack of autosave causing users to lose their progress due to the game unexpectedly crashing.
While Housemarque’s tweet acknowledges the Returnal community’s plea, it is unfortunate that the company has no immediate plans to remedy the situation. Since the game was designed with no difficulty settings and is meant to be challenging for players, some argue that implementing an autosave and resume function would mean players can easily exploit the game. It does seem a little unfair, however, that players with busy lives or those experiencing a game crash cannot fully enjoy the game in its current state. Hopefully, Housemarque’s response to AbUndMax’s Reddit post means that a discussion to implement a save feature will be on the cards for the studio in the near future.
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