Returnal’s no saving during runs has community divided

As a roguelike, Returnal is a challenging game, and part of that difficulty is the limited ability to save. Returnal having no save between runs is something that is dividing its fledgling community. Some are making the point that not being able to save for potentially hours is a valid way to keep players from save-scumming. Others say that the lack of any manual saves makes the game untenable for those who can’t dedicate multiple hours to a run.

What’s the deal with saving in Returnal

Returnal Rest Mode PS5

As our guide shows, Returnal doesn’t allow players to save manually. You get one slot, and the game autosaves after Selene dies. It’s not unusual for a roguelike to only allow saving between runs. However, it’s entirely possible to rack up multiple hours per run in Returnal. For example, I managed to make it from the first to the fourth biome in one life. Housemarque suggests using Rest Mode on the PS5 as a type of suspend save. However, if the power goes out or the PS5 just randomly turns off, there goes the run.

The lack of a mid-run save is splitting the community between those who think it’s part of the challenge and those who think it’s a significant oversight. The former believe that adding a mid-run suspend save would “diminish the ‘actual’ challenge” by potentially allowing players to savescum. Of course, most people realize that it’s a single-player game, and it affects no one if someone “cheats” by manipulating the save function. However, a vocal minority wants to leave the game’s save functionality the way it is now.

Housemarque has acknowledged the criticism toward the game’s save system. However, the devs have nothing to announce now.

We’re big fans of the game here, but those of us that have played it felt the lack of a suspend save was a negative for the game.