'Returnal' players can finally save their game (sort of)

The new Photo Mode will help you capture the terrifying, beautiful world of Atropos.


One of the main complaints players had about Returnal, aside from the high level of difficulty, is that, until now, there was no real way to save your game in the middle of a run. Sure, you could leave your PS5 on or put it in rest mode, but if there was a power outage or an overnight automatic system software update, you'd lose all of your progress. Given that runs can last several hours, not having any kind of save state option wasn't great.

Housemarque, now a PlayStation-owned studio, has finally attempted to remedy that problem in Returnal's 2.0 patch. With the Suspend Cycle option, you can pause your run, create a suspend point and close the game without worrying too much about losing progress.

There are some caveats, though. You'll only be able to resume your run from any suspend point one time. So, don't expect to return to that point if (or more likely when) Selene dies. It's a smart way to introduce a save system and let players take a break without disrupting the game's start-over-when-you-die roguelite structure.

You won't be able to create a suspend point in certain scenarios either. If you're in the midst of a boss battle, intense combat sequence, cinematic or first-person section, you'll need to see it through, one way or another. "We felt there are certain moments in Returnal that are best experienced unfragmented to preserve the intended challenge and flow," game director Harry Krueger wrote in a PlayStation blog post.

As deadly as the biomes of Atropos are, they're often gorgeous too. To help you capture the sights, another feature that Returnal players have been clamoring for is now in the game — Photo Mode. Other than in certain situations (such as first-person sections), you can pause the PS5 exclusive and enter Photo Mode.

You have a selection of tools at your disposal, including settings like focal distance, aperture, color gradient, saturation and contrast, as well as a way to change the scene's lighting. There are also filters, effects, frames, coloring options and other ways to jazz up your image before you capture it.

Meanwhile, Sony is set to host its next State of Play stream on Wednesday. The showcase will run for around 20 minutes and primarily focus on third-party games, but don't be surprised if Sony sneaks a first-party game or two in there.