When Returnal launched for the PlayStation 5 in April of this year, it was an immediate hit. Critics and gamers alike praised the game for its fantastic atmosphere and tight gameplay. However, one big complaint quickly arose–the length of each run. Because Returnal is a roguelike game, every time you die, you start the game from the beginning, losing anything but information and a couple of abilities you’ve learned along the way. Additionally, the game area changes with each restart, shuffling around so that what was once in one place is now somewhere completely different. Games like this are not new; Hades was a huge recent hit and employed the same strategy. The big difference is that with Returnal, each successful run could take upwards of two hours. Need to turn off the game mid-run? You lose your progress.
Two hours is a huge time commitment to ask of gamers, and for many made the game unplayable. The issue then became: how does developer Housemarque address the issue of the length of a run while still keeping the core element of the game intact?
The answer? Suspend Cycles. Released in a recent patch to the game, Suspend Cycles allow you to save your progress in the middle of a run and turn off the game. It’s not a permanent save point, however. Once you boot the game back up and start playing, your Suspend Cycle is gone until you create a new one. This allows for players to be able to take breaks in the middle of a grueling two-hour run.
There are limitations to the Suspend Cycle; you can’t initiate one during a boss battle or during a cinematic, nor can you start one when there is an intense fight scene taking place. And though it does break the immersion a little bit, it makes the game infinitely more playable and accessible to gamers who were initially turned off by the long run time.
The new update also ads a photo mode, functioning similarly to photo modes from other popular games.
Let us know what you think about this update. Is it enough to entice you to try the game out? Sound off in the comments below!
Source: Yahoo! News
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