Returnal’s latest update is out now, adding new features, including Suspend Cycle and a Photo mode. In a blog post, developer Housemarque said it has been “truly pleased and grateful” to see the response to Returnal so far, adding that the team has been taking the feedback on board.
The Suspend Cycle feature allows players to pause their current cycle and continue it later. This lets you switch off your PS5 without losing progress. “The structure of the game remains unchanged, so this functionality is not a traditional mid-game ‘Save Game’ option: by suspending the cycle, Returnal will simply create a single use suspend point, and once you resume playing the suspend point is deleted and cannot be used again,” the studio said. “Your game will continue directly from the moment you left it, and if you want to suspend the cycle again, your progress will be captured from that new point onwards.”
The system has some limitations. For example, you cannot create a suspend point during boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences, or “intense” combat situations.
“We felt there are certain moments in Returnal that are best experienced unfragmented to preserve the intended challenge and flow,” the studio said.
Housemarque said this change allows Returnal to retain its “roguelike spirit” while at the same time offering players some “quality-of-life convenience” for players who want to play for shorter periods of time.
Returnal’s 2.0 update also adds a Photo Mode. “At any point during the game (except some limited circumstances like our first-person sequences), you can simply pause the game and enter Photo Mode, which will put you in control of the camera. You can then use the analog sticks and the adaptive triggers to move the camera around and pick the perfect angle for your photo,” Housemarque explained.
The Photo Mode includes things like focal distance, aperture, saturation, and contrast to help you fine-tune the photo to your liking. There are also filters, frames, effects, and coloring options. Players can share their photos through the PS5’s built-in social settings.
Returnal launched for PS5 in April this year. Sony acquired the studio in June, revealing a month later than Returnal sold more than 560,000 copies.