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Following a disastrous update, you can now play Returnal safely again

After Housemarque warns, “To be safe, don’t start the game,” the developer confirms it’s now safe to return to Returnal.

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Safe to return to Returnal
Housemarque

After Housemarque warns, “To be safe, don’t start the game,” the developer confirms it’s now safe to return to Returnal.

After a disastrous update rendered save files wiped and the need to reinstall the game for many last night, Returnal’s latest patch has made it safe to return. However, for some unlucky players, the damage had already been done.

Developer Housemarque issued out statements via Twitter last night about the nature of the 1.3.3 update, warning: “To be safe, don’t start the game”.

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Fortunately, the latest update (patch 1.3.4) arrived this afternoon, correcting many save file and reinstallment issues. While most save files were retrievable, for some, it was too little too late. Housemarque detailed ways of which to retrieve lost progress via PlayStation’s cloud storage, yet explained that some had been effectively deleted and were ultimately “unsalvageable.”

The patch and save file issues arrive amid a week of controversy concerning the game’s unforgiving save system. Many players complained about Returnal’s lengthy runs, which would have to be restarted upon the closure of the app or console. Housemarque had even advised players to turn off the auto-update feature on their consoles to avoid unnecessary restarts.

With other roguelikes such as Hades enabling save features mid-run, it seems odd for Returnal to completely avoid them. It is easy to sympathise with those who struggle to carve out the necessary amount of time for Returnal, as some earlier runs can balloon over three hours in length.

Despite stellar reviews, then, Returnal’s release hasn’t been without its fair share of issues. However, as the save issues within the game have been highlighted by the patch fiasco, save points are beginning to feel like an eventuality – and integral to players returning again and again and again.

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(And again, and again, and again, and again, and–)


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The most passionate casual gamer about, Aaron is a filmmaking graduate, Premiere Pro aficionado, and film and gaming journalist hailing from the windy realms of Scotland. He loves to split his time between writing articles, hosting his film podcast, producing some top-notch video content and building up a backlog of games he’ll probably never complete.

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