Report suggests that Returnal devs are working on easier save points

By Kes Eylers-Stephenson,
PlayStation exclusive Returnal appears to have an update allowing for mid-run save points in development, but it might be a long time away according to Housemarque's marketing director, Mikael Haveri.
Returnal Trophies

In an interview with Axios Gaming, as first reported on by VGC, Haveri made it clear that implementing save files into your alien-world conquering exploits is possible, but a tough ask for the development team. "We understand that there are some systems in place that are currently a hindering factor." In particular, the very nature of Returnal's gameplay loop requires the player to learn the enemy varieties, map variations, and versatile movement systems to an exact science. Placing a save point halfway through a run, one can imagine, has the potential to both ruin the difficulty curve and remove the exhilaration of making that one perfect attempt. Unfortunately, that perfect run can take three to four hours. Let me repeat that for those of you at the back: three to four hours without the ability to save.

Haveri then talked about the next steps for implementing mid-run saves for the dev team. "Currently, we just don’t know exactly what it is. So it’s very difficult to announce anything, because I think there’s a lot of different people looking for different things." Haveri is suggesting that the team are working on a solution, but that they are not quite certain what the best implementation looks like. Understandable since a haphazard implementation might destroy the game balance that the team has carefully tuned throughout the development cycle. Tricky stuff, then.

This news comes on the back of Housemarque's acknowledgement that it understands the need for some kind of mid-run save capability.


Returnal reviewed extremely well and is currently sitting at a rock-solid 86% on Metacritic. We are yet to see how well the game is selling, which might be a good indication whether hardcore AAA roguelikes have a future on PlayStation. Have you played Returnal yet? Do you want to see mid-run saves? Let us know.
Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Written by Kes Eylers-Stephenson
Hey, I'm Kes! I'm a Staff Writer, and I've been here since 2021. What do I like? The Outer Wilds is top notch. The Witcher 3 blew my mind over the course of five years completing it. I want Burnout back — I really miss crunching mechanical wonders into walls to the sound of Guns N' Roses. Cool, now we are acquainted, I'll see you around.