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Return players debate whether the game needs a save feature



Return is a difficult roguelike that requires a lot of patience. Each death in the game brings players back to where the story began. All progress and items are scrapped, and players must start the mission from first place. While some permanent items are stored between replays to help in future races, little else is stored. Actual, Return has no checkpoints or traditional storage options.

This lack of a traditional storage feature has led some players to wonder if the game can use a way to save mid-run and continue progressing later. In our experience, some Return running can last for several hours, and a single mistake will erase all progress.

For busy gamers, or those who share PlayStation 5 with others in the household, they may not have the opportunity to play for several hours. Players can put the PlayStation 5 to rest if they are in the middle of a through-play, but it is not a sure way to stop progress until later. (The game̵

7;s developer actually suggests that players put the PS5 into sleep mode to keep the progress.)

Other players, however, claim that a traditional storage system would go against it Returns game design. And some players discuss it (or fight for it) in a war of downtimes on the game’s underreddit.

Housemarque, the developers of Return, has suggested that it listens to the fans’ wishes. Although there is no word on whether a storage feature will be added at some point, the studio seems aware of some players’ frustrations.

For players familiar with roguelikes – a very popular genre that includes hits like Hades, Dead cells, Spelunky, and The bond to Isaac – lack of storage features is not uncommon. In fact, at the very beginning Return, a pop-up message appears that clearly explains the cycle of the game.

A text description of the cycle in Returnal

The game’s loop is clearly explained from the beginning
Photo: Housemarque / Sony Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

While repeated deaths players will face in Return are opportunities to become more proficient in the game, the lack of being able to save progress can hinder the experience for some. There is a lot to learn about the game during opening hours, much of which the game does not tell you about.

The nearest function similar to a storage point in Return is a terminal called Reconstructor. Players can use a rare resource called ether to access this terminal. Upon death, players will respond to Reconstructor, instead of the beginning of the game. Ether, however, is a rare resource, and it is not always guaranteed that players will run across this terminal in their throughput.

Until Housemarque adds a storage feature, you may want to check out Polygons Return Guides for some tips on how to survive.


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