Housemarque finally took some pity on players of its difficult sci-fi shooter Returnal last week, and added a suspend feature in update 2.0. Now players have found a way to turn it into a full-on save scumming exploit.
Players have wanted some way to save their game in Returnal since it launched last April, and the recently added “Suspend Cycle” option is a half-measure that stops just short of granting that long-standing request. People no longer have to leave their game in suspend mode on the PS5 between play sessions (which often didn’t work), but in order to preserve the game’s rogue-lite approach, as soon as they resume a cycle their previous suspend data is immediately deleted from the system.
Not from the cloud, however. Players immediately started hypothesising after the update went live about whether cloud saves could provide a workaround, and sure enough, there’s a way to effectively turn Returnal’s Suspend Cycle option into an unofficial save state. As pointed out by Inverse writer Joseph Yaden, all players have to do is suspend out of the game, upload that save data to the cloud, and then resume the game and continue on. When they die, instead of starting back over, they can download their old file and pick back up from where they were before.
I tried it. It works. And I’m in heaven.
Read More: How To Not Die (As Much) In Returnal
It’s tedious, but a boon to players still stuck in Returnal’s first biome, and indeed those who have struggled to ever beat the game, despite pouring in dozens of hours.
Personally, I think save files are great, and more games should go back to them. Deathloop doesn’t make use of them either, nore does Far Cry 6. The results can be more suspenseful and immersive, but they can also be a lot less fun, and occasionally a downright pain in the arse.
Fortunately, anyone who wants to play Returnal without second chances, as Housemarque intended, still can. Everybody wins.