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Julius

Returnal (30th April 2021)

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I beat the game last night. I was seriously considering going for the secret ending, but apparently, because I didn't do enough runs, I'd have to replay the second half of the game before I could even begin working towards it. It already seemed like too much work before that... I can't be bothered right now. Maybe later.

It was a really fun game, though.

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Looks like the most recent patch destroyed save data :(
I played it for a few minutes with the patch installed, deleted the game and am now re-downloading it as per Housemarque's suggestion (they pulled the patch and reverted to an earlier version).

Will see after work if my save data survived. If not, no biggie. I'll gladly start from scratch (which you kind of have to do anyways after each run) :D

Still, not a great situation for both people who wanna play and Housemarque. But hey, they're working to get it resolved and the game is great, so...patience, my friends :D

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Yeah, read about that yesterday evening. Very harsh for those who have lost their progress.

The lack of a save feature seems to be a big sticking point for people, especially with those who don't have the luxury to sit for long gaming sessions or like to jump between different games. Housemarque said they are looking into a solution for it but at the moment the lack of such a feature seems to upset a lot of players.

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Yeah, read about that yesterday evening. Very harsh for those who have lost their progress.
The lack of a save feature seems to be a big sticking point for people, especially with those who don't have the luxury to sit for long gaming sessions or like to jump between different games. Housemarque said they are looking into a solution for it but at the moment the lack of such a feature seems to upset a lot of players.
Yeah, to be honest I am a bit disappointed to hear this. I feel that if £70 is going to become the new normal then games need to be launching in a more stable and feature complete state. This situation is making me even more convinced to wait before buying most new games these days.
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1 minute ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The lack of a save feature seems to be a big sticking point for people, especially with those who don't have the luxury to sit for long gaming sessions or like to jump between different games. Housemarque said they are looking into a solution for it but at the moment the lack of such a feature seems to upset a lot of players.

I was going to wait on this game once it became apparent it was a bit longer than what I was looking for, and I'm kind of glad I did having heard of this and the update issues. 

A simple quick save which erases itself after opening the game back up would be ideal I think, it keeps the core of the game, but doesn't force you to stick with it until there's a point where you can save.

Feel like From Software should probably consider doing something similar to that with Elden Ring, if that game is as open as calling it open world would seem to suggest? 

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Posted (edited)

As someone who had the luxury to put in a ridiculous amount of time into Returnal during launch weekend I can say: I understand what Housemarque were going for with the save situation.

I'm not going to spoil anything regarding the story, but only having "one" life for what can sometimes be a 2-3 hour run adds to the narrative. There's a certain amount of stress and fear that builds up over the course of a run, especially as the fights get more and more intense. And it just works with what the story is going for.
This would be a lot less prevalent when you have the option to save-scum (via backups) by adding mid-run saves. Obviously, you don't have to do it, but even if it was possible, a lot of what makes Returnal so great would lose its impact.

I do, however, also get the criticism. Not everyone can put in so many hours in one session, not everyone wants to just play one game for a while (which is my problem right now), not everyone enjoys the difficulty the game can sometimes throw at you during a long-lasting run.

As always: an option would've been nice. And, as Housemarque stated, the devs are aware of the community's concerns. I'm pretty sure we'll see a save-feature soon.

Sadly, Returnal's launch period has been marred by a few pretty bad issues and I fear that the talk will keep on going well after fixes have been made. Really hope that won't be the case, though, as the game is utterly brilliant and deserves success.

Edited by drahkon
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6 hours ago, drahkon said:

not everyone wants to just play one game for a while (which is my problem right now)

And yet, I was craving a run just now. Well, "just now" was 2 hours ago :laughing:

Made some progress to the "more story bits" part of the game, but sadly I didn't find something in the final area. :( No biggy, because I will gladly do it again :D

My playtime is now at 24 hours and I'm still not bored.

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Posted (edited)

Say what you want about the bugs, crashes and issues, you can't deny that Housemarque has been quick to work on patches this past week :peace:

Edited by drahkon
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Played this again last night.

There's one sequence leading up to a certain boss...one of the greatest moments in video game history.
Occasionally I will skip bosses/areas but never this one. It's a shame I can't say more about it, because it would spoil...well, everything.

I can say this, though: The boss and the lead-up to it are perfect. Housemarque's first foray into AAA story-telling is nothing short of amazing. And they managed to couple it with some of the most - for lack of a better word - video-gamey gameplay. :bowdown:

Kinda sad, that the boss' theme isn't part of the OST :(

Anyways, still have to unlock ... more ... to fully grasp the world, characters and lore. I love this game :D

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You all know that I'm the most skilled player that has ever graced this wonderful planet. I mean, there is absolutely no chance that anyone will ever surpass me. My awareness, my reflexes, my eye-hand coordination...impeccable.

Spoiler

 

:cool:

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A few spoilers in there, but it's not too bad. Cool trailer :D

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2021 at 10:34 PM, drahkon said:

sadly I didn't find something in the final area. :( No biggy, because I will gladly do it again :D

4da.png

And I did. And I found that something.

Now I'm halfway done with the "more story bits" part.
26 hours in. Can't get enough :peace:

Edited by drahkon
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I really want to play this, but I'm no Sony man :( I hope this is included in the "We're bringing more games to PC"-plan Sony is going for these days, as everything I've heard about the game is phenomenal! Here's hoping.

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The dream for some sort of quick save or auto save feature lives on! Really do hope it comes, especially as we're quickly heading into GOTY season, and catching up on some the contenders is something I want to get around to. 

Fingers crossed! 

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I platinumed this game without ever needing any kind of save/reload feature, or it ever occuring to me to need one. The only time I can imagine it bothering me, is if I got a power cut when I was doing really well... The game regularly ends suddenly, and you start again, and that each attempt is fairly short whether it goes well or not... so I just can't really get why it bothers so many.

Anyway, this is a game I'd love to play more of, hope it gets more content soon!

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1 hour ago, Shorty said:

I platinumed this game without ever needing any kind of save/reload feature, or it ever occuring to me to need one. The only time I can imagine it bothering me, is if I got a power cut when I was doing really well... The game regularly ends suddenly, and you start again, and that each attempt is fairly short whether it goes well or not... so I just can't really get why it bothers so many.

Anyway, this is a game I'd love to play more of, hope it gets more content soon!

To each their own I guess, but for me it's just about having the option to play the way you want to play. Some might breeze through a biome, others might want to hop in and out, and others might want to stick around and smell the roses; maybe I'm wrong, but from what I remember from reading a review or two at launch is that if you really want to take your time in a biome, you could be there a while.

I'm not saying to change the game's structure or add multiple saves, but something like the option to quick-save mid-run which deletes when you load back in or die can only be a net positive in my eyes. I know people got around this with suspending the game or rest mode to an extent, but if your console updates/crashes/there's anything that might turn your console off during that time, you've lost progress on that run for no real good reason. Some might say "it's just a game" or "well I did it without", but not everyone has the opportunity to just sit down and play a game without being interrupted for hours at a time. I can see that being an issue for others, especially those not familiar with the genre or more challenging games in general (both of which I'd say are more applicable to me). 

I'm not saying it's something they have to do for me to pick the game up - because I still plan to - but I'd like to see it. At the very least, it would inspire confidence that they've listened to community feedback, which in cases like this is always a cool thing to see a studio act on. 

Edited by Julius

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While I totally get where you're coming from, I think you can get by perfectly fine with the save/rest feature. The only time I can imagine this would be a problem, is if you regularly played a different game. For example, if you joined friends for Destiny or Overwatch most nights, it would be annoying that you couldn't save and come back.

Updates do not interrupt rest, and crashes/other reasons I think would be so infrequent that across the course of completing the game, I would be willing to bet it would come up 0-1 times on average, at least in parts of the world with reliable power.

The only reason I bother to contest this, is that it's a shame so many people are skipping the game for something they see as a mistake, but I see as a totally reasonable choice. I think those who talk about "taking your time in a biome" have maybe missed the point of the game altogether. It should be treated like most roguelikes IMO, don't get too invested, or you'll be frustrated when you restart. Starting again is a natural part of the process of playing the game.

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2.0 update adding Suspend Cycle and Photo Mode! 

Quote

Hello everyone! Over the last few months, we have been having a great time seeing you play Returnal and learning about your experiences, and hearing all the great stories of how players are overcoming the myriad challenges of Atropos. It's had a fantastic reception, and we are truly pleased and grateful to see people having so much fun with the game. Here at Housemarque we've been listening to all your feedback too, and so it is with great satisfaction that I'm here to announce our update 2.0, launching today.

Suspend Cycle

One of the main features of this update is the Suspend Cycle functionality, which will allow you to pause your cycle to be continued later, letting you exit the game and turn off your console without losing your progress in that session. 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. 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. There are some limitations in place – for example, players won't be able to create a suspend point during Boss battles, cinematics, first-person sequences or during intense combat scenarios – as we felt there are certain moments in Returnal that are best experienced unfragmented to preserve the intended challenge and flow.

With this approach, we can keep the roguelike spirit and "high stakes" commitment to your run intact, while still providing some quality-of-life convenience for players who like to experience Returnal in shorter bursts. So next time you're deep into a lengthy session on Atropos and life comes knocking at your door, you'll be able to simply Suspend Cycle and jump back in at a more convenient time.

Photo Mode

Along with the Suspend functionality, we have also been working on another feature that's been highly requested by the community and will also be included in this update: Photo Mode. Selene's journey through Atropos is filled with many memorable moments that are worth cherishing; whether it's dancing on the knife's edge amidst intense bullet hell combat, or taking a fleeting moment of serenity to appreciate the eerie atmosphere and dark beauty of Atropos, our Photo Mode will allow you to immortalize these moments in all their glory.

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.

Suspend Cycle is pretty much exactly what I was asking for, so I guess I know what I'm keeping an eye out for next month! 

Edited by Julius

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Yep, thats the final hurdle that was holding me back from picking up now gone. I've got a stack of games to pick up in the coming months (still haven't picked up Deathloop yet and want to grab Tales of Arise and Life is Strange: True Colours as well as a bunch of indie games) but this will now jump near the top as I've been wanting to try it for ages but I've not been able to get long stints of time for gaming so this now becomes viable.

Next time its on sale (I'd presume it'll be the Xmas/January sale) I'll look to grab it.

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Housemarque and the Returnal team seem to be teasing something...

DLC in time for The Game Awards perhaps? 

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