Returnal: Housemarque listens to the players

Returnal: Housemarque listens to the players


Returnal's bailouts are holding hands during these hours. The community, which is appreciating the new game from Housemarque exclusively on PlayStation 5, has expressed concerns about the game and the lack of possibility to save the various runs. For those unfamiliar with it, the game draws heavily on famous rogue likes such as The Binding of Isacc, where turning off the machine on which you play brings the character to death and forcing the player to start over. A mechanic that is certainly not unprecedented, which however has significantly touched some strings, especially those of the most committed players.

Returnal, in fact, does not offer a rescue system except for the objects collected by the player during his adventure. . Turning off the PlayStation 5 forces you to start over. Reports have multiplied on Reddit: in fact, many complain about the lack of time necessary to complete a run, perhaps due to work commitments. There is a work around, which allows you to put the console in Rest Mode (the famous Rest Mode), which therefore prevents you from losing all your progress but it is a solution that can actually be uncomfortable.

Despite the when there are no changes in the game design of Returnal, Housemarque was not indifferent. Through Twitter, in fact, the development team announced that it is listening to the community. It is not clear if a saving system similar to that for objects will be implemented in a future update (which we repeat does not disappear during all the runs) but the fact that the developers are so attentive to the needs of the players is certainly an excellent signal for the future of the new IP.

Returnal is available exclusively on PlayStation 5. The title runs in 4K and 60 frames per second, although to get to such a goal Housemarque had to come up with a little trick. If you are curious to know it, you will find all the necessary information by simply clicking here.

PlayStation 5 will still be unavailable but fortunately the DualSense (compatible with PC) is still available on Amazon.

PS5’s ‘Returnal’ Sparks Yet Another Debate About Video Game Difficulty



Returnal is now out in the wild on PS5, debuting to generally solid reviews across the board, but if there are any criticisms of it, some have taken issue with the game’s difficulty.

This, of course, has sparked yet another chapter in the “video game difficulty debate” where gamers go after game journalists or less hardcore players and tell them to “get good (git gud)” and deal with whatever difficulty problems they may claim exist in a game.

This saga has many chapters, most famously “Should Dark Souls have an easy mode?” which touches on questions of creator intent and accessibility, but this Returnal debate is a bit different.

From what I can tell, the conflict here isn’t really around difficulty in the traditional sense. Most critics are not complaining that the game’s combat is too tough or it’s too easy to die. Rather, the complaints stem from the extremely long roguelike runs with no way to save mid-run.



Runs in Returnal can be two hours or more, depending on your tactics, and unlike other roguelikes, there’s no in-game way to halt a run and come back to it later. Combine that with the game getting more glitchy as you get deeper into it, and a single bug or a crash can delete an hour or two’s worth of progress instantly.

To me, I think there’s separation between “combat is too hard” and “the structure of the game is punishing.” For instance, you could design say, a Destiny raid that has incredibly tough encounters and takes 20 hours to beat (some have). But if you design that same raid with the stipulation that a single death on your team sends you back to orbit to start the entire thing over again, that to me is the wrong type of difficulty.

I suppose it depends on the genre, but Returnal stands out among other roguelikes who aren’t quite this punishing in demanding runs this long with no way to save or stop progress at all. The developers have even commented on this conversation, though they don’t have anything to share yet:

My guess is that maybe at some point they’ll put in mid-run save options, but probably not for a while.

To me, this is less about difficulty and more about accessibility. Demanding two unbroken hours of a time for a single run is just not realistic for many players. You have disabled players who may not be able to play for that sustained amount of time, and you have the more common situation of simply…parents, who have to mange children and demanding 1-2 hour blocks for each session is just not in the cards. Again, no one I’ve seen is asking for checkpoints, as in you die and respawn at a certain point in the run, which is counter to the whole concept of a roguelike, but simply the ability to suspend a run effectively. And then just the general commentary that maybe 2 hour runs are a little on the long side at baseline.

To me, this issue is less complicated than the “Dark Souls Easy Mode” debate, since it’s not really about difficulty in the traditional sense. The ability to stop a run and resume later isn’t really controversial and shouldn’t take away from the game. And the idea that a 2 hour run is may be a bit long in this genre seems reasonable as well.

But this is the gamer internet, so commence the yelling.

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