Returnal Patch Aims To Reduce Crashes, Increase...Corpses? [UPDATE: Save Corruptions Reported, Patch Pulled]

selene with broken helment in returnal
Image: Housemarque

Update: May 6, 9:45 a.m. ET: Housemarque released patch 1.3.4 overnight. Here are the notes.

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Update: May 5, 5:20 p.m. ET: The latest patch for Returnal has been pulled and the game reverted to the prior patch, developer Housemarque announced via Twitter. “We are fixing the issue now and a new patch will be published in a few hours. All users affected by the 1.3.3 need to re-download the game.”

Update: May 5, 4:45 p.m. ET: Players are reporting corrupted save files following the release of today’s patch. Some players are seeing error code “CE-100028-1” every couple minutes, which appears to indicate a corrupt save file. You may want to disable game updates (or keep them disabled) until the situation with this potentially game-ruining bug is clarified.

Original story follows:

Returnal’s latest patch is out today, and while it’s not the new PlayStation 5 exclusive’s first update, it’s the first time developer Housemarque has released patch notes. They’re pretty thin, but they address various crashes players have been experiencing, as well as some other tweaks.

Patch 1.3.3 doesn’t go into much detail, but it does introduce “Multiple stability fixes addressing rare crashes/hangs.” Those crashes have included everything from soft-locks to full-on game crashes, all of which sting even more given Returnal’s stark lack of a save feature.

The patch also includes a bump in the number of scout corpses: Returnal features a neat concept, not unlike the Souls games, where you can interact with the dead corpses of other players, see how their deaths played out, and potentially reap rewards for doing so. These should show up more frequently across all six biomes following today’s patch. Of course, that’s contingent on just how many players have actually unlocked all six biomes. According to the Trophies list on PS5, just 15.3 percent of players have even defeated Nemesis, the relentlessly challenging third boss. (Speaking of, patch 1.3.3 addresses “an issue where certain Trophies might not unlock under specific gameplay conditions,” but notes that you’ll need to replay any missing Trophies to unlock those.)

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This isn’t the first patch for Returnal since the game was released. Like most games, it received a day-one patch. And between Sunday night and Monday morning, the game updated for a second time, spiking a run I had suspended via the PS5’s “rest mode” function—per the developer’s direction—an outcome I swear I’m not bitter about. (Okay, maybe I’m a little bit bitter about it.)

It’s not clear what, exactly, was pushed live in those earlier updates. There were no official notes, and the PS5 doesn’t detail patch notes on a system level. When reached for comment, representatives for Sony, Returnal’s publisher, only said that the day-one update did not receive detailed patch notes.

Staff Writer, Kotaku

DISCUSSION

TheSadClown
Nightshift Nurse

This latest patch also removed the ability to fully heal oneself onboard the ship as often as needed during the first biome.

You can now rest once and it restores approximately as much health as a small silphium. Not even a full restoration for the road.

Honestly, this just seems spiteful on the part of Housemarque. Particularly when there are much bigger issues impacting the game. Such as the save corruption bug they just introduced with today’s update.