Returnal Patch Corrupted Save Files; Now Fixed but Some Saves Unsalvageable


A patch for sci-fi roguelike Returnal corrupted save files for some players, and was pulled by developer Housemarque.

The developer had previously warned players to disable auto-updates on PlayStation 5, to prevent the update losing an ongoing run in the roguelike game. However, the patch has caused far greater issues.

While intended to fix issues with trophy unlocking, stability issues, and more; patch 1.3.3 resulted in save files being corrupted. Multiple Twitter users [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] report that after seeing an error message during play (CE-100028-1), they found themselves unable to save their game. Their existing save file had also been reduced to 0kb in size.

This is not the first time the game’s saves have caused issues. Housemarque recently acknowledged the lack of save options for Returnal; after a fan proposal for implementing the system without compromising the rougelike elements went viral on Reddit. “We hear the community and we love you all,” Housemarque stated. “Nothing to announce now, but keep playing and enjoying the challenge as you can!”

Housemarque certainly heard the complaints over patch 1.3.3, and pulled it from distribution. The game was rolled back to 1.3.1 until the patch was fixed. “All users affected by the 1.3.3 need to re-download the game,” Housemarque tweeted. “Our sincerest apologies.” 

Patch 1.3.4 is now available. However, save files corrupted by patch 1.3.3 cannot be salvaged- having been effectively deleted- and can only be brought back from a back up via PlayStation+. Even then “Depending on the console settings,” Housemarque note, “the cloud save may have been overwritten by the “deleted” save game noted above. If this is the case, progress will remain unsalvageable, even with Patch 1.3.4.”

As previously reported, astronaut Selene crash lands on a hostile planet, and is stuck in a loop of reviving after death. Players are not the only ones who will adapt, as the planet seems to change with every loop, and Selene’s mind slips more into insanity. Players may be sympathizing a little more with Selene’s plight right now.

You can find the full rundown (via PlayStation) below.

Break the cycle of chaos on an always-changing alien planet.

After crash-landing on this shape-shifting world, Selene must search through the barren landscape of an ancient civilization for her escape. Isolated and alone, she finds herself fighting tooth and nail for survival. Again and again, she’s defeated – forced to restart her journey every time she dies.

Through relentless roguelike gameplay, you’ll discover that just as the planet changes with every cycle, so do the items at your disposal. Every loop offers new combinations, forcing you to push your boundaries and approach combat with a different strategy each time.

Brought to life by stunning visual effects, the dark beauty of the decaying world around you is packed with explosive surprises. From high stakes, bullet hell-fuelled combat, to visceral twists and turns through stark and contrasting environments. You’ll explore, discover and fight your way through an unforgiving journey, where mystery stalks your every move.

Designed for extreme replayability, the procedural world of Returnal invites you to dust yourself off in the face of defeat and take on new, evolving challenges with every rebirth.

Intense combat

  • Fight to survive in this third-person roguelike shooter.
  • Take on ruthless enemies in explosive, bullet hell-fuelled combat.

Thrilling exploration

  • Manage equipment and resources carefully – every time you die, you restart from the beginning.
  • Scavenge alien tech for upgrades to enhance your abilities in future cycles.

Haunting narrative

  • Piece together fragments of Selene’s memories as she seeks out answers.
  • Forge a personal connection with the planet as you explore its constantly evolving and decaying terrain.

Returnal is available on PlayStation 5.

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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