Returnal Update 1.3.4 Patch Notes: "Save Games are Safe to be Played Now"

Housemarque quickly pulled Returnal's 1.3.3 update after save file corruptions and crashes. Now update 1.3.4 fixes that -- with some collateral damage.

Returnal update 1.3.4 (1.003.004) is live now, and it comes on the heels of patch 1.3.3, which caused players as much headache as the game's third biome, Derelict Citadel. The patch notes for update 1.3.4 say that most save games aren't at risk of corruption now, though some won't be salvageable. Changes also include fixes for a trophy bug and "keyboard exploit." 

Where update 1.3.3 essentially destabilized Returnal, causing various crashes to occur and error messages to pop up, including the dreaded CE-100028-1 error, Housemarque said update 1.3.4 "reverts to a previous stable build (1.3.1)," while making a few tweaks along the way. 

The biggest bit of news here is that players don't have to worry about losing progress or running into save errors any longer. Housemarque pointed out in their patch notes release that "all save games are safe to be played now." 

The caveat here is that Housemarque has acknowledged that some save files can't be recovered; they're permanently lost for some players that downloaded update 1.3.3. They outline three different methods for those affected by patch 1.3.3. The studio advised: 

For those who suffered issues with their save game after installing Patch 1.3.3, please see the scenarios below for the latest info after our investigations:

  • Some game saves will have become corrupted with Patch 1.3.3, but maintained their file size. Players with those save games are able to safely continue their progress after installing Patch 1.3.4, without the need for using a backed up save game.

  • Unfortunately other save games will have been effectively "deleted" by Patch 1.3.3, with their file size reducing to 0KB. These save games are not directly salvageable by Patch 1.3.4, without a backup save game available.

  • In those cases, please try using a backed up save from PS+ if available, after installing Patch 1.3.4. With an intact save game from PS+, players can safely restore and continue playing with Patch 1.3.4 installed.

  • Depending on the console settings, 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.

Alongside squashing the save game bug, the update also fixes issues with trophies and external keyboards. Dexerto points out that some players have had issues since launch with Returnal's trophies popping. And NME previously reported that other players have found ways to activate the game's cheats using a keyboard. 

Returnal is already a brutal game, even more so than some of Housemarque's other titles, such as Nex Machina and Dead Nation. We're currently making our way across Atropos and will have our final review very soon. Until then, if you've already crash-landed on the "ever-changing alien planet," consider checking our growing set of helpful tips and tricks

[Sources: Housemarque, Dexerto, NME]

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Published May. 6th 2021

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