Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice hit Playstation 4 and Windows PC today and with the release comes news that the psychosis-fueled action game features a sort of permadeath that will delete a player's save if they fail enough times.
The permadeath of the game's hero, Senua, sounds intrinsically tied to Hellblade's story, according to a review by PC Gamer.
"Senua doesn't have many opportunities to screw up," reviewer Leif Johnson writes. "Hela infected her arm with rot, and the tendrils of decay creep further up her limb with each death. And when they reach her head? Game Over. Progress erased. It's a possibly contentious element that helps make Senua's plight relatable. When she hesitates, I hesitate. When she's scared, I'm wary. I have something at stake, too, however minor."
The unusual mechanic is just one facet of a game bristling with unique approach. In Hellblade, players take the role of Senua as she journey's through a sort of hellish Celtic and Norse underworld fashioned of her own psychosis. The game, according to the developers, was created with the help of neuroscientists and people who have experiences psychosis.
Developer Ninja Theory has a long history of making flashy action games that ride on rich story and deeply provocative characters. Previous works include Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry
News of the permadeath in the game, which seems like it was a surprise to many, has been met with mixed reaction. It also inspired at least one player to dig around inside the files to find where the save is saved, for those who want to try and cheat the system by creating a back-up.