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Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has made its way onto the marketplace for both the PlayStation 4 and the PC. The game, however, has made waves for an unlikely reason: permadeath. At least, people seem to think that the game has permadeath.
According to PCGamesN, the outlet put to test one of the game's early warnings that if you fail too many times, the darkness that slowly crawls up Senua's body will overtake her once it reaches her head and the game will end and your saved game will go away for good -- or at least, everyone was led to believe that.
PCGamesN managed to die around 50 times, repeatedly, and there was never a permadeath feature that they were greeted with. In fact, the game just kind of kept on moving along as the death toll racked up.
Initially, some people think that the tutorial in the beginning warning you about dying is just a a way to scare you about potentially losing all your progress later on in the game. Some gamers actually did take the whole permadeath scare to heart, thinking that losing too many times would cause them to lose out and have to start over again.
In reality, this scare tactic will just keep most players on their toes and attempting to avoid dying at all costs.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a cinematic style adventure game, mixing in a good portion of puzzle solving with some very light hack-and-slash elements sprinkled in throughout.
The game definitely hearkens toward Ninja Theory's bread and butter when it comes to unfolding a character-driven narrative themed around the story as opposed to the gameplay mechanics. It's a natural evolution from what they've done with Heavenly Blade and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
However, for those looking for a game with the level of gameplay depth and combat variety as DmC: Devil May Cry, you might be disappointed to find that the combat doesn't quite measure up to Ninja Theory's other titles.
One of the things that Ninja Theory mentioned that it wanted to focus on for Hellblade was a story oriented game that tackled the taboo topic of mental illness. This meant that the game had less reliance on typical gameplay loops and more of a focus on the cinematic and auditory elements associated with psychosis.
This actually plays into the game's supposed permadeath feature, where the more that Senua loses the more she supposedly succumbs to an entity known as "The Darkness". If players lose far too often to the darkness, it eventually envelops Senua and players would have to restart. However, as PCGamesN found out, there isn't actually a permadeath feature and players don't have to worry about losing their saved game in Hellblade like they originally thought. Unless there's another element necessary to reach the save deleting state.
Usually, permadeath features are relegated to survival games like DayZ, Rust or H1Z1. So it's good to know that a story-oriented game like Hellblade won't punish players too much. The third-person hack-and-slash adventure is currently available right now on PC along with being available exclusively on consoles for the PlayStation 4.