Hellblade promises to delete your save if you die too much and it's not a big deal
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!
DISCLAIMER: If you haven't played Hellblad: Senua's Sacrifice to completion or simply just don't care, this article is going to spoil something that may be considered a major twist or revelation in the game's story.
A little PS4/PC game by the name of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice released this morning and while it's getting some good reviews, the internet is in shambles over a particular mechanic that doesn't even seem to be in the game. Hellblade is a narrative driven experience, there are sections of combat but they aren't particularly hard. I played the game at 5 AM running on no sleep at all and I wasn't even taking damage outside of one scripted sequence.
Why do I bring this up? Well, early on in the game Hellblade tells the player that a dark rot will take over your body and kill you if you fail too many times. It starts on your arm and it grows with each death, once it reaches your head, game over. All progress is lost. That is, at least, what the internet thinks. That's simply not the case.
Hellblade is a game all about fear and insanity, this "mechanic" isn't really a mechanic but a narrative tool to immerse the players into the shoes of the character and world. You're constantly scared that you're going to die and all of your progress will be lost despite it not being incredibly difficult, if you're used to rhythmic Batman: Arkham-like combat, you're golden. It plays into the themes of the story and adds a layer of tension but to be honest, it's an empty threat with no weight.
The game tells you this for the reasons mentioned above but the rot appears to only grow once you reach certain points in the story. PCGamersN ran some tests to determine how many deaths it would actually take to reach the state where your progress resets and after 50 consecutive deaths, it was determined it doesn't happen at all and even if it does... it's highly unlikely you're going to die a lot more than that.
Did the internet freak out over something without actually investigating it for themselves? It would seem so.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is out now on PlayStation 4 and PC.