Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Permanently Deletes your Game Save if you Die too Much

Written by Stuart Thomas on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 9:40 AM
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The first reviews for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are out, and the reception is generally pretty positive, with the exception of one or two anomalies. A few reviews have got caught up on one major thing though - Hellblade deletes your game save if you die too much.

Screw up too many times and a rot begins to spread up Senua’s right arm and then her head. If the cursed affliction reaches the top of her head then it’s game over, permanently. It certainly adds a new element of pressure that we don’t typically have to deal with in games - the threat of everything being for nothing.

“If you die too much Hellblade deletes your save file. It's not an optional mode. It's an outdated, stupid waste of everyone's time,” tweeted out John ‘TotalBiscuit’ bain. “Your 'artistic vision' is moronic, I personally have no desire to even play the thing knowing that's there, regardless of difficulty. Honestly, if anyone thought a pro-consumer critic would be ok with that 'feature' then they didn't get to the thought part at all.” While the feature may be annoying for some, this strikes me as a sort of 'give me the game I want' commentary, rather than allowing the dev team delivering their vision.

Aside from this feature, the reaction to Hellblade has been largely enthusiastic. Of the 24 reviews out in the wild, 9 of them scored 85 or higher, 8 were between 75-84, while the remaining three were 69 or lower, providing a current average of 78. Down at the bottom end of the scale, Jim Sterling delivered a hammer blow to the average with a 1/10. He loved what he played, but thanks to a game breaking bug said he “can’t forgive one of the most destructive examples of a game being broken I’ve encountered in my career.”

A fairly mixed response then, but it looks as if there’s a great game lurking in here somewhere. The decision to actually delete game saves is a curious one, particularly since many folks would just drop the game entirely if they hit a tricky section three or four hours in. It’s obvious that Ninja Theory wanted the threat of death hanging heavily over the player, and it’s fairly unique way of achieving this. Whether it works, well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is out today on PC and PlayStation 4, priced at $29.99 / £24.99.

What's your take on the added pressure introduced by this system? Do you think it will improve the experience, or does it not respect the player's time?

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09:51 Aug-10-2017

Thread Locked - This thread is now locked.

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13:15 Aug-09-2017

"stupid waste of everyone's time" seems like overreaction idk who gave this guy pen and paper (or keyboard)

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08:40 Aug-10-2017

"stupid waste of time" can be considered for gaming overall :) - indeed it is a stupid thing to write

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09:53 Aug-09-2017

I heard the game is very short, like 7-8 hours, having that in mind having your progress deleted doesn't sound so bad, I mean if this was on a 20 hours+ game then yeah that would be a problem, in this case though its kind of like Starfox in a sense, your progress gets deleted every time you restart and its not so bad.

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10:04 Aug-09-2017

I guess, apart from Star Fox is like an hour long. Any more than 2 hours progress lost and I think I'd drop any game. Wouldn't mean it's a bad thing, it's just that isn't for me.

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18:29 Aug-09-2017

Perhaps it will be an optional mode like in Dead Space 2, or the Witcher games?

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05:04 Aug-09-2017

A writer called it a bluff


https://www.pcgamesn.com/hellblade-senuas-sacrifice/hellblade-permadeath-bluff


Also, Jim Sterling released a video about his own conflict upon the score he gave to the game.

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20:32 Aug-08-2017

I think it's fine. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call something that's been around since the beginning as artistic. Although you can't deny the added atmosphere of dread that it provides.
Having said that though, I wouldn't score the game very highly so far. Only the combat is interesting imo, and you can't even play around with it too much on the first playthrough lest you die too much.

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22:09 Aug-08-2017

What I think does make it quite unique is the complete lack of any kind of tutorial or even the most basic tips. You have to learn everything as you go along. Which either complements or worsens the whole permadeath concept, depending on how you look at it.

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19:57 Aug-08-2017

No, I'm not buying this one because of that "GAME OVER" bul*****. Just a waste of time whith I don't have a lot...

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17:09 Aug-08-2017

This sounds kinda cool to me, but if its true, I think it should've been and optional feature

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16:07 Aug-08-2017

Well, that's different!

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14:54 Aug-08-2017

Just imagine this "feature/bug" in Dark Souls.

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13:55 Aug-08-2017

YEEEESSSSS. Just my type of game. I love it. I usually play on the hardest difficulty always, so this is like a challenge for me.

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13:39 Aug-08-2017

can't you just make a copy of your savegame file, at least anytime you reach some critical point? usually you navigate in Documents/GameName.../... and copy that... correct me if i m making some mistakes. also, the game looks gorgeous!!

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13:56 Aug-08-2017

It's probably possible. I had the exact thought before I wrote the one above. Damn listening to PAPA ROACH brings out the poet in me. XD

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17:33 Aug-08-2017

Ahahahahahah

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20:22 Aug-08-2017

Exactly my thought. Which makes it "optional" in a very roundabout way. Will probably not do it unless I'm desperate though!

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12:10 Aug-08-2017

Hahahaha I love it!
Brilliant!

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14:34 Aug-08-2017

Edit: Just bought it on gog.
Can't help but support this game, it just sounds too good!

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12:02 Aug-08-2017

I'm kinda on critics side on this one. I don't have much time to play my games lately, so if a game is over 6 hours long, that's about 3 days of gameplay for me. If I were to lose my save after playing the game for 3 days, I'd be furious, and if that's an actual game's mechanic, I'd simply not play it anymore.
Having that as a toggleable option would be fine, but if it's not, I'm not fond of it.

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11:41 Aug-08-2017

It never ceases to amaze me how childish the gaming community has become. Oh, you don't like something in a game? Let's moan like it's a super terrible product! Egh.. play the game for what it is, not what people want it to be.

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11:13 Aug-08-2017

If I were a betting man, I'd hazard a guess this never actually deletes a game save. I reckon it's just a little white lie to heap on the pressure a bit.

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11:35 Aug-08-2017

  • people will eventually find a way to tweak the save files or just save them to a different destination / folder, so you can use them again

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11:10 Aug-08-2017

Doesn't make much sense to me. More like they are trying to show off

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11:10 Aug-08-2017

A medi-hardcore mode
I dont really a problem with that for the game is only a handfull of hours long. If the defs decide this is the way it should be played. People will always bitch about something

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10:27 Aug-08-2017

My style of shizzles right here. You are ON! :D

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09:51 Aug-08-2017

In all fairness, it really should be an option, but unless you're playing a broken game, you really shouldn't be dying too much... What with how easy single player Western games are. (for the most part) That being said, I've only played two Ninja Theory games: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC. Both really weren't especially hard even on the hardest difficulties.

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09:57 Aug-08-2017

Heavenly Sword could be a pain in the arse because you had to throw blades using the dualshock's motion controls. Great game apart from that, so excited to give this a go.

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10:02 Aug-08-2017

Oh right! That is a pretty damn good game. I had no idea Ninja Theory made it. I've been meaning to finish that game for about ten years now. Thanks for giving me a reason to fish out my PlayStation haha; I love the old girl.

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09:48 Aug-08-2017

I mean, I imagine on PC you can just make a save backup?

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11:30 Aug-08-2017

ayyyy PC master race

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12:05 Aug-08-2017

Most probably. But unless you go ahead and modify the save, I'm not sure backing it up will help you much.

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