With the release of Hellblade: Sensua’s Sacrifice on PS4 and PC today, there is no end of stories about the permanent death option in the game.

Brian Crecente, now Editorial Director at Rolling Stone’s Glixel, had a quick write up about this “feature” that covers most of the bases.

The mechanic itself seems very cool, as Sensua’s death causes black tendrils of infection to steadily capture more and more of her arms, and then body, and eventually head. Die enough for the rot to take over your brain, and it’s game over, deleted save file, start from the beginning. This is causing some people concern, as who wants to lose their entire game because of a difficult stretch?

ME!

This sounds AMAZING. Listen you whipper-snappers. I grew up on NES and SNES titles. Super Ghouls N Ghosts? Ninja Gaiden? Castlevania? Those games were NOT forgiving, and a distinct lack of save states meant that when you died it was back to the beginning again.

Yes I sound like an ancient moron, up-hill both ways sort of person. Still, I think the current generation of games could use some more difficulty like this. How many times have I thrown myself up a hill in Halo, or attacked an enemy far beyond my level in Witcher 3, only to try try again when I’m rebooted a few feet away? Contrast that with how I used to try to time my jumps in Castlevania to avoid the stupid Medusa heads, and how I’d have to go outside to play to take a break from the frustration.

Fear will start to reign supreme in this game as your death total starts to add up. Since this is a game about mental psychosis, putting some of that fear into the player’s head is a great move. Demon Souls and Dark Souls really ignited the super-hard game craze the last two generations, so maybe this is the next evolution.

I’m 100% behind this feature, and I think it brings a level of difficulty and worry to gaming that hasn’t been seen since I was a young gamer.

*Adjusts walker, pulls pants up past belly button, complains about the youth*