So for those living under a rock, Team Ninja released their latest video game entitled: “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” on the 8th of November. Along with a “statement” saying that if you die too many times in the game your save game gets erased. And of course, pretty much every single “video game journalist” and I use this term extremely loosely jumped on this and reported it as fact. Some of them even went as far to lower their review scores because of this. It also sparked the whole debate again about difficulty levels in games, we already know how these “video game journalist” feel about difficulty levels in video games.
Which I touched on in a previous article but that is a whole different discussion for another time. And while some journalists and gamers berated Ninja Theory for trolling people, I actually would have enjoyed such a mechanic in a video game as it would have definitely added a whole new aspect to the game. And very few games have dabbled in the permadeath mechanic. But that is beside the point, what I want to highlight here is video game journalists and reviewers. How can you report something as a fact irrespective if it was a clever troll that plays into themes and psychology of the game and main character, without actually testing and confirming that it is true?
The game was already released and reviews were coming out thick and fast. How easy would have been to just start up the game and test this? Even TotalBiscuit fell for it without doing proper research (He has since deleted the Tweet where he ranted about it), which is kind of ironic considering how pro consumer he is. And then people wonder I take most mainstream reviewers and review website with a grain of salt. If they actually played the game from start to finish and tested all its gameplay mechanics they would have immediately figured out that it wasn’t part of the gameplay mechanic. Especially considering the game is only eight hours in length.
[Editorial Note:] I am downloading Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on PS4 this evening, so expect a review shortly.