Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, the newest game from the creators behind DmC: Devil May Cry, and Heavenly Sword, released today with much ado. Some fans are celebrating while others are lamenting. The biggest reason for that is the reveal of the dreaded permadeath.
Hellblade is largely about the mental health of the main character Senua. She is journeying into the depths of Hell in search of her lost lover in an attempt to bring him back. I would think anyone traveling through Hell would have at least a touch of psychosis. Senua's is visually shown on her arm. After she dies, black tendrils begin to appear there. Every time the player dies, the tendrils move further and further up her arm. Once they reach Senua's head, it's game over. Literally.
When Senua is overcome by her psychosis, she dies and the player's save file is deleted. It's been argued here and there already that this permadeath might actually be pretty difficut to run into. It would seem the combat within the game is rather player-friendly, and it shouldn't be too hard to come out victorious. So the permadeath mechanic in the game seems, at the moment, to be more of a plot device to incite tension than anything else.
Keep an eye out for reviews and player reactions to the permadeath mechanic as Hellblade's audience grows. Only time will tell how unforgiving (or possibly forgiving) the mechanic actually is. In the meantime, it's something to definitely be aware of while you're playing.