Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (PC/PS4)

  • Global Moderator

    Hellblade released today to what looks like mostly positive reviews (One particularly bad one skewed it a little). It's a game I've personally been looking forward to but was a little hesitant to purchase without some opinions so I'm delighted with the consensus so far.

    As I'm currently playing through Yakuza Zero and just general life things, I won't get around to Hellblade until the weekend. Anyone else thinking of picking it up?

    I only found out today that there is a form of permadeath in the game which really interests me.

    Update: Actually, you can cross out the bad review, it was taken down.

  • Nothing I've seen of this game so far has sold me on it. I want to like it because I loved Enslaved: Odyssey to the West from the same devs, but every trailer has been way too vague, barely showing any gameplay, so it got me wary.

    I understand it's meant to be a unique experience and you could level the same criticism towards a game like Journey. Some games are just a tough sell until you actually try them yourself. But I'm also not attracted to the overall art style, nothing appeals to me here. I'm not feeling the vibe.

    The reviews are indeed positive so I'll definitely take another look at it now, I'm also curious what EZA has to say about it.

  • Have been interested in Hellblade ever since it was announced. I know some people hate Ninja Theory for one reason or another, but in my opinion they have been five by five.
    I've watched some of the dev diaries and they are doing some neat shit with this game. Blending video with gameplay to make Senua's hallucinations all the more surreal, basing the game's puzzles around her mental illness, like finding faces and shapes in the environment itself.

    Personally I am fucking stoked. Won't be getting it until next week because I'm a broke ass little bitch right now, but can't wait to play.

  • Probably going to buy it at some point and for 30€ it´s okay when it is 8h or little less. Also I kind of feel like I just want to support Ninja Theory. … Though at the moment I think of buying a new graphics card to even run it in an appropriate quality or hope the motion blur is good for 30fps.

  • I'm waiting for the eventual retail release.

  • Very off putting to me all round. Reminds me a bit of Horizon in that I dislike its general cinematic like presentation, camera work & animations and, as shallow as it may seem, yet another really unappealing main character to take role of. Often, I'm still willing to give things a shot, but it being digital only killed any chance of a sale to me.

  • From what I've heard, in this game, if you die enough times, your savefile will be deleted, and you would have to start all over again, from the beginning... And apparently no option to turn that off. That's brutal, if true that is.

  • Global Moderator

    It might be a bit early to say right now and considered a spoiler but I'll just say I wouldn't worry too much about the permadeath if that's a concern.

  • Just to give some context on the really bad review score that was taken down:

    Seems like Jim jumped the gun and changed his score to a review in progress due to never having encountered a situation quite like that. Definitely a unique position for a reviewer - encounter a game breaking bug that doesn't allow you to continue playing only to find out no one else has had that issue. He mentions the game was a solid 7 (possibly an 8) before hitting that rare bug however.

  • Looks great. It is like I was expecting from a sequel to Ryse.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @Art I've personally always found that someone's weight doesn't affect how I view their opinions or worth, so yep, there are those of us that still like to listen to what he has to say.

    His score has been updated from a 1 to a 7, by the way, despite having no choice but to restart the entire game if he wants to finish it.

  • admin

    @Art you're definitely crossing the line with those insults. Please don't continue with those kinds of comments.

  • @Bloodworth Blood I love you have my bebez plx.

    I am glad that the game seems to be getting great reviews. NT games are usually very devisive, so it is nice to see such a risky project getting praise all around.

  • Only played like maybe 40 mins last night but so far I'm digging it. Games far from perfect, it really depends on what you enjoy in games to know if it's something that will appeal to you. If you enjoy atmospheric, story driven games I think you'll enjoy this.
    I actually enjoy the combat, it feels really good, hits have heft to them and they're animated well IMO, but its also fairly straight forward and some what easy (parrying attacks is SO GENEROUS with the timing window). Graphically and audio wise the game is also top notch. Basically if you don't like games that aren't souly focused on gameplay and depth of said gameplay this game might be a little boring for you which I think is fair.

  • Global Moderator

    I think I'll wait until I complete the game to write up a full on 'review' of it but I can safely say that I'm very positive on Hellblade after maybe 3 hours of play tonight.

    If you pick it up, you absolutely have to play with headphones on and if you're on PS4 Pro, make sure to go into the options to turn on 60fps. The game still looks gorgeous in that mode.

  • uuugghh why does this game have to look so interesting and be so cheap, I'm already making slow enough progress with Nier as it is to throw this into the mix.

  • I was watching a quick gameplay video of this game, from Outside Xtra, and my BF sat down to watch it with me, and at one point in the opening credits he was like "wait, i think i read that wrong. I thought that just said mental health advisor?" I had to explain to him that he wasn't wrong, and he thought that was really cool. It made him way more interested in the game, though I was pretty sure it was an easy sell since he loves anything nordic.

  • Global Moderator

    @Inustar Oh ya, it's absolutely full of lore so he'll love that.

  • Global Moderator

    • Apologies for the weirdly formal review you're about to read. Something I had to do for other reasons so thought I might as well do it for Hellblade. Hopefully it's good anyway :)

    Games as a medium have evolved significantly over the past few decades. Before the most important thing about a game was how it played. While before, there was a huge focus on gameplay and skill, games now cater for all types of experiences. In recent years, the term ‘walking simulator’ has been used to describe (sometimes in a derogatory way) games with a greater emphasis on story.

    Hellbalde: Senua’s Sacrifice is an attempt by Ninja Theory to develop a small scale AAA story driven game based off Celtic and Norse mythology. We are taken on a journey made up of Senua’s psychotic manifestations through a hellish underworld. Ninja Theory handle the subject of psychosis with great care. One of the first screens you see is them providing information on the issue and there is a documentary included with the game on the effects of psychosis. It is what the whole game is built on and it delivers a chilling and unsettling experience throughout the story.

    I feel it’s absolutely essential to wear headphones while playing to get the intended experience. Hellblade is a game about uncertainty and that is played up significantly well when you are surrounded by all the voices Senua has to deal with. Most games guide you to your next destination but in Hellblade, you are always made to doubt yourself as your inner demons are bickering over what you should do, taunting you, laughing at you, irritating you. Ninja Theory were bold in making the game as unpleasant an experience as possibly and undoubtedly achieve that.

    As with the narrative, the gameplay also attempts to explore the themes of this issue. They player is informed near the beginning of the game that repeated failures will lead to losing all your progress, dictated by the rot coming from your arm and encapsulating your head. The player is left uncertain on how many deaths will cause this to occur. I like the idea however I don’t think the game is challenging enough to ever make you too concerned with the possibility of losing your progress.

    The game is broken up into sections and one of those is combat. The combat is mostly focused more personal one on one fights that feel quite satisfying, in particular as you progress through the game and face off with multiple enemies. It a very grounded and simple combat system. The only additional flair is an ability that you need to build up from fighting which slows down time and makes Senua feel very powerful which is very satisfying but feels like it goes against the theme of the game. However it is used effectively in boss fights and certain heavy areas towards the end where momentum feels so crucial.

    The other main focus is on puzzle solving. In Senua’s case, her mind is obsessed with symbols and runes. On several occasions you will need to explore the environment, finding patterns, revealing illusions and changing realities to progress through the area. Again, these were used primarily to show us Senua’s fragile state. The puzzles themselves are done in a way not to keep the player too bogged down. It’s clear that these obstacles are more so to deepen the theme of the game as they're never too challenging and you’re given enough of a helping hand on where you need to go.

    Overall, I'm very comfortable in recommending Hellblade to anyone. It is one of the few games that deals with a sensitive issue that really tries to give that experience to the player. In going through Senua’s state of mind, there is a feeling of constant anxiety, dread and confusion. Have a few nights to spare, in a dark room with headphones on and soak up what is easily one of the most impressive audible and visuals games of the year.

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