Game Review: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
August 17th, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Price:
Good

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On August 17, 2017
Last modified:August 17, 2017

Summary:

I finished Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice with the biggest smile on my face, as the story and world engrossed me with vivid imagery for years to come. Understanding Senua's mental state, was great. I want more of the creepy storyline and that is a win in my book. It feels like a game handcrafted with care, as each sound and motion captured element propels the story forward.

Price:
Good

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On August 17, 2017
Last modified:August 17, 2017

Summary:

I finished Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice with the biggest smile on my face, as the story and world engrossed me with vivid imagery for years to come. Understanding Senua's mental state, was great. I want more of the creepy storyline and that is a win in my book. It feels like a game handcrafted with care, as each sound and motion captured element propels the story forward.

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Ninja Theory has developed some of the most influential games in recent memory, and want to continue that trend with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Merging deep character storytelling with brutal uncompromising combat, but does it succeed in bringing everything together? ComiConverse expert Jordan Samuel delivers his final blow and digs into the hellish world.

Game Review: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Set in the age of Vikings, a broken Celtic warrior "Senua" embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.

Credit: Ninja Theory

Credit: Ninja Theory

 

Battling through psychotic meltdowns is a huge factor, in Ninja Theory's latest title Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice as we follow Senua and her personal journey into a hellish underworld which brings all her demons into a physical presence.

Unlike most action-adventure video games Hellblade is very much focused on telling you a dark twisted story- pushing players into various situations: using high-grade motion capture to capture pure moments of terror. Feeling both cinematic and vulnerable is what makes the game so different in the crowded uninspired action-adventure genre, I loved these elements which make it an experience rather than a bog-standard game release.

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Celtic and Norse mythology are the focus in Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice, with the sweeping vistas immersing the player in a very moody world as numerous monsters surround the player.

Credit: Ninja Theory

Credit: Ninja Theory

Gameplay revolves around Dark Souls style combat with ducking and rolling being more important than mindlessly swinging weapons around, while not being as grueling offers a decent challenge. Combat is not the focus but fine enough for a walkthrough, just do not expect an in depth system. Puzzle mechanics are also in Hellblade, and are great additions to spice up the combat but sometimes slows down the game in various areas: feeling misplaced during all the tense exploration moments. I understand their inclusion but are the weakest elements of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.

On screen UI is absent from the game, allowing players the ability to lounge in the visually spectacular art direction and keeps the envisioned cinematic story flowing. Cutscenes are embedded within the gameplay, not taking away from the player's experience. Button prompts are nonexistent in Hellblade and limit the hand-holding seen in various modern-day action and adventure titles.

Credit: Ninja Theory

Credit: Ninja Theory

We take control of Senua (Melina Juergens) who embarks on her own personal adventure, traveling through a hellish nightmare which is made up from the manifestation of her psychotic state- battling sanity in a messed-up world.

I loved unearthing more about the characters inner demons, pushing me to complete her adventure- with Melina Juergen's voice work and motion capture work on a completely different level. Giving us reasons to care about Senua quest in traveling in her own twisted psyche: Ninja Theory uses character development to push the gameplay forward.

Credit: Ninja Theory

Credit: Ninja Theory

Exploring the world created by Ninja Theory is creepy yet fun, the devilish nature of sound design and visuals make Hellblade unmatched in 2017- no other game has pulled off a creepy atmosphere so far in current generation video games. At points rivaling the biggest Hollywood horror movies in a general tone, and production designs in all areas. Gameplay does hold Hellblade back from being a $60 title- but the polish and great story ideas make it the most original release in a long time, an experience like no other

I finished Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice with the biggest smile on my face, as the story and world engrossed me with vivid imagery for years to come. Understanding Senua's mental state, but questioning everything thrown at me with the idea of her hellish world being dreamt up. Wanting more of the creepy storyline and that is a win in my book. It feels like a game handcrafted with care, as each sound effect and motion captured element is propelled the story forward.

 

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Story continues below

  • 3

Good

I finished Hellblade: Senua Sacrifice with the biggest smile on my face, as the story and world engrossed me with vivid imagery for years to come. Understanding Senua's mental state, was great. I want more of the creepy storyline and that is a win in my book. It feels like a game handcrafted with care, as each sound and motion captured element propels the story forward.

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