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From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness.
Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.
Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into the melancholic fury of Senua’s shattered mind.
15GB minimum save size
- Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4
PlayStation account required for game activation and installation
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Top customer reviews
Was going to purchase this game regardless of the reception, Ninja Theory is trying something different which I think will be beneficial towards gamers along with the gaming industry(from a fine art perspective). I'm just glad my purchase was followed with a quality experience.
With that being said, this game is not for everyone. It's not a constant barrage of high volatility action (there are many slow parts on the path with no combat), the world is linear and not open-world, and there are no character customization options. This game is a unique experience and hopefully knowing more prior to purchase will help you gauge whether you will enjoy the experience as much as I did.
Senua is a Celtic woman traveling into Viking territory to "save" her lost love. Guided along by the fantastical (and often nightmarish) tales of the "Northmen", haunted by a lifetime of trauma, and driven by a desire to redeem her loved one, Senua's journey is filled with delusions, hallucinations, and a cacophony of voices. Ninja Theory makes a very serious attempt to depict psychosis in the game, reaching out to experts and gathering personal stories to illustrate the tumultuous, unstable world seen and heard by Senua. It can get quite disturbing (and for people who suffer from these issues in reality, distressing), but it's an important look at an issue that's rarely addressed in the mainstream, delivered in an immersive, interactive medium. The story it tells is vague and sometimes incoherent, but that's very much intentional, as the emphasis isn't so much on the narrative but on Senua's experience; mulling over her visions and their implications (particularly in the context of mythology and history) is the meat of this intellectual exercise.
Melina Juergens does an absolutely fantastic job as Senua, expressing every bit of fear, tentativeness, despair, fury, and wonder that Senua experiences, something made even more impressive considering that Juergens wasn't even an actress; she was a video editor. The motion capture for this game has been lauded well before the game came out, and they pair it with FMV using live actors during critical scenes, adding some additional nuance between the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
Even as a "game," Hellblade is still pretty solid. There are plenty of neat little visual puzzles to tackle, the graphics are pretty damn impressive on my PS4Pro, and the combat is actually very, very good, kind of like a paired down Nioh. The combat controls are extremely responsive; once you figure out the various actions you can perform, it easily becomes a ballet of violence (although it might take a second to figure things out, as the game never explains the controls or even has a HUD). The seemingly simplistic controls belie a smooth, aesthetically pleasing and satisfying combat experience that I never got bored of. With three basic attacks (light, medium, and melee), a block/parry button, and a roll button, it feels very much like a lighter, faster Dark Souls. You can cancel almost all light attacks into rolls/blocks/parries, allowing you to make quick adjustments in mid-combo, while the heavy attacks have more commitment but also break guards. All attacks have dashing variants that look cool and allow you to really mix things up at various ranges. Dancing around, slashing up opponents, parrying into critical hits and dodging multiple attackers feels great and is often accompanied by fantastic music and a chorus of voices alerting you to potential danger. Learning how to time your dodges and parries to the sounds of "look out behind you!" is a crucial skill to develop, and it allows you to take on large groups of enemies in a very intuitive way.
The game is relatively short (around six to seven hours) but it'll leave a hell of an impression. There have been many bigger, "meatier" video games that I've played and forgotten, but this one will definitely stick around in my head for years to come.
This is truly the first game I've played in a while that risks to do something truly unique, and it pays off big time. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay is great, the story is compelling, and the voice-acting is bar none!
Compared to all the other games this year, this is definitely my "Game of The Year": at a price point of $30 it is just right. My only hope is that Ninja Theory will release some DLC or a sequel down the road.
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