Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Review
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a hack and slash third person fantasy game set in Nordic Mythology. The game focuses on Senua and her journey to Nilheim in search of Hela, in order to save her beloved Dillon’s soul. Right from the start of the game as we start Senua’s journey we hear the voices. These voices are consciousness, and you hear the conflict in her as she pushes forward towards her goal. You hear the fears, laughter and sometimes hint on what lies ahead.
As Senua progress through her journey, she will come across some puzzles to solve in order to progress. Most of these puzzles involve simply looking at things from different angles. You often have to look at suspended pieces of a bridge from a certain vantage point in order to watch it magically assemble itself as well as match shapes to parts of your environment such as posts, shadows, and even cracks in walls. It’s an novel idea at the very start of the game, but later on can become repetitive and tedious. In between the puzzles is the combat, which while simple enough. You must perform a mixture of light and strong attacks to defeat the enemies and you can also block and evade them while you strike at them. While the combat is simple, it feels fluid enough to not be too repetitive. While the enemies you come up against are not the most interesting characters you meet, if you are defeated, Senua grows closer to darkness which spreads further throughout her body and closer to her brain. If this happens, it will be the end of her journey and will need to be started again.
The best way to immerse yourself into the game is to play while using headphones. The audio in Hellblade is outstanding and is cleverly designed to come from all angles and volumes. It’s beautifully effective while being disturbing at the same time and has to be experienced to be really appreciated. Hellblade on Xbox One X really shines, the games breath-taking environments really stand out and the character models are stunning, especially Senuas’ facial emotions as she suffers from hallucinations and being tormented by the voices he hears. You can also choose between three visual modes, from Framerate, Performance, and Graphics. Each with their own benefits and the game is one that will see you thanking many screenshots.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has a beautifully told story with some amazing backdrops, thanks to some wonderful game design. It really shows off how talented the guys over at Ninja Theory are. While the combat is simple and repetitive, it’s definitely Senua herself and the torment she goes through on her journey that will keep you playing until it reaches its conclusion. Also, Ninja Theory have said that the revenue from the Xbox One sales are going to mental health research. So not only do you get a chance to play an interesting game, but helping a noble cause too.
GoG Rating: 8/10
* Review copy provided by Ninja Theory for review purposes *