Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice Wiki

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Developer(s)Ninja Theory[a]
Publisher(s)Ninja Theory[b]
Director(s)Tameem Antoniades
Producer(s)Rupert Brooker
Designer(s)
Programmer(s)
  • 2Essential improvements.
  • 9Other information.
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a singleplayerthird-personadventure game developed by Ninja Theory.
  • Senua's Sacrifice is the first title of the Hellblade franchise and the first game to be self-published by Ninja Theory.
Artist(s)Hugues Giboire
Writer(s)Tameem Antoniades
Composer(s)
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
Release
  • The game was released in August 2017 and was considered a commerical and critical success, although several reviews did make general mentions that the gameplay at times felt uneven compared against the rich narrative elements that compose the majority of the experience.
  • In November 2018, High Dynamic Range (HDR) graphics support was added in a patch.[2] On November 16, 2021 a patch for the PC version of the game was released, making it on par with the Xbox Series X/S version and adding DLSS and AMD FSR support.
  • In December 2019, Ninja Theory announced the second title of the Hellblade franchise, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.[3].
  • General information.
  • Go to \HellbladeGame\Content\Movies\.
  • Delete or rename NinjaTheory_Logo.bik, ThirdParty_Logo.bik, ThirdParty_Logo_ONION.bik, UE4_Logo.bik, Qloc_Logo_4k.bik, and Qloc_Logo_1080.bik.
  • General settings.
  • Graphics settings.
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Go to the configuration file(s) location. Open Engine.ini. Add the following and save the file. Keyboard/mouse settings. Controller settings. Go to the configuration file(s) location. Open GameUserSettings.ini. Look for AxisMappings=(AxisName="TurnRate",Key=Gamepad_RightX,Scale=1.000000) and adjust the numeric value, e.g. In-game audio settings. Accessibility settings. Type dxcpl and press ↵ Enter. Press Edit list.. Under Enter a process or folder name paste paste HellbladeGame-UWP64-Shipping.exe and click Add. A dialog will pop up, click Yes and then Ok.

In the bottom part of the DXCPL window, you'll find Device Settings. Under Feature level limit select 10_1. Check Disable Feature Level Upgrade. Click Ok to apply changes. In case Windows can't find DXCPL, go to Windows Configurations/Options, then Apps, then click on Optional features, press Add feature and install Graphics tools. ↑Unreal Engine 4 engine build: 4.25.0.0[1]. ↑ 2.02.1File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata//414340/ in addition to or instead of this directory.

The app ID (414340) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details. ↑Verified by User:Mastan on 2021-12-06. ↑You can now play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on PC in HDR! - last accessed on 2018-11-21""HDR (high dynamic range) support for both NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards"". ↑Hellblade 2 confirmed for both PC and Xbox Series X - last accessed on 2019-12-22""A Microsoft representative has confirmed that Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 will be released for both PC and the upcoming Xbox Series X."

Essential improvements[edit]

↑Verified by User:Waschbär on 2017-12-17. ↑Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice :: HDR Now Available - last accessed on 2018-11-21. ↑Verified by User:Rct3guy on 2021-11-19Tested V2 wired. Bluetooth unsuccessful for both DualShock 4 V2 and DualSense. ↑Verified by User:Rysllo on 2021-06-14. ↑Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Enhanced on PC - last accessed on 2021-12-10. Stefano Prosperi. Windows, PlayStation 4. Nintendo Switch. Xbox Series X/S. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an action-adventure game developed and published by the British video game development studio Ninja Theory. Set in a dark fantasy world inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, the game follows Senua, a Pict warrior who must make her way to Helheim by defeating otherworldly entities and facing their challenges, in order to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the goddess Hela.

It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 in August 2017, Xbox One in April 2018, Nintendo Switch in April 2019, and Xbox Series X and Series S in August 2021. Hellblade features support for virtual reality, which was added in a 2018 update. Self-described as an "independentAAA game", Hellblade was created by a team of approximately twenty developers led by writer and director Tameem Antoniades. The game blends different gameplay mechanics and concepts like puzzle solving, psychological horror and melee combat. Voice acting is an integral part of the game, while its cutscenes combine motion capture by Melina Juergens, and live action performances by other actors. The game's narrative serves as a metaphor for the character's struggle with psychosis, as Senua, who suffers from the condition but believes it to be a curse, is haunted by an entity known as the "Darkness", voices in her head known as "Furies", and memories from her past. To properly represent psychosis, developers worked closely with neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people living with the condition.

Hellblade was a commercial success and was well-received by critics, who praised it as a work of art and applauded its uncommon choice of revolving around psychosis, the quality and uniqueness of its approach of the condition, and its story and main character. Its overall presentation, along with Juergens' performance, was also considered superior in quality to what independent games usually provide, although its gameplay and other elements received some criticism. The game sold over a million copies across all platforms by June 2018. A sequel, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, was announced at The Game Awards 2019. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is divided into two types of gameplay: the first allows Senua to walk freely and interact with her surroundings. Those parts focus on either story via voiceover, as Senua travels from one location to another, or the resolution of a puzzle or challenge of some kind to progress further.

Appearance[]

She can use a capacity known as "focus", in reference to her tendency to see things differently from other people due to her condition, to trigger puzzle-related events. If she uses her focus on totems hidden throughout the game, it triggers a memory via voice-over of her friend Druth telling her of the stories of the Norsemen; activating all forty-four of them triggers a bonus cutscene shortly before the game's climax, that extends on Druth's backstory.[2] Several areas feature their own exclusive mechanics or trials, such as reaching a safe zone in time before Senua dies, or using the focus ability to modify the structure of her surroundings.[3]. In addition, Hellblade features fights against malformed representations of Norsemen who block her progression, including occasional bosses. Hellblade does not feature any heads-up display or tutorials. Set in the late 8th century, the game starts with Senua (Melina Juergens), a Pict warrior from Orkney arriving at the border of Helheim in a quest to save the soul of her dead lover, Dillion (Oliver Walker), from the goddess Hela.[6] Senua believes she suffers from a curse that causes her to hear the voices of spirits, referred to as "Furies", in her head, the most notable of which is the Narrator (Chipo Chung), who is aware of the player's presence and often breaks the fourth wall by talking to them directly.

She is followed by the Darkness (Steven Hartley), a dark entity at the core of the curse. She carries Dillion's severed head to use it as a vessel for his soul and is guided by her memories of the stories of Druth (Nicholas Boulton), a former slave of the Norsemen well-versed in their legends, now deceased, who became her friend and mentor during a year-long self-imposed exile. To enter Helheim, Senua overcomes several tests and defeats both the fire giantSurt and the god of illusions Valravn, but as she crosses the bridge to Helheim, she is attacked by Hela, who defeats her with a single blow and shatters her sword. Barely surviving the encounter, Senua contemplates suicide, but instead scars herself with her broken blade. She then follows visions of Druth and a man-shaped light she believes to be Dillion to a great tree, where she undergoes four trials that test her body, spirit, and mind and is rewarded with the legendary sword Gramr, a weapon powerful enough to kill Hela.

As the game progresses, Senua's backstory is unveiled in nonlinear order through her hallucinations, revealing that her mother, the healer Galena (Ellie Piercy), suffered the same curse she did but thought of it as a gift. However, Senua's devoutly religious father, Zynbel (also performed by Hartley), thought otherwise and burned Galena alive. Senua witnessed the event when she was just five years old, which caused her psychosis to worsen significantly and caused her to block out the memory. Her father, convincing her that she was tainted with evil, abused Senua emotionally and physically and isolated her from the rest of the world until she met Dillion when he visited her village. The two fell in love, and Senua left her father to be with him, as he saw her as different and misunderstood instead of cursed. However, after a plague killed many in Dillion's village, Senua, believing the fault to be hers, left in exile.

References

When she returned a year later after seemingly conquering the Darkness, she found everyone killed by Norsemen raiders, who had sacrificed Dillion in a blood eagle to their gods.[6] Remembering the stories of Druth, Senua then swore to save Dillion's soul from the gods of the Norsemen. Ultimately, Senua fights against the influence of the Darkness, surviving the "Sea of Corpses" and defeating the beast Garm at the gates of Helheim. She realizes that the Darkness is a representation of her father's abuse and temporarily imprisons the Furies in a magic mirror. She then confronts Hela, who summons a legion of undead warriors; Senua fights them until she is finally overwhelmed and tries to bargain with Hela.

In her final moments, she recalls Dillion telling her the importance of accepting loss. As the imagery of Helheim fades away, Hela stabs Senua with Gramr and drops Dillion's head into the abyss, but as the camera returns to her, Senua is standing in her place, with a dead Hela at her feet. Having accepted that it was never possible to bring her lover back and that she is not responsible for his death or anyone else's, Senua finally banishes the Darkness from her soul and accepts the Furies not as a curse, but a part of who she is. She invites the player to follow her, saying that there is another story to tell. Hellblade was announced for the PlayStation 4 at Sony's Gamescom media briefing on August 12, 2014, where a trailer was shown.

Videos[]

Hugues Giboire, art director of the previous Ninja Theory game Heavenly Sword, rejoined the studio to work on the game.[11] A Microsoft Windows version of the game was announced on January 9, 2015.[12] The game is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and was made by Ninja Theory with a team of around twenty developers.[8][13] Its subtitle, Senua's Sacrifice, was announced in March 2016.[14][15]Hellblade: Senua's Psychosis, a short documentary film included with the game, details the concept behind its story and inspirations, notably the team's study of mental illness. It was written and narrated by Antoniades, and edited by Juergens.[16]. According to Antoniades, the team, researching Celtic culture and the Celts' views on mental disorder, found out that they used the term "gelt" for a person who had been driven mad by a curse, grief, or the trauma of a battle, and that the gelt would take to a life in the woods in search of penance, punishment and purgatory; the team decided to make Senua a gelt, who had left her home in exile for those reasons. The character of Druth was based on both a real Irish Celt named Findan who was enslaved by the Norsemen in the 8th century, but eventually escaped and became a monk, and the Celtic tale of "a mad sinner who flees battle into exile and takes on a beastly nature, growing feathers on his body".

The character was given a backstory similar to Findan's, a cloak featuring feathers, and was named after another word used by the Celts to describe the mental disorder, "druth", meaning "fool" or "one who utters the words of gods".[16]. Antoniades and his team initially conceptualized Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice as "a compelling, adult, fantasy game".[6] The game was always supposed to be hinted as taking place in Senua's mind, but with her mental illness originally less central to the story. However, the team came to see it as an opportunity to raise awareness on psychosis; regarding the team's interest with the condition, Antoniades stated "It is easy to see the pain and suffering caused by physical diseases or physical trauma, it is not so easy to see the mental suffering or trauma or severe mental illness.

VR support[edit]

But what if we could find a way to see it? Games are capable of drawing you in for hours on end, playing the role of a character who's different from you, experiencing their perspective, and actively involving you in a world that functions with a different set of rules. [..] There are many things that happen in the world of Hellblade that make perfect sense within the context of Senua's mind. [..] To complete Senua's quest, you have to internalize and accept the logic and meaning behind these things to progress"; he notably felt that using the tendency of certain psychotics to see patterns others would not see or notice as a game mechanic to solve puzzles would provide a unique angle impossible in media other than video games.[16][20]. Antoniades admitted that during his research, he "didn't have to look very far to discover my own ignorance of the subject".[16] To portray psychosis properly, Ninja Theory "consulted world-leading neuroscientists and non-profit organizations like Wellcome Trust to properly capture the experience of psychosis and its devastating effects on the human mind".[21] Antoniades "learnt that people can experience hallucinations and delusional beliefs without it being a problem – the illness comes when those experiences cause suffering.

Often the recovery is not about curing yourself of hallucinations, but finding ways to live with them. That was a revelation to me".[6]. Experts who worked closely with the team include Professor Paul Fletcher from the University of Cambridge, and writer and psychologist Professor Charles Fernyhough from the University of Durham, an expert on voice hearing.[6][16] Ninja Theory received funding for the game from the Wellcome Trust, who also helped them creatively in their depiction of mental illness, notably by helping them to get in contact with people actually experiencing it.[6] They worked with a "recovery college", an establishment which acts as both a health facility, and a college for its patients.

—Prof. Paul Fletcher, neuroscientist and psychosis expert, who worked on the game.[6]

Antoniades was marked by the story of "a girl who has to live with an angry voice screaming at her, slamming on her doors and walls 24 hours a day. That's someone who would often see corpses hanging in the room, so real that they would sometimes try to rescue them"; this inspired several events featured in the game as well.[16]. When working with experts, the team realized that "quite often, the illness comes not from the symptoms, but from the stigma, isolation, and mistreatment that comes about from the rest of society". Senua's voice acting and motion capturing were performed by German freelance photographer and video editor Melina Juergens, who had not done either of those things prior to Hellblade.[22] She was used by the team as a stand-in for Senua for several months while they perfected their motion capture techniques, and they eventually came to the conclusion that she could play the character in the finalized game.

Operating on a much smaller budget with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice than their previous games, Ninja Theory went out of their usual ways to film the cutscenes of the game. Instead of going to bigger studios and having a team of approximately 20 people film several actors together, as they did in the past, they filmed only Juergens in a small space, with only three other people needed on set: Antoniades directing and filming, one person to look after the audio, and one person to look after the motion capture process. To save more money, the team used equipment described by Antoniades as "fairly cheap", including material bought at a low price at IKEA and on Amazon.[23] As a further cost-saving measure, they used their own boardroom for the motion capture scenes, rather than using external motion capture studio spaces.[24].

The helmet capturing Juergens' expressions and voice was provided to the team by Technoprops. The team opted to feature only two cameras on the helmet, as they felt that having four would be too uncomfortable for Juergens and impact her performance. The audio recording device was the most expensive part of the setup, and was placed around Juergens' forehead to avoid recording breathing sounds. Because all of Juergens' audio was recorded live, the team could not give her indications or reminders directly, or play music she would synchronize her performance with. For this reason, pre-recorded audio notes by Antoniades and excerpts from the soundtrack would be played at the same time on headphones both he and Juergens would wear, so they could act accordingly and in synchronization with each other.[23].

Trivia[]

To feature the voices in Senua's head in a way that would be realistic regarding actual people suffering auditory hallucinations, the team, based on descriptions by Professor Charles Fernyhough, an expert on the subject, recorded several actors using binaural recording that also records the 3D position of sound, so the voices would sound as close or distant as the actors were to the microphone, replicating the way human ears perceive sounds. The team then invited voice hearers to listen to the result in order to give them feedback for future recordings.[16] The original score for the game was composed by David García and Andy LaPlegua; the song "Just Like Sleep" by Passarella Death Squad is played during the final battle, and the song "Illusion" by VNV Nation plays during the ending credits. Hellblade was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 via digital channels on August 8, 2017.[25][26] Following the period of timed console exclusivity for the PlayStation 4,[27] a version for the Xbox One, with enhanced graphical support on the Xbox One X, was released on April 11, 2018.[28] On July 31, 2018, an update added full virtual reality support via the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.[29] On February 13, 2019, the game was announced for Nintendo Switch later in Spring of the same year.[30][31].

While the game was playable through backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X and Series S, an enhanced version with improved visuals and ray tracing support was released through a free optimization patch on August 9, 2021.[32][33]. The game received "generally favorable reviews", according to review aggregatorMetacritic.[34][35] Its choice to depict and revolve around psychosis was applauded as a unique and interesting choice, as was the execution of those themes, and the idea of blending its approach with Norse mythology and the grief-ridden journey of Senua. Juergens' performance, and the game's sound, artistic direction, tense atmosphere, and low price, were also praised; the quality of its production value and graphics was singled out as superior to what independent games usually offer.[3][4][43][8][10][21][44][45] Reception of the combat and puzzles were more mixed, with several reviewers complaining about combat being too repetitive and simplistic, the lack of variety in the enemies, and about the puzzles being redundant.[2][5][42].

Brandin Tyrrel of IGN praised the story, sound, directing, art direction, voice acting, music, and innovative presentation, and stating "it unfolds like a beautiful, dark, tense visual novel, placing the excellently raw, human performance of its main character front and center on her journey into the land of the Northmen. Her story is one of confusion, sadness, fear, and loss, and it's punctuated by moments of beauty, and strength that has left a lasting impression on me." He added "As impressive as [Hellblade's] story is, Ninja Theory's smart design reinforces the sensory nature of the harrowing tale through subtle and intuitive mechanics [..] Its incredibly smart use of audio and visual distortion and trickery to convey the frightening effects of psychosis, hallucinations, and delusion, are married with the gameplay elements for an experience that rarely ever grapples over whether it's a game or a story".[3] Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb stated as a narrative effort, its success was "almost unparalleled in the medium".

He applauded the story, sound, characters, graphics, Juergens' performance and "piercing intensity". He appreciated the less artistic elements, but felt that the gameplay for battles was "usually satisfying but can also feel like a chore in confined spaces". However, he described the boss fights as "all unique and exceptionally memorable".[5] Alice Bell of VideoGamer.com gave the game a 9 out of 10, praising its "incredibly compelling story", "fast, stylish combat", and "beautiful and horrible audio and visual design".[2]. In a positive review, Leif Johnson of PC Gamer praised Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice for its themes, presentation and story, but complained that the "inspiration doesn't carry over to the actual fights.

History[]

[..] I frankly found it kind of dull in the one-on-one duels at the start, and it didn't help that the enemies sometimes seem to skip a few animations when reacting to attacks. Nor does it help that there's precious little variation in the foes themselves, who almost always show up as tall, shirtless warriors with deer-skull helmets or as beefy berserker shamans. By the end of the first hour, you've basically seen every non-boss you're going to see". He did, however, consider combat to get much better once Senua has to face many enemies at once.[42] In one of the publications to give the game a somewhat negative review, Edge was unhappy with the game's depiction of Senua's condition.[46].

Several reviewers were less enthusiastic, with most criticism directed at the gameplay, fights and puzzles; however, most of them still praised Hellblade as a work of art. Among them was Game Informer's Joe Juba, who found Hellblade to be "undeniably memorable, telling a compelling tale that explores subject matter many consider taboo".

External links[edit]

Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPC: 83/100[34]
PS4: 81/100[35]
XONE: 88/100[36]
NS: 80/100[37]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[38]
EGM8.5/10[39]
Game Informer8/10[40]
GameSpot8/10[41]
Giant Bomb[5]
IGN9/10[3]
PC Gamer (US)78/100[42]
VideoGamer.com9/10[2]

However, he believed that the gameplay suffered from the game's themes. Unaware of the fake nature of the game's supposed permadeath, he complained that it was too unclear how close to a permanent game over he was, and felt the sense that he was in "frustrating". He also found the puzzles tedious, and believed that the idea of the fight sequences allowing certain enemies to be off-screen translated poorly to gameplay.[40]. Eurogamer ranked the game ninth on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017", GamesRadar+ ranked it 16th on their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017, and EGMNow ranked it 19th in their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017, while Polygon ranked it 24th on their list of the 50 best games of 2017.[47][48][49][50] The game received nominations for "Best PC Game", "Best PlayStation 4 Game", "Best Action-Adventure Game", "Best Graphics", "Best Story", and "Most Innovative" (the latter for which it became a runner-up) at IGN's Best of 2017 Awards.[51][52][53][54][55][56].

Game Informer has listed Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice among best games released throughout the eighth video game generation.[57]. The game's depiction of psychosis was applauded, and often described as the game's greatest quality. Several media outlets and reviewers analyzed the game's depiction of psychosis in more detail: it was noted that all parts of the game, including the fights and puzzles, were made to further the depiction of Senua's psychosis and revolved around her condition.[5][6][40] Paul Fletcher, a neuroscientist and psychosis expert at the University of Cambridge who worked on the game, said that "It's been exciting to see Senua received so positively by those who have lived with experiences of psychosis." Michael Briers of PlayStationLifeStyle, stated that "by working closely with neuroscientists and those unfortunate few who have been diagnosed as psychotic, Hellblade carefully avoids those cheap, half-assed tropes that render a character insane and, therefore, woefully one-dimensional. Not only does it act as a disservice to those who suffer from mental illness, this practice of painting in broad strokes only minimizes the room for nuance, but Senua's Sacrifice boldly cuts through the white noise".[21] Leif Johnson of PC Gamer praised the gripping depiction of a character suffering from psychosis, stating "Ninja Theory uses haunted eyes to full effect in long, moody closeups peppering the narrative.

[Senua] peers not only into the darkness but seemingly past the camera, past the screen. Looking back, I found depths of despair and anger there that were sometimes hard to meet head-on [..] Some people would crumble under such pain.

—Giant Bomb[5]

But still, Senua fights. It's a little inspiring." Alice Bell of VideoGamer.com noted that although Senua's psychosis is a cause of tragedy in her life, the game also depicted her condition as something that can bring her contentment, stating that her hallucinations are sometimes "actually lovely too, reflecting that psychosis can manifest as color and beauty." Regarding the story as a whole, she stated "you [the player] learn about the trauma Senua has faced, made greater by her struggles with her own mental health and others' lack of understanding of it. Great care has been taken, with input every step of the way from psychologists and people who have experienced psychosis, to give as faithful a representation of it as possible. The hardest battles are fought in the mind, says Dillion, although Senua has physical battles as well."

Mollie L Patterson of Electronic Gaming Monthly declared that "while I can't speak to that side of things from personal experience, I can tell you that I was legitimately affected by [Senua's] condition at times. Playing a good portion of the game with headphones on, quiet moments were often broken by the never-ending chatter of those other selves conflicting in their thoughts, with some wanting to help their host in her quest, and others constantly telling Senua (and you) that she was wrong in her choices, that she was destined to failure, or that it was all hopeless. It's hard to explain how powerful those words can be, even as a player detached from Senua's condition, and it was one of many elements that helped form a bond between us."

Shoemaker stated "Hellblade's single most powerful trick is a near-constant stream of voices in Senua's head, recorded with a spatial audio technique so they feel like they're all around you, nagging at you, undermining your decisions and your confidence. These voices are frequently in conflict with what you're doing and even with each other; one side can be encouraging you while the other mock you mercilessly. The effect is striking. Over time Senua's pain becomes palpable, incontestable, especially as the stress worsens the longer these voices harangue you, the more vicious and deranged they become. It's important to remember that you as the player, though, have the luxury of turning them off whenever you want.

Hellblade's robust bag of psychological tricks and the sheer fact of Senua's distressing reality result in the game's uncommon ability to capture the feelings of worthlessness, lack of control, of being misunderstood and shunned, the strange mix of hope and despair that can accompany a debilitating mental illness."

Gameplay[]

Not all media outlets were satisfied with the game's depiction of the condition. In an article he published to criticize the game, Mic gaming editor Jason Faulkner, who had experience working with the mentally ill, praised Senua's character, but was highly critical of the game, stating that it should have focused on helping people to truly understand psychosis, and have the condition be "focal and explicit", instead of representing it metaphorically: "If you go into the game without any background information, you might assume that Senua is living with delusions and Norse mythology-inspired hallucinations — or you might think that she's being haunted by demons and ghosts.

[..] The portrayal of Senua's mental illness would be better served by showing both sides of her story: what's in her head and what's actually happening." He also stated that the game "stifles the opportunity to inject commentary about the broader picture of mental health care", notably by not depicting caregivers or other people dedicated to helping those with mental illness in real life.[58]Edge deplored that Senua's psychosis was depicted as "something of an asset: a helpful superpower that can give you the strength to soldier on through the darkness, so long as you can put up with the odd breakdown here and there." Early in the game, after Senua's hand starts to rot because she got "tainted", the Darkness tells her that every time she "dies" (every death turns out to be a vision of a possible future), the rot will spread further up, until it reaches her head and consumes her soul; the game implies that, if this happens, it will result in a permadeath, as the player's save would be deleted, and all game progress until then would be erased.

However, several media outlets later found out that the rot stops spreading after a certain number of deaths, and cannot progress further before a certain point in the game, ultimately making it impossible for it to reach Senua's head.[59][43]. Antoniades said that the permadeath mechanic was a bluff: while the rot will spread on Senua's body over repeated deaths, it will never fully reach her head; the wording they chose to describe this was meant to convey part of the fear associated with mental illness and psychosis directly to the player. Antoniades said "We were looking for ideas of how you introduce fear, and one of those ideas was the permadeath mechanic.

It's the only time we're very explicit about what will happen to you in the game." He considered that they believed that players and critics have mistaken their wording on the permadeath mechanic when the game was released, which created a "blowout", but he defended their use of the wording as "it's your interpretation as a player that taints the meaning behind it. That's something we wanted to do on purpose, because with mental illness it's your frame of mind that interprets the world, and that can cause you distress." Reid McCarter of PC Gamer strongly defended Ninja Theory's move, calling it "great game design and a modern expression of unreliable narration".

He stated "As the story progresses, the nature of the corruption becomes clearer as the player comes to understand a correlation between Senua's backstory and psychology and the way they perceive the game's dangers.

—Prof. Charles Fernyhough, an expert on voice hearing, on the game's portrayal of the voices in Senua's head.[16]

It is a beautifully executed bit of narrative design, game systems and story working in tandem." [61]PCGamesN called it a "clever decision", as it "focuses on Senua's own fear of her enemies and degrading mental state".[59]Eurogamer called it "a cool trick that makes the player feel a sense of dread as they're playing the game. Dread, anxiety and death are all themes Hellblade revolves around. It certainly fits".[43]. While only released in digital form,[25][26]Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was a commercial success. It was the best selling game on the PlayStation Store in Europe for the month of its release.[62][63] According to director Tameem Antoniades the game sold "better than expected" and broke even in approximately three months, ahead of the six to nine months the developers expected.[9][64]PC Gamer stated about Hellblade's success that "the news can only be positive.

Perhaps if other developers see an experimental game like Hellblade finding commercial success then they'll be more likely to take risks on their own titles—and that, ultimately, will lead to more interesting games".[9] To celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2017, Ninja Theory donated all profit made from the sales of Hellblade on that day to Rethink Mental Illness.[65] By June 2018, the game had sold over a million copies across all three platforms.[66]. In addition to the awards received by the game, the team of Hellblade, including Antoniades and Juergens, won the award for Best Real-Time Graphics & Interactivity at SIGGRAPH in 2016, for a showcase demonstration of a technique they called "Realtime Cinematography", during which they performed and filmed live a scene from Hellblade, which was "shot, captured and edited to final quality in minutes, a process that would normally take weeks or months".[15]. Senua's Saga: Hellblade II was announced during The Game Awards 2019, with plans for release on Microsoft Windows and Xbox Series X/S. The game soundtrack will be composed by Heilung[91] and will be set in Iceland and will use Epic Games's new Unreal Engine 5.[92][93][94].

Development[]

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an actionhack and slashvideo game developed and published by Ninja Theory for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4. Written by Tameem Antoniades and Elizabeth Ashman-Rowe, the story is based on Celtic mythology and Norse mythology. The game is focused on Senua's (Melina Juergens) point of view, as she embarks on a very personal journey through a hellish underworld made up of Senua's psychotic manifestations of her reality and mind. [first lines] Hello, who are you? ..It doesn't matter. You are safe with me. I'll be right here, nice and close so I can speak without alerting the others.

Let me tell you about Senua. Her story has already come to an end but now, it begins anew. This is a journey deep into darkness. There will be no more stories after this one. Look around and you will see them. The drowned, the sick, the slain. Here they lie, rotting in the field and river of Hel. But the dead don't always lie still here. This is not a place of rest. What is she thinking? I can tell you. Wouldn't you be? You'd think she would get used to it by now after so many years. But the darkness it just builds onto itself, growing stronger, towering over her. You might try and ignore it, turn away, but it's always there just out of sight, where you are most vulnerable. It's like it knows that just enough light is all you need to see it's suffocating power. You might think she's brave to go on this journey on her own.

But it isn't bravery that drives her. Bravery only means something to those afraid of death. Senua's fear runs far, far deeper. Stormy seas and lost souls. She's dreamt of this before.. They say dreams are visions of our memories, thoughts and fears as seen by our inner eye. But what if each one of us is always dreaming even when awake? And we only see what our inner eye creates for us? Is this what Hel is? A world shaped by Senua's nightmares? Maybe that's why people feared seeing the world through her eyes. Because if you believe Senua's reality is twisted, you must also accept yours might be too. Senua pushes away a world that conspired to cause so much suffering.

External links

There is nothing to go back to and worse to look forward to. The darkness is coming. It yearns for life, hungers for it - like a pack of wolves on a hunt. But she's not stopping. A vision, of what's to come? The darkness does not bargain. It does not reason. And now it has taken hold, it will spread towards her head, the seat of the soul, until there is nothing left of her. All of her suffering will have been for nothing. It's just a matter of time. The hardest battles are fought in the mind. Have you died before? It's a serious question. When the illusion of self is shattered, you simply cease to be. Though it may not seem that way to others, you know when it is true. You can feel it, a stranger in your own body, an imposter and nothing is the same ever again. When you give everything and face that which torments you, only to find that it is worse than you could have imagined..why go on?

Gallery

YearAwardCategoryResultRef.
2017The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards 2017Best Audio DesignNominated[67]
Best Visual DesignNominated
Best Action and Adventure GameWon
Golden Joystick Awards 2017Best AudioNominated[68]
Best Gaming Performance (for Melina Juergens)Nominated
Breakthrough Award (for Melina Juergens)Nominated
The Game Awards 2017Best NarrativeNominated[69][70]
Best Audio DesignWon
Best Performance (for Melina Juergens)Won
Games for ImpactWon
Best Independent GameNominated
2018Writers' Guild of Great Britain AwardsBest Writing in a Video GameWon[71]
45th Annie AwardsOutstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video GameNominated[72][73]
D.I.C.E. AwardsOutstanding Achievement in AnimationNominated[74]
Outstanding Achievement in Art DirectionNominated
Outstanding Achievement in Character (for Senua)Won
Outstanding Achievement in StoryNominated
Outstanding Technical AchievementNominated
SXSW Gaming AwardsExcellence in SFXNominated[75][76]
Excellence in Technical AchievementNominated
Excellence in Visual AchievementNominated
Most Promising New Intellectual PropertyNominated
Excellence in NarrativeNominated
Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation AwardNominated
Game Developers Choice AwardsBest AudioNominated[77][78]
Best NarrativeNominated
Best TechnologyNominated
14th British Academy Games AwardsBest GameNominated[79][80]
British GameWon
Artistic AchievementWon
Audio AchievementWon
Game Beyond EntertainmentWon
Game InnovationNominated
MusicNominated
NarrativeNominated
Performer (for Melina Juergens)Won
Ivor Novello AwardsBest Original Video Game ScoreNominated[81]
Develop AwardsAnimationNominated[82][83]
Visual DesignNominated
Music DesignWon
Sound Design (Ninja Theory)Nominated
Writing or Narrative DesignWon
The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards 2018Creativity AwardWon[84][85]
Best Audio DesignNominated
Diversity AwardNominated
Golden Joystick Awards 2018Xbox Game of the YearNominated[86][87]
20192019 Webby AwardsAction GameNominated[88][89]
Best Art DirectionWon
Best Music/Sound DesignNominated
Best Visual DesignNominated
Best Writing (People's Voice)Won
Technical AchievementNominated
The Independent Game Developers' Association Awards 2019Creativity AwardNominated[90]

Is it really so weak to ask this? Or are we just so afraid of the honest answer, that we do not dare pose the question? Sometimes the answer lies in a memory..a feeling..a song. We all want to see behind the veil, don't we? But once we do.. we mostly just close our eyes again and pretend what we saw was never really there. This is the price she pays for seeing things differently. Because once you gaze into the relentless darkness, all that lurks within it can see you too.

System requirements[edit]

The worst kind comes without warning, a deep and primal signal from within. A reminder that just because you cannot see the threat, it doesn't mean that it's not already here. When darkness speaks, it changes everything, turning home into a foreign land and loved ones into strangers.

Input[edit]

  1. Exile makes sense when you realise that you were never really home in the first place.
  2. The further she saw into the darkness, the more she struggled to see anything at all.

Plot[]

  1. Where are we now? ..a burial mound. So strange that we go to such lengths to bury death, something so very ordinary, inevitable.
  2. It's as if we conspire to hide death, because we have no answer for it. The world once seemed so simple: black and white, darkness and light. Narrow dividing lines of our own making. she can't help but think of him. A tender guidingflame in a world so black. The longer it burned, the more she convinced herself that there was nothing beyond its reach.
  3. How little separates us from what we fear. People think of evil as an unnatural invisible force, and so invoke the gods for protection. But evil can come from the hand behind the gods: a familiar hand, cold and cruel. Never forget what it is like to see the world as a child, Senua: where every autumn leaf is a work of art; every rolling cloud, a moving picture; every day a new story.
  4. We too emerge from this magic, like a wave from the ocean, only to return back to the sea. Do not mourn the waves, the leaves and the clouds. Because even in darkness the wonder and beauty of the world never leaves. It's always there, just waiting to be seen again.
  5. [tries to bargain with the darkness] You. You took him from me. I'll give you what you want. I won't resist anymore. Just give him back. [confronts the fire giant Surtr]You destroyed everything! [before killing Valravn] I never beat you in the wilds, did I? It was an illusion! But not this time!
  6. I learnt the hard way to not be afraid of death, Senua. Because a life without loss is one without love. Turn your back on death and you only see the shadow that it casts. The longer you hide from it, the longer the shadow grows, until all you can see is darkness. When our time comes, we must look death in the eye and embrace it as a friend.
  7. Only then can we let go fear, and emerge from our darkness. Hel will not give you the answers you want. But you mustn't look away from the horror it does offer, because you cannot overcome suffering if you refuse to look at it.
  8. Like you Senua, the man I once was has died. And when that happens, even gods you worship can die with you. For every battle won, a greater battle takes its place and so it goes until we fall.
  9. And in the end we all fall. Even the gods have their time. In blindness there can be wisdom; only by giving, can you receive in return. In the end, it is not the gods who cause so much suffering Senua. It is those close to us.
  10. In this waking nightmare where all dreams come true, you searched for control. A way to pull through. When you were in love you left him in tears. To smother your furies and banish your fears.
  11. But in darkness they came, through stormy black seas they raided these shores. Do you still hear his screams? And now that you're home he's so far away. They've taken his soul.
  12. To these gods you cannot pray. They can break you, but not your promise. Even death won't keep you apart. Through this darkness you will find him.
  13. In your sword still beats a heart. You fought for love unspoiled by your darkness within. You fought for your dreams, now there is no way to win. In the head of his corpse lies the seat of his soul.
  14. So you must carry his vessel to bring him back home. The darkness touched you. Everyone could see it in the hollows of your eyes, a gaze averted from life.
  15. You ran from it but brought it nearer. An endless suffering worse than death. And you wanted to surrender? Abandon him to find peace with the gods? The darkness won't allow it. So you will walk into the lair of the beast, look it in the eye and you will go to war.
  16. This is your mission. This is your quest. There is nothing else left. This is what happens when you listen to the voices of the underworld. They crawl into your soul and rot you from the inside. Only suffering brings salvation. It is the way of the gods. Wikipedia has an article about:. Retrieved from "https://en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Hellblade:_Senua%27s_Sacrifice&oldid=2988351".
  17. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an action adventure video game developed and published by Ninja Theory for the PlayStation 4 and PC. The game was initially announced at Sony's Gamescom 2014 media briefing and is described as "independent AAA" game, a title designed to be developed and published independently but with all the quality and production values of any AAA game on the market.
  18. The story of Hellblade is based on Celtic and Norse mythology and follows the story of a Pict warrior named Senua as she embarks on a very personal journey through a hellish underworld. The gameplay of Hellblade is primarily focused on exploration and combat.
  19. Players explore detailed environments based on the mythology of Norse gods and realms in order to guide Senua to her eventual goal of the underworld of Helheim.
  20. The environments can contain visual based puzzles of locating Norse runes in the world in order to unlock gates and seals, which Senua can find by Focusing on them.
  21. In addition, there are numerous Lorestones that can be collected in order to learn more information about the legends of the Northmen. Certain areas of Hellblade force Senua into combat with hellish manifestations of the Northmen. When in combat, Senua has access to both light and heavy attacks with her sword that she can use in a combo system to strike her foes down.
  22. She has the ability to dodge incoming attacks and can also guard against enemy strikes.
  23. She can even parry those strikes when timing her guard correctly and temporarily stun them, though some attacks that are blocked with incorrect timing with temporarily stun her instead.
  24. Senua can also build up her Focus in combat by successfully blocking and striking enemies, When she has gained enough, she can temporarily slow down time to allow her foes to be dispatched with ease.
  25. Hellblade uses an automatic saving system and only holds one save file at a time for the duration of the game. Near the beginning of the story, Senua is infected with the 'dark rot', a corruption of her flesh on her right arm that acts as a symbol of her psychosis.
  26. The more times that she is killed, the further up her arm the rot will travel. The game warns that once the rot reaches her head, the 'seat of her soul', then Senua's quest will end and all of the player's progress will be lost.
  27. The story of Hellblade is based on Senua, a young Pict warrior who suffers from severe psychotic mental illness, on a journey to save the soul of her lover, Dillion, from the Norse underworld of Helheim.
  28. According to Ninja Theory, over the course of the last 14 years, they have developed three key strengths that define their games: ninja-class combat, strong character stories, and a unique art vision.
  29. In Hellblade, they wanted to take these three key strengths to the next level. To do this, the developers decided to focus their game's story on a unique hero's journey by using psychotic mental illness as one of the central themes of the game.
  30. Overall, Hellblade's production used 20 of Ninja Theory's staff to create. In order to properly portray Senua's psychosis in a way that was both realistic and non-reliant on typical tropes used to portray mental illness in other forms of media, Ninja Theory consulted with world-leading neuroscientists as well as organisations such as the Welcome Trust during the development of the game.
  31. They also conducted interviews and meetings with actual sufferers of psychosis and used their experiences and feedback in the game itself.
  32. One of the Hellblade's most realistic ways to portray the symptoms of psychosis is the use of binaural audio, a recording technique that mimics the way that humans hear things, allowing for a high level of accuracy when visualizing where a sound is coming from.
  33. The Furies, the voices that Senua hears, were recorded in binaural audio, giving the illusion that they are speaking right in the player's ear.
  34. Though the game was initially a PlayStation only title, a PC version was revealed in 2015. The game's additional subtitle of Senua's Sacrifice was revealed just over a year later.
  35. Both versions were released in August of 2017 simultaneously. In April of 2018 the game was also released for Xbox One. Stefano Prosperi. Windows, PlayStation 4. Nintendo Switch. Xbox Series X/S.
  36. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an action-adventure game developed and published by the British video game development studio Ninja Theory.
  37. Set in a dark fantasy world inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, the game follows Senua, a Pict warrior who must make her way to Helheim by defeating otherworldly entities and facing their challenges, in order to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the goddess Hela.
  38. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 in August 2017, Xbox One in April 2018, Nintendo Switch in April 2019, and Xbox Series X and Series S in August 2021.
  39. Hellblade features support for virtual reality, which was added in a 2018 update. Self-described as an "independentAAA game", Hellblade was created by a team of approximately twenty developers led by writer and director Tameem Antoniades.
  40. The game blends different gameplay mechanics and concepts like puzzle solving, psychological horror and melee combat. Voice acting is an integral part of the game, while its cutscenes combine motion capture by Melina Juergens, and live action performances by other actors.
  41. The game's narrative serves as a metaphor for the character's struggle with psychosis, as Senua, who suffers from the condition but believes it to be a curse, is haunted by an entity known as the "Darkness", voices in her head known as "Furies", and memories from her past.
  42. To properly represent psychosis, developers worked closely with neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people living with the condition. Hellblade was a commercial success and was well-received by critics, who praised it as a work of art and applauded its uncommon choice of revolving around psychosis, the quality and uniqueness of its approach of the condition, and its story and main character.
  43. Its overall presentation, along with Juergens' performance, was also considered superior in quality to what independent games usually provide, although its gameplay and other elements received some criticism. The game sold over a million copies across all platforms by June 2018.
  44. A sequel, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, was announced at The Game Awards 2019. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is divided into two types of gameplay: the first allows Senua to walk freely and interact with her surroundings.
  45. Those parts focus on either story via voiceover, as Senua travels from one location to another, or the resolution of a puzzle or challenge of some kind to progress further. She can use a capacity known as "focus", in reference to her tendency to see things differently from other people due to her condition, to trigger puzzle-related events.
  46. If she uses her focus on totems hidden throughout the game, it triggers a memory via voice-over of her friend Druth telling her of the stories of the Norsemen; activating all forty-four of them triggers a bonus cutscene shortly before the game's climax, that extends on Druth's backstory.[2] Several areas feature their own exclusive mechanics or trials, such as reaching a safe zone in time before Senua dies, or using the focus ability to modify the structure of her surroundings.[3].
  47. In addition, Hellblade features fights against malformed representations of Norsemen who block her progression, including occasional bosses. Hellblade does not feature any heads-up display or tutorials.
  48. Set in the late 8th century, the game starts with Senua (Melina Juergens), a Pict warrior from Orkney arriving at the border of Helheim in a quest to save the soul of her dead lover, Dillion (Oliver Walker), from the goddess Hela.[6] Senua believes she suffers from a curse that causes her to hear the voices of spirits, referred to as "Furies", in her head, the most notable of which is the Narrator (Chipo Chung), who is aware of the player's presence and often breaks the fourth wall by talking to them directly.
  49. She is followed by the Darkness (Steven Hartley), a dark entity at the core of the curse. She carries Dillion's severed head to use it as a vessel for his soul and is guided by her memories of the stories of Druth (Nicholas Boulton), a former slave of the Norsemen well-versed in their legends, now deceased, who became her friend and mentor during a year-long self-imposed exile.
  50. To enter Helheim, Senua overcomes several tests and defeats both the fire giantSurt and the god of illusions Valravn, but as she crosses the bridge to Helheim, she is attacked by Hela, who defeats her with a single blow and shatters her sword.
  51. Barely surviving the encounter, Senua contemplates suicide, but instead scars herself with her broken blade. She then follows visions of Druth and a man-shaped light she believes to be Dillion to a great tree, where she undergoes four trials that test her body, spirit, and mind and is rewarded with the legendary sword Gramr, a weapon powerful enough to kill Hela.
  52. As the game progresses, Senua's backstory is unveiled in nonlinear order through her hallucinations, revealing that her mother, the healer Galena (Ellie Piercy), suffered the same curse she did but thought of it as a gift.
  53. However, Senua's devoutly religious father, Zynbel (also performed by Hartley), thought otherwise and burned Galena alive. Senua witnessed the event when she was just five years old, which caused her psychosis to worsen significantly and caused her to block out the memory.
  54. Her father, convincing her that she was tainted with evil, abused Senua emotionally and physically and isolated her from the rest of the world until she met Dillion when he visited her village.
  55. The two fell in love, and Senua left her father to be with him, as he saw her as different and misunderstood instead of cursed.
  56. However, after a plague killed many in Dillion's village, Senua, believing the fault to be hers, left in exile. When she returned a year later after seemingly conquering the Darkness, she found everyone killed by Norsemen raiders, who had sacrificed Dillion in a blood eagle to their gods.[6] Remembering the stories of Druth, Senua then swore to save Dillion's soul from the gods of the Norsemen.
  57. Ultimately, Senua fights against the influence of the Darkness, surviving the "Sea of Corpses" and defeating the beast Garm at the gates of Helheim.
  58. She realizes that the Darkness is a representation of her father's abuse and temporarily imprisons the Furies in a magic mirror. She then confronts Hela, who summons a legion of undead warriors; Senua fights them until she is finally overwhelmed and tries to bargain with Hela.
  59. In her final moments, she recalls Dillion telling her the importance of accepting loss. As the imagery of Helheim fades away, Hela stabs Senua with Gramr and drops Dillion's head into the abyss, but as the camera returns to her, Senua is standing in her place, with a dead Hela at her feet.
  60. Having accepted that it was never possible to bring her lover back and that she is not responsible for his death or anyone else's, Senua finally banishes the Darkness from her soul and accepts the Furies not as a curse, but a part of who she is.
  61. She invites the player to follow her, saying that there is another story to tell. Hellblade was announced for the PlayStation 4 at Sony's Gamescom media briefing on August 12, 2014, where a trailer was shown.
  62. Hugues Giboire, art director of the previous Ninja Theory game Heavenly Sword, rejoined the studio to work on the game.[11] A Microsoft Windows version of the game was announced on January 9, 2015.[12] The game is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and was made by Ninja Theory with a team of around twenty developers.[8][13] Its subtitle, Senua's Sacrifice, was announced in March 2016.[14][15]Hellblade: Senua's Psychosis, a short documentary film included with the game, details the concept behind its story and inspirations, notably the team's study of mental illness.
  63. It was written and narrated by Antoniades, and edited by Juergens.[16]. According to Antoniades, the team, researching Celtic culture and the Celts' views on mental disorder, found out that they used the term "gelt" for a person who had been driven mad by a curse, grief, or the trauma of a battle, and that the gelt would take to a life in the woods in search of penance, punishment and purgatory; the team decided to make Senua a gelt, who had left her home in exile for those reasons.
  64. The character of Druth was based on both a real Irish Celt named Findan who was enslaved by the Norsemen in the 8th century, but eventually escaped and became a monk, and the Celtic tale of "a mad sinner who flees battle into exile and takes on a beastly nature, growing feathers on his body".
  65. The character was given a backstory similar to Findan's, a cloak featuring feathers, and was named after another word used by the Celts to describe the mental disorder, "druth", meaning "fool" or "one who utters the words of gods".[16].
  66. Antoniades and his team initially conceptualized Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice as "a compelling, adult, fantasy game".[6] The game was always supposed to be hinted as taking place in Senua's mind, but with her mental illness originally less central to the story.
  67. However, the team came to see it as an opportunity to raise awareness on psychosis; regarding the team's interest with the condition, Antoniades stated "It is easy to see the pain and suffering caused by physical diseases or physical trauma, it is not so easy to see the mental suffering or trauma or severe mental illness.
  68. But what if we could find a way to see it? Games are capable of drawing you in for hours on end, playing the role of a character who's different from you, experiencing their perspective, and actively involving you in a world that functions with a different set of rules.
  69. [..] There are many things that happen in the world of Hellblade that make perfect sense within the context of Senua's mind. [..] To complete Senua's quest, you have to internalize and accept the logic and meaning behind these things to progress"; he notably felt that using the tendency of certain psychotics to see patterns others would not see or notice as a game mechanic to solve puzzles would provide a unique angle impossible in media other than video games.[16][20].
  70. Antoniades admitted that during his research, he "didn't have to look very far to discover my own ignorance of the subject".[16] To portray psychosis properly, Ninja Theory "consulted world-leading neuroscientists and non-profit organizations like Wellcome Trust to properly capture the experience of psychosis and its devastating effects on the human mind".[21] Antoniades "learnt that people can experience hallucinations and delusional beliefs without it being a problem – the illness comes when those experiences cause suffering.
  71. Often the recovery is not about curing yourself of hallucinations, but finding ways to live with them. That was a revelation to me".[6].
  72. Experts who worked closely with the team include Professor Paul Fletcher from the University of Cambridge, and writer and psychologist Professor Charles Fernyhough from the University of Durham, an expert on voice hearing.[6][16] Ninja Theory received funding for the game from the Wellcome Trust, who also helped them creatively in their depiction of mental illness, notably by helping them to get in contact with people actually experiencing it.[6] They worked with a "recovery college", an establishment which acts as both a health facility, and a college for its patients.
  73. Antoniades was marked by the story of "a girl who has to live with an angry voice screaming at her, slamming on her doors and walls 24 hours a day. That's someone who would often see corpses hanging in the room, so real that they would sometimes try to rescue them"; this inspired several events featured in the game as well.[16].
  74. When working with experts, the team realized that "quite often, the illness comes not from the symptoms, but from the stigma, isolation, and mistreatment that comes about from the rest of society".
  75. Senua's voice acting and motion capturing were performed by German freelance photographer and video editor Melina Juergens, who had not done either of those things prior to Hellblade.[22] She was used by the team as a stand-in for Senua for several months while they perfected their motion capture techniques, and they eventually came to the conclusion that she could play the character in the finalized game.
  76. Operating on a much smaller budget with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice than their previous games, Ninja Theory went out of their usual ways to film the cutscenes of the game.
  77. Instead of going to bigger studios and having a team of approximately 20 people film several actors together, as they did in the past, they filmed only Juergens in a small space, with only three other people needed on set: Antoniades directing and filming, one person to look after the audio, and one person to look after the motion capture process.
  78. To save more money, the team used equipment described by Antoniades as "fairly cheap", including material bought at a low price at IKEA and on Amazon.[23] As a further cost-saving measure, they used their own boardroom for the motion capture scenes, rather than using external motion capture studio spaces.[24].
  79. The helmet capturing Juergens' expressions and voice was provided to the team by Technoprops. The team opted to feature only two cameras on the helmet, as they felt that having four would be too uncomfortable for Juergens and impact her performance.
  80. The audio recording device was the most expensive part of the setup, and was placed around Juergens' forehead to avoid recording breathing sounds.
  81. Because all of Juergens' audio was recorded live, the team could not give her indications or reminders directly, or play music she would synchronize her performance with.
  82. For this reason, pre-recorded audio notes by Antoniades and excerpts from the soundtrack would be played at the same time on headphones both he and Juergens would wear, so they could act accordingly and in synchronization with each other.[23].
  83. To feature the voices in Senua's head in a way that would be realistic regarding actual people suffering auditory hallucinations, the team, based on descriptions by Professor Charles Fernyhough, an expert on the subject, recorded several actors using binaural recording that also records the 3D position of sound, so the voices would sound as close or distant as the actors were to the microphone, replicating the way human ears perceive sounds.
  84. The team then invited voice hearers to listen to the result in order to give them feedback for future recordings.[16] The original score for the game was composed by David García and Andy LaPlegua; the song "Just Like Sleep" by Passarella Death Squad is played during the final battle, and the song "Illusion" by VNV Nation plays during the ending credits.
  85. Hellblade was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 via digital channels on August 8, 2017.[25][26] Following the period of timed console exclusivity for the PlayStation 4,[27] a version for the Xbox One, with enhanced graphical support on the Xbox One X, was released on April 11, 2018.[28] On July 31, 2018, an update added full virtual reality support via the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.[29] On February 13, 2019, the game was announced for Nintendo Switch later in Spring of the same year.[30][31].
  86. While the game was playable through backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X and Series S, an enhanced version with improved visuals and ray tracing support was released through a free optimization patch on August 9, 2021.[32][33].
  87. The game received "generally favorable reviews", according to review aggregatorMetacritic.[34][35] Its choice to depict and revolve around psychosis was applauded as a unique and interesting choice, as was the execution of those themes, and the idea of blending its approach with Norse mythology and the grief-ridden journey of Senua.
  88. Juergens' performance, and the game's sound, artistic direction, tense atmosphere, and low price, were also praised; the quality of its production value and graphics was singled out as superior to what independent games usually offer.[3][4][43][8][10][21][44][45] Reception of the combat and puzzles were more mixed, with several reviewers complaining about combat being too repetitive and simplistic, the lack of variety in the enemies, and about the puzzles being redundant.[2][5][42].
  89. Brandin Tyrrel of IGN praised the story, sound, directing, art direction, voice acting, music, and innovative presentation, and stating "it unfolds like a beautiful, dark, tense visual novel, placing the excellently raw, human performance of its main character front and center on her journey into the land of the Northmen.
  90. Her story is one of confusion, sadness, fear, and loss, and it's punctuated by moments of beauty, and strength that has left a lasting impression on me." He added "As impressive as [Hellblade's] story is, Ninja Theory's smart design reinforces the sensory nature of the harrowing tale through subtle and intuitive mechanics [..] Its incredibly smart use of audio and visual distortion and trickery to convey the frightening effects of psychosis, hallucinations, and delusion, are married with the gameplay elements for an experience that rarely ever grapples over whether it's a game or a story".[3] Brad Shoemaker of Giant Bomb stated as a narrative effort, its success was "almost unparalleled in the medium".
  91. He applauded the story, sound, characters, graphics, Juergens' performance and "piercing intensity".
  92. He appreciated the less artistic elements, but felt that the gameplay for battles was "usually satisfying but can also feel like a chore in confined spaces".
  93. However, he described the boss fights as "all unique and exceptionally memorable".[5] Alice Bell of VideoGamer.com gave the game a 9 out of 10, praising its "incredibly compelling story", "fast, stylish combat", and "beautiful and horrible audio and visual design".[2].
  94. In a positive review, Leif Johnson of PC Gamer praised Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice for its themes, presentation and story, but complained that the "inspiration doesn't carry over to the actual fights.

Quotes[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • [..] I frankly found it kind of dull in the one-on-one duels at the start, and it didn't help that the enemies sometimes seem to skip a few animations when reacting to attacks.
Nor does it help that there's precious little variation in the foes themselves, who almost always show up as tall, shirtless warriors with deer-skull helmets or as beefy berserker shamans.
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