Game Review – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a dark, fantasy, single-player, adventure game based on a character, known as Senua, who is a Celtic warrior that also suffers from a mental disability known as psychosis. The game was developed by a game development studio called Ninja Theory, which consists of approximately twenty developers. It was released on August 8th 2017 and has won awards such as, Best Audio Design, Games for Impact and more.
The game itself looks beautiful visually, also as you walk through forests, beaches and various ruins of tribal/Celtic like villages and castles with large mountains in the background, as well as using a mix of real life characters for cut scenes and animated ones which gives a perfect blend and never really looks out of place. I really like the combination of story-telling and gameplay. It gives the player a big moment of suspense and then a long cutscene as a bit of breather. When you launch the game, a message pops up and suggest you to play with headphones for the full experience. I think the audio is a big part of the game and would really recommend to play with headphones as it really helps immerse you into the game world.
The game follows Senua on her journey to rescue her lover, Dillion, who was killed by a group of vicious vikings that sacrificed his body to their Gods. Senua believes by getting into the land of the Northmen, she can into Helheim, which is the northmen’s version of hell, there she believes she can find the soul of Dillion and free him. As difficult as her journey might be it becomes much harder when you add the aspect of a mental disability. Throughout the game Senua has to deal with illusions, hallucinations and voices that will always be talking to her, with each other or even the player. The voices have a big impact on her, whether it be giving her advice, arguing with each other or trying to tear Senua down or lift her up when she needs it. I enjoyed the story as it was very unique. It’s not your standard hero’s quest and doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending either. The story is full of suspense and really captures the player with its dynamic cutscenes and gameplay.
The gameplay itself is very story based but has many diverse puzzles as well as a combat system that can be quite challenging. The puzzles consist of finding marks around the environment that match marks that would be on a door, for example, You might run into a door with the symbol of an “X” on it and you would need to find an X in various ways, it could be two sticks crossed, or an area of grass along the floor in that shape. That is just one example there are many more puzzles that I think are quite challenging and enjoyable to figure out. The combat is not very complex, Senua carries a sword and has a fast attack, heavy attack, kick, block and a dodge. However all these techniques can have special benefits against some enemies, for example, there is an enemy with a shield you can’t just attack, you have to kick them and get them off-balance first. I think the combat is simple but challenging and can be very satisfying when you get into a good rhythm.
Overall, I think the game is very stressful because it is very unpredictable. It is also very intense and fun as it has that feeling of playing a horror game and gives off a scary atmosphere. I think people should play this game if they enjoy a well thought out story, intense gameplay and challenging puzzles. Also if you have an appreciation for the audio design the game uses.
Company Name: Ninja Theory
Release Date: 8th of August 2017
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Adventure
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
Technical Details/Minimal Requirements:
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit.
- CPU:Â Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz.
- RAM: 8Â GB System Memory.
- GPU RAM:Â 2 GB Video Memory.
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 or AMD Radeon R9 280x.
- DX: DirectX 11.
- HDD:Â 30 GB available space.
- Audio: DirectX Compatible Sound Card.
Price: Advertised as €30
Link to game website: https://www.hellblade.com/