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One Hell of Ride!

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    Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

    Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding

    One Hell of Ride!

    Concept: Take control and experience the world of Senua, complete with the visual and audio hallucinations of her psychosis as the Celtic warrior, Senua sets upon a quest to resurrect her love from the Viking god Hel. Pacing of the game involves cinematic cut scenes, visual puzzle sequences, and intense swordplay action.

    Graphics: Outstanding graphics and visuals. Hellblades' environments are rich and immersive, making use of darkness and light to evoke emotion and empathy. Motion capture sequences are both beautiful and the acting is excellent. Special effects used throughout the game to accent combat and simulate psychosis are very well done, informed by physiologists and actual experiences.

    Sound: The game was developed with the use of a headset in mind. The voice acting is excellent as disembodied voices sound like they are with the player in the room. This voice work simulates psychosis to unforgettable, empathic, and absolutely disturbing affect. Sound is expertly utilized to deliver clues to solve puzzles as well as effects to ascent combat. Music is rare, but when implemented channels the emotion of the story and gameplay.

    Control: Relatively simple action game controls that anyone can learn. Combat strategy evolves slowly throughout the game, and the game reaches a conclusion before the action becomes a chore.

    Game Time: Approximately 10 hours for a single play through. A brilliant experience that lacks a reason to replay the game other than chasing trophies or achievements. Recommend approaching doors slowly as running to doors can cause the doors to fail to open.

    Hellblade delivers an absolutely stunning and unforgettable experience of both Viking mythos and real psychosis. Ninja Theory has created a masterful story while respecting those whom suffer from psychosis to inspire empathy within the player. As such, this game deals with serious issues, and is best consumed by a mature audience.

    Expect the pacing of the game to be varied, oscillating between intense action and exploration sequences solving visual puzzles. Some players may find this pacing to undermine the experience, but others will welcome the break from combat to admire the visuals and appreciate the world. No role-playing elements or choices are incorporated as the story is told through beautiful cut scenes, reminiscent of turn of the century games.

    Recommendation: Anyone seeking a brilliant story driven single player game simulating psychosis, which at times can be horrific as well as joyful will find Hellblade to be a fantastic experience. The price of admission, even for this relatively short game is worth it.

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