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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice review
Exceptional
by Amun Akta

OMG, I don't know how I haven't played this game earlier.

For those who don't know, this game is about a Celtic warrior with schizophrenia/psychosis that goes to Hellhiem to retrieve her loved one's soul.

I love mythology and theology. Greek is my favorite, but Norse is a close second.
Then there is the mental health theme.
This are two topics that, at first I thought wouldn't work together but Ninja Theory nailed it.
The mental illness part is very well handed and fells real. I really happy to see this theme handled with the care and respect it deserves.

The gameplay is simple works well.
Some say that the combat is janky and not that good. I disagree. 
The slashes fell powerful and meaty. The parry is heavy and you fell the force of the impact.
The only thing I don't like about the combat system is the enemy lock. I really hate that part, and it took a long type to get used to it.

The graphics are pretty damn good looking for a (technically) indie studio.
The facial animations are amazing and really life like.

The voice acting and performance are top notch. You fell what Senua is felling. You look in her eyes and you undestand her.  

Now, the sound, the FRICKING SOUND. It is probably the best technical part of the game.
The music is amazing. It fells grandiose and big. I have the Hellblade's OST on Spotify and I have been listening to it non stop.
The ASMR like voices that circle your head all the time while you play are a great way to make you enter Senua's head space. The ambient sounds really suck you in to that scenery.

This is something I have to say.
I can praise this game for hours, but there is a big problem for me.
I can't replay it.
It is such a heavy and gut punching game that it's really difficult for me to get though it again.
If you have some problem, like for example autism it might be difficult to play it at all.

Overall it's a really immersive, engaging experience that will captivate you, while punch you in the gut all though out it's 8 hour duration.
«Blew my mind»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
«Underrated»

Other reviews21

This game drew me in right from the get go. I loved the vibe. Visually it looked amazing. The combat is very simple but still feels pretty good. The puzzles in this game were clever and much more enjoyable than I expected. The story was interesting and unique.

Final Score: A-
Very nice vikingish story and setting but not only that, it's much more and deeper, with high quality sound design and voice acting.
«Blew my mind»
«OST on repeat»
Good quests, perfect fights.
Actor's game is really nice!
Senua's story won't leave you indifferent!
P.S. I recommend to watch a film about the game after you will finish it. It's available from a main menu of the game.  Rather interesting.
Dense atmosphere, great sound design, very pretty, but ultimately disappointing. The apparent bold and unique vision for the game's narrative devolves into something pretty generic by the end. This is a real bummer since the game starts with so much promise.
One of the most beautiful games, not just in how it looks but how it feels to play this game. My brother insisted I play it with my headphones on and I am so glad I did. Having that surround sound, being fully immersed in Senua's journey, it made this came unforgettable. The action sequences have a certain flow to them, with fighting that is more than just hack/slash, but almost like a Zelda boss...if Zelda was animated in a more realistic style. 10/10 for me.
7/10
fucking beautiful, all through out
i've yet to see a piece of media (any media) that so tastefully and properly captures psychosis as well as this game does
and despite its narrative pretensions, the combat isn't bad either
very basic, but not bad at all

don't look up things about it, just give it a whirl
«Blew my mind»
«That ending!»
Hellblade was a very interesting experience reminiscent of Dante's Inferno, in which Senua travels to Hell and back (literally) to save her husband's condemned soul.

Let's talk about the story. I loved the sense of mystery, dread, and uncertainty we had through the entire game. Hellblade presents a well made story about dealing with loss, showing us Senua go through the five stages of grief in a very subtle manner, while also dealing, and eventually overcoming, mental illness. The Norse mythology has a very accurate representation as well, showing us one of the closest representations of the ancient gods we've ever seen on media.

Now regarding gameplay, honestly I consider this more of a 'experience' or 'movie' more than it is a game. The game is obviously heavy narrative based and has very little playability outside of movement and combat, and now that we are talking about combat... The combat itself feels very clunky and sometimes unfair, It could have been done way better but I don't blame them, the highlight of Hellblade is its story and narrative, it's not very focused on combat mechanics and it shows.

Overall, excellent game, one truly amazing experience.
«That ending!»
An incredible game with amazing visuals, simple but intuitive combat system, and a captative story that full of Nordic mythology. Despite all this, Hellblade has some off-putting weak points, like very little evolution and diversity in terms of enemies throughout the game and puzzles that end up being repeated too many times, some bad acting on the live action put discreetly into it. This game also ruins your experience a lot with a stale ending and a HORRIBLE and super misplaced song for the credits.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Some Triple-A Developer/Publishers can cut themselves off a Disc! I don't know a Game that deals with the Issue Of Psychosis as intensively as this one. It offers a very interesting Insight into the Emotional World of a Figure with such a "Disease." The Voices in the Head that accompany you throughout the game are just one of these Phenomena. The Story itself is located around Norse Mythology, which I don't normally care about at all, but here it is well built in and does not exaggerate with unnecessary Information or Stories. It is about 8 Hours long, which for some is a short time for €30000. However, one has to bear in mind that on the one hand it is produced at Triple-A level and still is not offered at the Full Price and on the other hand this Length is completely sufficient. It would be worse if the Story got worse just because you absolutely want to do it longer. In brevity lies the Seasoning;) The Story of Senua Itself could confuse for one or the other towards the End, as it reveals the Information relatively subtly (as Opposed to some other Games). So you should be full of things and think something (:D) to fully understand the Story at the first Attempt, because it really has it in it and for me is certainly one of the Best of this Year. A small Point of Criticism is certainly the lack Of Localization into other Languages, but I cannot assess that because everyone considers it to be of different importance. I don't really care, so I rate that neutrally. At least this leads everyone to see the excellent acting performance of the Senua actress (who, Incidentally, comes from Germany ^ ^). The Gameplay is simple, so Ninja Theory can make it possible to do without HUD, which contributes a lot to the Atmosphere. In Principle, it consists of three Parts: The "Walking Simulator," i.e. the exploration of the Level or the Progression to the next, the Puzzles and the Fights. The Puzzles still fade well into the Game world at the beginning, but at the End seem like a compulsively built-in Game Element, to have some Gameplay with you and to stretch the Game a bit. The Fights or the Fighting Techniques are easy to learn and, in my Opinion, go well with a Mouse and Keyboard. Technically, the Game runs at the same Level as the Content: It looks damn good and runs fluidly to a large Extent. You only notice that the Game is designed for Consoles because there are hardly any Setting Options. (For Example, you can't adjust Mouse sensitivity). In Summary, I can only say: Respect to Ninja Theory for venturing into taboo topics like this and despite their small Budget (after all, they've published it themselves and only worked with a relatively small Team on it) a game at AAA Level Have developed. By the Way, the game's integrated Documentary about the Game and Ninja Theory'S Dev Diaries on YouTube, which show how, despite the highly limited resources, you can still let creativity run wild and Conjure up a very nice Game from it Can. :)
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