Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

released on Aug 08, 2017

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

released on Aug 08, 2017

From the makers of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, comes a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness.

Set in the Viking age, a broken Celtic warrior embarks on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.

Created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will pull you deep into Senua’s mind.


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One of the most memorable games of it's generation, solely because of it's presentation skill. The gameplay itself was rather limited and felt more like a walking sim with some very lite combat thrown in. That being said it is the best use case in my life for playing a game with headphones on. They went out of their way to make you emphasize with the character's mental illness in a way that I've never seen attempted before. The story that's told would be inadequate had it not been for the way it's presented. Overall I did not like the few FMV portions of the game. Little re-playability once beaten, however it's an easy 100% to get with a guide.


Fantastic story and atmosphere alongside serviceable combat, but man did those rune puzzles just become tedious after the first two areas (Surtr and Valravn). Worth a play for sure regardless


Trabalho de audio muito bem efeito, narrativa e atuações excelentes.
Fora isso, level design pouco criativo, extremamente linear em corredores ao longo de todo o jogo, além de um combate mediano com pouca variedade de inimigos repitido a exaustão.


A história é sensacional, acompanhar a saga da Senua e os problemas que ela passa e todo o contexto da doença mental e de como a gnt chega a fazer parte disso, ouvindo a cabeça dela é algo sensacional, a atmosfera é incrível, porém....

A gameplay é cansativa e repetitiva, o jogo acaba se tornando longo, mesmo não sendo. Tirando os chefes, os inimigos são basicamente os mesmos e os movimentos para derrotá-los também.

Agora, com a Microsoft por trás, a continuidade promete muito mais e estou animado para isso.


Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice intensifies the abnormalities surrounding psychosis through a visceral journey into the hellish underworld of Norse mythology, bravely blending a neurological deficiency with a dark fantastical hack-and-slash interactive experience.

WHAT I LIKED:
+ "The hardest battles are fought in the mind". Psychosis is the mental condition resulting in difficulties when determining what is reality and what is fantasy, such as suffering with delusions and hallucinations. Senua, a Celtic warrior, strives to travel to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the Norse goddess of death Hela. Throughout her perilous journey, she becomes afflicted with a curse which conjures otherworldly enemies for Senua to combat and haunts her mind with the voices of darkness. Upon failure, the curse overwhelms her body and rots her flesh until she is no more. Ninja Theory's writer Antoniades, along with several neuroscientists and mental health specialists, sublimely supply a metaphor throughout Senua's Sacrifice that uniquely approaches the condition without forcing Senua to be a conduit for the condition. Through the use of backstory and heightened memories, Senua instantly becomes a fleshed out character without embodying the mental condition as a gimmick. She is not defined by the condition, rather the player experiences the turmoil with her. Subconsciously internalising the world to which she perceives it. It is, without a doubt, a masterful representation of a tricky mental condition to convey through art. To conceive a compelling narrative, build a melancholic world and raise awareness on psychosis, is nothing short of genius.
+ "A life without loss is one without love". Senua, captured in full motion capture by the talented Melina Juergens, is a performance to be reckoned with. The ferocity through the psychological horror. The tenacity through her unwavering determination. The fury buried deep with her, as she unleashes her anger out upon the world. It is breathtakingly intense. From the glares into the player's soul, to the vehement screams as she crumbles to the ground. For the entirety of her quest, Senua along with player will struggle to breathe. The inclusion of live action performances, reflecting her memories, and integral voice acting narration which act as verbal indications for the player, are purposefully designed to fit around Senua's condition. And it works, effortlessly.
+ "You destroyed everything! Everyone! But not me! Fight me now!". Blending a variety of genres, the core game mechanic ultimately relies on its hack-and-slash roots. Senua is provided with limited moves, such as a light/heavy attack and blocking capabilities. However the beauty of Senua's combat, despite its limitations, is how tight the controls are. Every slash of her sword and every dodge from oncoming enemy attacks felt instantly responsive, with a satisfying weight to them. The narrative is the key focus, therefore the combat's complexities are simplified to allow Hellblade to be as accessible as it can be, along with difficulty settings for the combat encounters.
+ In blindness, there can be wisdom; only by giving, can you receive in return". Along with the intense combat sequences and scenes of horrific nature, Senua has the ability to "focus" on runes and other visual distortions that correspond to the condition of psychosis. Elements and mechanics that are not visible for anyone else. These puzzling elements involve the player to use the environment to create runes, travel between a past and present world and mend broken shards to form a new path. Whilst not challenging, these moments allowed Hellblade to slow down the pace and breathe, building upon Senua as a character and the central narrative metaphor.
+ "Turn your back on death and you only see the shadow that it casts". Ninja Theory pulled one of the greatest implications in a linear game ever: permadeath. The correlation between erasing the player's save data if Senua dies too many times and the way fear is introduced to a person. The fact that this mechanic was a bluff all along proves how fear can be a catalyst for mental illness, and for many it kept them on their toes throughout the 4-5 hour game.

WHAT I DISLIKED:
- "This is the price she pays for seeing things differently". Hellblade is a work of art. It truly, truly is. A short intense gaming experience like no other. Yet, more often that not, the inconsistent pacing threw me off course. The blending of game mechanics was not as seamless as it could've been. The first act balancing the combat with the puzzle solving intuitively, as Senua faces two illusory trials. The second act, involving memory shards, was absent of combat and solely relied on puzzle solving. Then the conclusive third act, Senua approaching Helheim, focused on endless hordes of enemies to slay without incorporating any of the new puzzle mechanics that were previously introduced. From a gameplay perspective, Hellblade is too segregated and vastly ambitious with its ideas, that it cannot perfectly merge them all together in a cohesive way. Ultimately separating the supremely artistic narrative from the occasionally cumbersome core game.

VERDICT:
9/10 rune totems