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|OS:||Windows 7, 8, 10|
|Processor:||Intel i5 3570K / AMD FX-8350|
|Memory:||8 GB RAM|
|Graphics:||GTX 770 with 2GB VRAM / Radeon R9 280X 3GB|
|Storage:||30 GB available space|
|Additional Notes:||Minimum spec screen resolution: 1280x720|
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is not a game. It’s an example of what people with vision, scope and means-for-the-purpose can achieve without being burdened with demographics of marketing to a target audience. It’s a true testament of what the combination of art and science can result in, using video games as a medium of expression. Buy it. Switch off the lights. Put on your headphones. Turn it on. And live the best experience of 2017.
Hellblade is a kind of a game you have not played yet. Despite the smaller variability of enemies, it offers such a powerful experience that we have to recommend it. Senua's mind suffers and you suffer with her. Ragnarök is coming. [Issue#277]
Hellblade is one of the game industry’s few genuine dramas – a dark, uncomfortable experience that makes players suffer alongside its protagonist. By intentionally avoiding the standard power fantasy in their designs, Ninja Theory has shined a light on mental illness, an important subject that many people are ill-informed about, and they’ve portrayed it in an immersive manner that no other storytelling medium could. For those up to the challenge, it’s a must-play, and one of the boldest and most important artistic endeavors games have seen in quite some time.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a morally challenging game that will give you an experience only videogames can provide. The more you play it, the more it plays you.
Blending powerful imagery, unrivaled visuals quality, an excellent combat system and a unique setting that mixes Norse mythology with mental illness, Ninja Theory fully delivers on their independent AAA pitch with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. This is one of those titles that, albeit not flawless, should be experienced by every gamer at some point.
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice is a game of exploration and puzzles. You solve the puzzles with almost no help from the game and get into battles with mighty demons. After a lot of puzzles and demons you fight an amazingly done boss. While fighting and solving you will constantly hear voices caused by your character's mental illness. It's a really creepy game which involves a lot of monsters and creatures that will attack and try to make you weaker and insecure. The game is a huge and wonderful experience that everyone should play.
Clocking in at around 6 hours, there isn’t any real replay value unless you’re someone like me who likes to go back to see how the experience changes after I’ve been enlightened with the full picture. While some may claim that it is far too short of a game, I would argue that it is the perfect length for this particular title, and as it retails at half the cost of a typical triple A game at $29.99, it more than justifies its asking price. After all, I certainly don’t think this would have been a better game if it was double the length at twice the cost.
Hellblade can disappoint you with repetitive puzzles, linear structure and the fact that it was stripped down to most basic, indispensable mechanics. But Hellblade is not about gameplay. It’s about darkness and fear and despair. The emotional weight of this game is unbearable. Forget about The Last of Us, To the Moon or Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Hellblade is soul-crushing in a way I never thought a game could be. Remember Requiem for a Dream? That’s what Hellblade does to you. I will NEVER forget Ninja Theory’s masterpiece. [10/2017, p.38]
There are several reasons that make Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice a great game. It's a fascinating journey which bravely deals with a taboo topic like the psychosis on the basis of a meticolous research. Senua is an extraordinary multi-layered character, one of the best ever created for a videogame. And finally this is the proof of the quality of the “AAA indie” model created by Ninja Theory.
The title is a milestone.
Why would a celt undertake a journey to Helheim, which has nothing to do with Celtic mythology? How come a historically correct pict from Orkney islands manages to find a mythological place in the first place? And why there are so many voices in her head? The premise of Hellblade raises a lot of questions, and the game answers most of them in due time. [Issue #222, p.70]
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a clear example of a game as an art form with a strong message and a complex, layered narrative. It’s true that you’re sort of along for the ride and most of your interactions are through your emotional response to what is depicted rather than through the mechanics of the game, but is that such a bad thing?
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice takes us on a long road to hell paved with contemplative yet stressful scenes, and an impressive respect for Norse myths and legends.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has an excellent atmosphere and intensive storytelling. Ninja Theory has tried something different and they been very successful at this.
While the narrative is front and center, Hellblade also has a swordplay component that has Senua squaring off in brutal encounters.
Ninja Theory ought to be praised for what it’s achieved – an adult story that’s told like no other, combat that’s skilful and harrowing, unique environmental based puzzles and light, scenic adventuring. It’s just a shame that some of Hellblade‘s gameplay components at times feel forced.
The Nordic mythology mixed with the exploration into the human insanity provides the basis for a dark, stirring mood. The game is based on fear, and anxiety exploration and the stunning main character, respectively the excellent performance of the lead actress. The combat system sometimes cannot keep the pace, but the rest of the game is an unconventional joy that is definitely worth buying.
It's a game whose many elements speak with one voice to address a subject and tell a story that has the potential to deeply touch those who identify firsthand with its themes, and if this game doesn't leave you feeling more civilized and empathetic toward those themes by the end of it, it's hard to imagine the game that can.
Over the course of its journey, Hellblade keeps its gameplay lean in order to not overstay its welcome. Despite the complexity of the narrative and its presentation, combat only happens when it needs to, and puzzle solving and set-piece moments often drive the story forward to reveal more about Senua's motivations. Which in turn reveals the struggles that torment her, preventing her from moving on.
Hellblade could benefit from more exploration and enemy variety, but it's a powerful portrait of the strength of will over personal demons.
If Heavenly Sword had an opposite, it would without a doubt be Hellblade. A dark, gritty, psychotic, atmospheric hell-ride through the forest of insanity. It looks great but plays like a gloomy record. Not everyone will enjoy this dark adventure. But what it does, it does great. Maybe even too great, if I may say so.
Despite its rough edges, Hellblade is often stunning, and approaches mental illness with a unique blend of traditional storytelling and interactive mechanics. If you’re more interested in a stylish action game, there are certainly better options out there, but one thing is clear: No game will leave you feeling like Hellblade does.
Odd as it may sound to recommend a game moreso on its story, Ninja Theory’s latest is an interesting, if flawed, entrant.
A harrowing, relentlessly grim tale let down by workmanlike combat and puzzles. [Issue#266, p.58]
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