Home // Blog // ► A review of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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Summary for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
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.

Personally, I bought this game for the way it looked. I didn’t really read up into it, so wasn’t expecting the barrage of voices, nor the idea of psychosis.

It’s an experience that’ll either leave you frustrated or strung out and on edge.

Oh, and don’t forget that you can only die a certain amount of times before your saved game is erased and you’ll have to start all over again.

No stress or anything.


Purchase via: Steam
► PS4 [Digital Code]

Don’t forget: ► Patreon supporters can watch playthroughs before they’re uploaded to YouTube.
Check my YouTube for the playthrough.
► My in-depth walkthroughs are available for Patreon supporters.

SOUNDTRACK

There’s nothing like the epic music you might hear in a JRPG, but rather a somber tone that sets you in the mood of the area you’re in, or the task you’re about to complete. It’s more ambient effects: the churning of water, the crackling of fire, the echoing of voices in a cave.

It really puts you into the environment. Into the moment, without distracting from what you’re doing.

VOICEOVER

Speaking of distracting, Senua constantly hears voices throughout the game. For the most part, you can try to ignore them, but other times they give you helpful tips, especially in times of battle. Your mother’s voice indicates that you can see her somewhere as a vision. Typically the voices get more persistent when you’re going the right way.

This game takes you into a stage of psychosis by allowing the voices to whisper in your right ear, left, surround you, become loud and close or whispering and farther away.

Aside from the array of voices in your head, you’ll also be hearing your mother as you travel throughout the game, and Druth who tells of stories of himself as well  as the gods (a very interesting aspect!), and her dead lover, Dillion, in moments of near death or unconsciousness.

My one main qualm with this game is that the voices were quiet to me. Whispering a little too soft. This may have been an error on my end by not upping the volume more to hear them clearly.

GRAPHICS

The graphics in Hellblade are downright amazing. Every environment you’re traveling through has different visuals for you to enjoy—or not, as with the case of getting closer to Hel. The environment, and the soundtrack, sets the mood with the area you’re in.

And the way they did Senua in the gameplay? Amazing.

GAMEPLAY

There’s not much in the way of gameplay. My friends joked about it being a walking simulator. That’s not exactly the case. There are battles, and that’s where you’re going to be tested the most.

You’ll need to learn to dodge, parry, evade the hard-hitting moves, understand your opponents’ battle style, and also listen to your voices when they shout important things at you.

While the lackeys’ you face may seem the same with their mechanics, the bosses are different in the ways they fight and how you’ll best defeat them. I’ve never played Dark Souls or Bloodborne before (as of writing this), but some of those fights are reminiscent on the style of those kinds of battles.

Outside of battle, there are areas where you’ll perceive symbols differently throughout the world in order to open doors that are otherwise closed to you.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember that this game is different from others you may have played in the fact that you can’t always trust what you see, because Senua does suffer from a mental illness. Things are sometimes in front of you, but other times not. The voices might overwhelm you, but when they go quiet, their silence may startle you more than their chattering ever had.

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