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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Review and Discussion Thread (mark your spoilers!)

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Nightpain    99

The game doesn't even have a physical release, so why they're going back to 1980's game design to combat videogame rental stores and having players be able to beat the game without needing to buy it is pretty baffling--- or would be, if there were rental stores even around still. So instead this is just archaic. And stupid. 

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Eurogamer - Essential
Ninja Theory crafts a highly competent action game and a nuanced, powerful exploration of mental health.

GamesBeat - 95
It might have been madness for a small studio like Ninja Theory to take on such a herculean task, but I’m glad they made the trip.

Hobby Consolas - 91
Hellblade approaches psychosis in a videogame in a mature and original way. The game has a perfect balance of combat, puzzles and exploration, with great sound and graphics, but it falls too short, clocking in at about 8 hours of length.

Trusted Reviews - 90
Hellblade triumphs equally as action game, mythic quest and psychological character study, bringing together some amazing visuals, great performances and ingenious design. It’s short-lived but perfectly paced with a blend of action and puzzles that grows in richness and complexity as the game goes on. While some might prefer Enslaved or the DMC reboot, I’d call it Ninja Theory’s best work yet.

Gadgets 360 - 90
Marrying combat, narrative, and strong characters, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is greater than the sum of its parts, making it well worth its asking price. It might not be the sequel to DmC: Devil May Cry, but it's a tense, dramatic experience that's worth the price of entry.

PlayStation LifeStyle - 90
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a complete experience for a bargain price. Struggling through life as a psychosis sufferer is an alarming experience, and Hellblade provides an illuminating glimpse into the lives of those afflicted by such terror.

God is a Geek - 90
One of the most inventive games of the year, showing that time and patience can be behind a challenging, smart, and incredibly interesting game.

IGN - 90
A masterclass of atmosphere, storytelling, and the marriage of mechanical and conceptual design. While there are moments that feel shoehorned in to remind us we’re playing a videogame, the care and attention Ninja Theory has clearly poured into Senua and her story has created something amazing. This is a game everyone should play, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have lived inside the mind of Senua, however briefly.

AngryCentaurGaming - Buy
Just a damn unique title

Multiplayer.it - 88

IGN Spain - 88
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an excellent demonstration of quality with an absorbing history and an outstanding artistic direction. Joining concepts such as Norse mythology and psychosis was not easy, but the mixture has been respectful and interesting.

EGM - 85
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is the action adventure genre stripped of its excess, until a smaller, more personal journey remains. While it may feel shallow and lacking for some, those wanting something other than the usual big-budget 70-hour fare will find Senua’s story to be unlike anything else in recent years.

IGN Italy - 85
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is the action adventure genre stripped of its excess, until a smaller, more personal journey remains. While it may feel shallow and lacking for some, those wanting something other than the usual big-budget 70-hour fare will find Senua's story to be unlike anything else in recent years.

GamePro Germany - 84
It is so unique and so interesting that it can not be overlooked.

TheSixthAxis - 80
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a profound sensual experience that’s unmissable. The way it highlights psychosis and incorporates it isn’t just a part of the aesthetic, but it also makes for fascinating gameplay. This is a phenomenal achievement for the discussion of mental health that we’ll be talking about for years to come.

GameSpot - 80
Hellblade's most notable achievement is the handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game. At its heart, the story is about Senua's struggle to come to terms with her illness. In the process, she learns to find the strength within herself to endure, and to make peace with her past. And in a profound and physical way, we go through those same struggles with her, and come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.

Game Informer - 80
Psychosis in video games is often used to justify a villain’s world-destroying ambitions, or as a vehicle to present gameplay gimmicks. Hellblade goes beyond those conventions, using Senua’s mental illness as the core from which the entire tale radiates. That approach results in some phenomenal and unsettling narrative moments that knock you off-balance. However, in pursuit of that achievement, Hellblade weaponizes the real-world frustration it causes in exploration and combat. That’s where it falters as a game, even while it captivates as a piece of interactive art.

Gameblog.fr - 80
Hellbalde: Senua's Sacrifice is a Hell of a game. A gorgeous, scary, crazy, oppressive and unique experience with a great setting and story, different and loveable heroine and some interesting gameplay mechanics. Maybe the best surprise of summer 2017.

Push Square - 80
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is not going to appeal to all tastes, and nor does it try to. As a character action game, it has decent if underdeveloped combat and a mixture of some excellent and some overplayed puzzles. But it’s the way that the title utilises the unique attributes of the medium to raise awareness of mental health that elevate this release beyond the sum of its parts.

Vandal - 78

PC Gamer - 78
Hellblade could benefit from more exploration and enemy variety, but it's a powerful portrait of the strength of will over personal demons.

SpazioGames - 75
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice demonstrates that videogames can be the perfect medium to tell a story about complex themes. The depiction of a disease like psychosis is believable and deep. The story works out very well, but the puzzles and the combat system are the game elements that push back the the overall quality of this very interesting project.

Destructoid - 75
Slowly but surely Ninja Theory has moved into film territory, but they can't let go of their need to shove action mechanics into everything they do.

Gamereactor - 70
Ninja Theory's latest game offers concepts and gameplay mechanics that aren't for all.

Everyeye.it - 65
Ninja Theory's last effort is intriguing and fascinating both at a conceptual and executive level - primarily due to its dark tones and its unusual emotional intensity - but at the same time unfortunately quite weak and questionable in terms of pure gameplay.

Metro GameCentral - 60
A technical masterpiece with some of the best swordfighting combat in years, but the storytelling and puzzle elements come across as muddled and awkwardly mismatched.

 

Current Metacritic: 81

Current Open Critic: 82

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Hurdyb1    884

The reviews, or at least the only one I saw so far, did not see that as a negative but a plus that keeps the stakes raised and it works with the story of the game. They didn't see it as artificially making the game difficult. I too wanted it more when I read that. 

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NuBlood    167

"powerful exploration of mental health"

 

"mythic quest and psychological character study"

 

"there are moments that feel shoehorned in to remind us we’re playing a videogame"

 

"Senua’s Sacrifice is a profound sensual experience that’s unmissable"

 

"the title utilises the unique attributes of the medium to raise awareness of mental health"

 

"Slowly but surely Ninja Theory has moved into film territory"

 

 

 

 

LOL. Y'all have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SFLUFAN    9,253
22 minutes ago, Hurdyb1 said:

Also the one review that said 8 hours is too short, that's a perfect game length for me. Anything that's under 6 is where I say it's too short for my taste.

I would be pleasantly surprised if the game is actually 8 hours long, especially at $30!

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AndrewDean84    517

I must have had my head in the sand not knowing this game was being made, let alone releasing.  $30, huh?  Might look into it.

 

TOO MANY GAMES!!!!!

 

I need to abandon my wife and child and move back in with my mother.  How else am I supposed to tackle my backlog?

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Hurdyb1    884
16 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

I would be pleasantly surprised if the game is actually 8 hours long, especially at $30!

 

You are absolutely correct. Games typically released at lower price won't give as much longevity. At $30, they put some work into this game. A passion project almost and they want other people to experience it. 

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stepee    2,093

Apparently it's more complicated than that. It exists, but it takes a shit ton of deaths and resets over multiple check point and you basicialy have to try to get it to happen. I'm still going to play on easy just in case. :)

 

Stolen from gaf:


Permadeath: 
* it's not one life
* the game has an easy mode
* it requires a LOT of deaths to trigger (beyond the scope of normal play, you'd honestly have to go out of your way)
* the game "resets" the mechanic based upon checkpoints (it will only allow you to have X amount of the mechanic at certain points, so if you have X+N after entering a new chapter, it will reset to X)
* if all else fails...just cheese your saves

 

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Man_of_X    172
3 hours ago, Hurdyb1 said:

The reviews, or at least the only one I saw so far, did not see that as a negative but a plus that keeps the stakes raised and it works with the story of the game. They didn't see it as artificially making the game difficult. I too wanted it more when I read that. 

 

I was definitely more on my toes playing last night. lol.  I saw that and I was like "oh oh".

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Xbob42    2,647
2 hours ago, SFLUFAN said:

I would be pleasantly surprised if the game is actually 8 hours long, especially at $30!

 

Yeah, I literally expected it to be like 2 hours at that launch price tag.

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stepee    2,093
37 minutes ago, Xbob42 said:

 

Yeah, I literally expected it to be like 2 hours at that launch price tag.

 

Same! At least, that's what I was afraid of. When they announced $30 and added a subtitle I was afraid this would be some kind of first chapter sorta deal where they split it up.

 

To me 8 hours is the perfect length of a narative action game so long as the pacing is right. I am thankful whenever they appear nowadays with so many 30 or whatever hour games.

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stepee    2,093

Played the first hour or so and yep, this is something special. Really special. It looks amazing, like the kind of amazing you normally get from a sony studio type game. It's also way more open than I thought, I thought it was going to be more like a tunnel kind of God of War (not counting the new one of course) sorta game. Not sure if they've shown that, I was on media blackout after the  first trailer.

 

Oh, and it's prettt damn freaky. Not like horror scary, just...intense.

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stepee    2,093

Man this game. Some other little things of note I appreciate: No loading times at all to be seen, no button prompts (though you can hit start to see the basic action buttons), no guides or waypoints, and no tutorials. It's all done very cleverly to guide you to what you need to do.

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