338: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

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JaySevenZero
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338: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:30 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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Kermit McElmo
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Re: 338: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Post by Kermit McElmo » April 24th, 2018, 10:05 pm

Headphones, I love great headphones, I'm glad I do as to play Hellblade you really need a decent pair of cans (as recomended by the screen before you start). From the start as you paddle through a bog on your rickety old canoe you start to hear voices, the paranoia seeps in. To defeat Hella you have to defeat 2 very different bosses; fire and illusion. The demons you fight are not everywhere and it left me on my toes waiting for them to jump out and use the simple yet fun dodge/parry strong/quick attack combat, specially when you go into focus mode.

But it is now when the darkness creeps in, so dark the demons even seem to disappear, solving puzzles, trying to ignore the voices in my head. The darkness, the darkness, the darkness...

For me the audio was 50% of this game, namely the level when you must escape the darkness using only torchlight and your ears to encounter an unforgettable boss-fight, the giant hog creature who disappears into the darkness, fighting him using my ears, listening for the beast. I found this fight challenging, frustrating, with a constant fear that I may be dying to much and have my save deleted (something I googled after completion and found out was a brilliant lie!)

Yet Unfortunately this boss fight is where the game peaks...

For the final stretch the game then gets lazy, by just launching hoards of the same old enemies at you, losing the tension and paranoia it has spent hours building. Walk, open rune door, loads of old demons, rinse, repeat. But nothing is az disappointing as the final boss (or lack of boss fight) where you don't fight the final boss, but just fight more hoards of demons? It was a nice touch fighting and having to let myself die giving the story a unique, but really, the developers could have gone about it another way as opposed to getting me to fight 100 (no longer frightening) monsters that were used to brilliantly in in the rest of the game.

Overall Hellblade is a fantastic game, let down by an ending that seemed rushed and tossed away all the tension and fear I felt it spent time building up. However I still recommend it if only for the 1st 80% of the game.

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xbenblasterx
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Re: 338: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Post by xbenblasterx » May 4th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Playing Hellblade truly was an experience like no other, never have i played a game that could so aptly work its way into your brain and take hold and this was no doubt thanks to the fantastic audio design. Hellblade is as much an audio experience as it is a visual one. From the very begining the game fills your ears with hushes whispers that pose just as much of a challenge as any of the enemies faced in the game. As a storytelling vessel, a method tackling some sensetive subjects and opeing the eyes of a wider audience to the mental conditions many people suffer with, the game does a superb job. However the game is sadly let down by the game side of it. The combat itself becomes boring very quickly, i often found myself thinink Hellblade may be a game better served in the style of a Gone Home or Firewatch style 'walking simulator'.

Despite this i enjoyed my time (if enjoy is the right phrase) Hellblade and hope this is the start for more games to follow in its wake.

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Re: 338: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Post by Simonsloth » May 16th, 2018, 9:50 am

In preparation for playing this game I played the entire ninja theory back catalogue as I had such fond memories of them and high expectations for this.

I don’t want to tread old ground but you can see the building blocks of hellblade in their previous work. Narrative has always been a big focus throughout all their games with a focus on actor performance in particular. Hellblade is not just a hop, skip and a jump but an astronomical leap forward in narrative and performance.

This game, to me, is perfection. The story is excellent, it’s delivery is best in class and it’s as if it was focus grouped for me specifically, I didn’t find the combat boring. I found it visceral, exciting and nail biting. I realise now that I barely lost a fight but those moments where you are close to death when the action becomes sluggish and hazy I genuinely felt incredibly tense.
I don’t expect every game to cater for me but an excellent , well delivered narrative with visceral gameplay mechanics will always win me over and this game did everything I wanted and more.

Often in games we shoot because we have to or we fight because that’s what we need to do to progress. In this game I fought with every ounce of my being not for me but for Senua. Every hit “we” took was like a shot of adrenaline heightening my reflexes and the experience. Every victory was ours. It sounds strange but I didn’t feel like I was pressing buttons but that I was there fighting alongside. Perhaps we don’t give enough credit to rumble technology but I felt every impact because of it.

I disagree that the game loses focus later on. I actually feel the opposite that from the sea of corpses onwards the game continues on a crescendo right towards the perfect denouement. I don’t think I’ve shed a tear in a game for a long time but I did at the end. I felt exhausted. Ninja theory, well done, bravo, I am in awe of your work.

I’ll try and refine this post before the podcast as at the moment it sounds like the ravings of a madman.



Is hellblade the perfect game... maybe? It has propelled itself into top 3 games of all time. I don’t think it will hold its place because repeated playthroughs will dampen the impact but right now it’s close to perfection.

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