Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

In Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice there are extremely exciting moments, others of extreme tension almost as a horror mold, which can make the main characters of the main protagonist live.

The path taken by Ninja Theory is interesting, because although not dotted with titles universally recognized as masterpieces, it has helped to create a certain charisma around the British developer, especially for its artistic skill: on consoles We left with a reboot of Devil May Cry who did a lot of talk about graphics and gameplay but it undoubtedly had a personality. In many, perhaps, they expected a natural evolution towards unpublished intellectual property voted for genre action, but the Cambridge boys had different plans: content development team - about 20 people - title released without external funding, selling price halved compared to classics Triple A, but guaranteeing a few hours of playing the same value. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a disturbing title if it comes to the above expectations, as it puts the gameplay in the service of a theme rarely treated so thoroughly in video games, that of psychosis. That's exactly why we get rid of a couple of curiosities that in the case of this title become secondary: as anticipated it costs 30 euros and we have completed it in about 8 hours. In the next paragraph, then, we will focus on the aspects that have led to our judgment, which should be considered for good and for evil by those who are interested in the game.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is one of those titles that falls into the "very easy" category with regard to obtaining the long-awaited platinum. By completing the game, we have unlocked 90% of the total trophies, leaving in the course obviously only a handful of entries telling stories related to Nordic mythology. The rest is achieved naturally in the adventure and winning a good amount of clashes.

Psychosis is a disorder of the mind not known by the most, which has no physical manifestations compared to other diseases and is therefore difficult to understand by those who are not affectionate. Usually the symptoms are hallucinations and delirium, with the impossibility of discerning what is happening in your mind from the objective reality of which you lose contact. Be careful not to confuse it with psychopathy, which adds to the lack of empathy and remorse, but also to approach it lightly, we will limit ourselves to doing so in relation to Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice: it is a delicate theme, about which Ninja developers Theory has turned to study groups and scientists to learn it all the way and play it in the video game in a credible and especially honest way. In the form of an adventure within the world created by Senua's mind, Celtic warrior who has suffered a series of traumas since childhood: the father who isolated it for the first signs of imbalance, the violent death of his beloved, The beliefs of Nordic mythology in which the leaders of the subjugated tribes were sacrificed to the gods.

A constant struggle with the inner darkness that can only exist if the light is present: the larger the projected shadow, the greater the danger. We do not want to reveal further aspects of the "plot" because it is fair to be experienced in person by the player; What we can tell you, however, is how the Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice torments were reproduced from the aesthetic point of view and gameplay. Let's start from the latter, set in a third person with close-up view shifted to the right; Similar to Resident Evil 4 and the new God of ar, to be honest. Progression is quite linear except in a couple of moments that can be addressed in reverse order, based on a series of fights - representing 20-30% of the experience outside of the final part - and puzzle resolution Environmental, always from the high symbolic value integrated with the narration. Often and willingly, there are bounded doors with some of the runic symbols depicted above, which are to be explored by exploring the setting, perhaps from specific angles. At other times the protagonist faces the illusions generated by his own mind, and then one has to find the way by looking through "portals" that reveal passages. And again, reviving the fire of your village, with the flames representing the danger of overwhelming. In these franchises, it is about solving simple puzzles, exploring discreetly large environments such as size but linear as articulation, using R2 (on PlayStation 4, title is exclusive console but also available on PC) to reveal the next step.

The combat system is associated with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice will to defeat their fears, which manifest themselves in obscure creatures from disturbed aspects; Usually the clashes occur one against one, but you have to be careful about the attacks from the other monsters on the battlefield. The command scheme includes parade with R1, dodge with X, light and heavy attachments with square and triangle; The circle finally to kick in order to break the defenses of opponents with a shield. All is quite simplistic following the classic script that counts timing and counterattack at the right time, with a small sample of moves available. One last possibility is to throw a light beam that can slow down the time, available following a number of avoided or pointed shots. In this regard, you can choose the difficulty level at any time - without affecting the achievement of the trophies - with the unreleased "Auto" option that tends to be based on your performance and the number of hits you have suffered: we suggest you Play immediately to Hard, in such a way as to obtain a satisfactory level of challenge.

Everything here, neither the general gameplay nor the combat system can be compared to the best expressions present in adventures or action titles, but what struck us is how they have been integrated into the narrative and visual reproduction of the world created by Senua So to say the least magistrale. This is thanks to a double work by Ninja Theory, which has produced with Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice a small jewel from the audiovisual point of view. If possible, arm yourself with good headphones or a positional stereo system because the whole adventure is accompanied by an exceptional dubbing - in English - and the many voices within the head of the protagonist, which come from precise directions and help increase The overall involvement. It is a pity for the lazy work of Italian subtitles, which often suggest whole lines of characters by anticipating dialogs, which are instead recited with pauses and emphasis: they would deserve better sync with written text.

In any case the acting of the protagonist, the sampling of the voices, the quality of the dialogues are indeed a valuable bill; Often clashes and topical moments are accompanied by screams and conversations that can increase empathy with the protagonist, actually raising a something that he took alone and grafted into a "normal" game would have been at the limit of the banal. The same outstanding quality is seen in purely artistic and visual terms: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice uses the Unreal Engine 4 graphic engine, modeled by Ninja Theory to propose a peculiar style that surprises in the range of colors and filters applied depending on the situation. Among other things, effects such as deformation, superimposed writing, flashbacks have been reproduced following the testimonies of patients and doctors interviewed, in the same way as symbologies such as crows, branches and light, much more intense than the shadows that are projected. In short, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice denotes some visual research that translates optimally even if it is analyzed from a purely graphical point of view, not by chance we have consumed the photographic mode to immortalize the many merited points we have crossed. Some additional technical notes on the PlayStation 4 Pro include the 60hz and 30hz options, and in this case there is an increased resolution of 1440p "upscaled" in 4K. The HDR support will come later, we preferred greater fluidity, for a more responsive commands response, even with some well-disguised motion blur drops and aggressive graphic filters.

In Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice there are extremely exciting moments, others of extreme tension almost as a horror mold, which can make the main characters of the main protagonist live. When overwhelmed he does not die, he simply lives the same moment as the rocket further corrodes Senua's mind, until reaching the finals, which partially explain the process in his head, partly help to understand how You may have a perception so different from the objectively recognized (?).

Who expects (Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice) a sort of Heavenly Sword lightened by its defects, or a modern action, better than looking elsewhere: the new car title produced by Ninja Theory is in some respects surprising, for other shameless. Fights and progression are at the service of a strong, masterly screened narrative, capable of touching topics rarely dealt elsewhere, appearing in a video game. If we want to make a comparison more or less forced, it falls into the title category at Dear Esther or Gone Home, but with a more full and varied gameplay. Of course, he could be far better off to take the title to masterpieces, but it is also effective in living non-passively the psychotic disturbances of the protagonist, his struggle with the darkness, the world that was created after having lived a Trauma series. The most difficult battles are dealing with the mind, not with the sword: whoever writes to you today has never had to deal with such a conflict as a fortune, but was impressed by how this concept was reproduced in such a way Within a video game.

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Good
  • Exceptional artistic level
  • Senua is masterfully characterized
  • Gameplay perfectly serves an important narrative
Bad
  • Combats and puzzles, especially if decontestualized, are poorly developed
9
Amazing
Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 10
Audio - 9

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