Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and a Believable Hero

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and a Believable Hero

Hello PlayStation fans, Dominic Matthews here from Ninja Theory. Today I’m very happy to be sharing with you a scene from our upcoming PS4 game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. In this scene we are revealing a new look for Senua based on our aim to make her one of the most believable characters ever seen in a video game.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and a Believable Hero

Senua is a Celtic Warrior who journeys into Viking heartland while struggling with trauma and psychosis. It is important for us to portray the physical, emotional, and mental trials of her quest in both the character model and the representation of her reality. An example of this is the voices that Senua hears in the scene. These voices have been recorded binaurally which means that if you listen to them with headphones on they will sound as if they are in the 3D space around you.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

But there’s more to this scene than meets the eye. We are showcasing a world-first: a new technology that allows our actress to perform the scene live and in real-time directly within the game world. As far as we know no one has done this with a character of such fidelity before.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is our first independently developed and self-published title. We have a small team of 16 people creating the game, but we believe that independence has given us the freedom to try to push our creative ideas and technology further than we ever have before.

The creation of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice continues at full pace, with exciting developments taking place in many areas, which you can catch up on in our development diaries. You can look forward to new diaries in the coming months covering our new combat system, how we’re building out Hellblade’s world, and our continued work with representing Senua’s visions.

Thanks for your support so far!

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  • This is looking really great. One of my most anticipated games this year.

  • Spectacular presentation! I am sad at the same time. Mental illness is no joke. I am intrigued and looking forward to seeing some game play trailers. Do you have a launch window? Thanks, keep up the amazing work.

  • Can’t wait to battle through a cure for this warriors psychosis. Game looks good.

  • Looks like you’re spending more time on development diaries than on making the actual game.

  • Now all I need is a release date and some gameplay footage. I bet Ninja Theory will never cease to amaze us. After all, its been so many years since Heavenly Sword. This title is definitely going under my per-order list for 2016.

  • Looks amazing so far. Need to see some gameplay though.

  • Aloy! is that you?

  • This game is looking more and more like a spiritual sequel to Heavenly Sword. The camera spinning in the trailer along with Senua’s soliloquy looks exactly like Nariko’s in HS.

  • This looks hauntingly stunning. There’s despair there and you guys nailed it.

  • The facial capture is the best I have ever seen in a game. And the graphics are outstanding — true movie-grade CG quality! It doesn’t have the aliasing artifacts typical of deferred renderers — might this be a “Forward +” renderer?

  • The audio is quite interesting.

  • From a “teaser” trailer standpoint, that was pretty intense. Literally hearing all the voices in her head, and then staring right at me, quivering and saying she will find her gave me goosebumps. It’s been a while since a game much less a trailer has given me that type of reaction. Looks really great and I love the look of the landscape, and the apparent Tree of Woe, especially when it becomes engulfed in flames. I did not know anything about this game till now, and now you have a fan and a buyer!

  • Absolutely stunning. I loved DmC (great choice on Noisia, BTW). The narrative of Senua seems exceptionally compelling in a landscape of terrible game stories. Also, I really appreciate your respect of your fans when publishing your development diaries. I wish more developers had the level of transparency about their craft. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you are innovating on a number of technical levels.

    Day 1 purchase for me!

  • Love Ninja Theory and looking forward to more info on this one.

  • That gave me chills OMG I’ve been following this game for so long. As soon as Pre-ordering is up I getting this.
    Keep up the good work guys. You all are doing something different & we all here thank you for it.

  • Beautiful scene, guys. You did a great job showing what you were intending.

  • Looks fantastic, can’t wait.

  • The game looks great. The only problem I have atm is the title. It’s a bit too wordy and I fear it will be easily avoided by people not familiar with Ninja Theory, their work or looking for a new title to sink their time into.

    Like “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” It’s overly wordy and descriptive of something we know little to nothing about before playing.

    Hellblade is catchy, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is over baked.

    • Agreed. The extended title makes it sound, to me, like a sequel or an expansion. It also reminds me of how many Japanese games have long titles and this may be a turn-off to many in the broader western market. Fortunately, there are many people who are familiar with Ninja Theory and won’t make the mistake of overlooking this game.

  • Whose the actress?

  • Why did you guys change her face? Not a fan of the new face no offense to the actress.

    And from the gameplay we saw, the combat seems very shallow and static. I was really hoping it would have been more like Heavenly Sword/DmC combat.

  • Definitely intrigued. I loved what you guys did with Devil May Cry. I’ll keep my eye on this.

  • Looking like a great game cant wait to play this. Enjoyed the rest of your games good luck.

  • I’ve been a huge fan of Ninja Theory because of their GAMEPLAY – DmC was awesome, Enslaved was AMAZING, Heavenly Sword was a pretty good launch window game (and I even admit, I had fun with the horrendously racist Kung Fu Chaos on the Xbox). But you guys need to start showing off gameplay soon if you want players like me to care about this.

    Ninja Theory’s storytelling may have been great in the past, but there’s no Andy Serkis or Alex Garland to handle that stuff this time — I don’t care about a dirty little viking/barbarian girl and the voices in her head unless the game is fun to play first. Don’t turn into Telltale – ignoring gameplay is their thing and it’s garbage. This needs really fun and rewarding combat, with a lot of enemy variety to keep things engaging. Focus on that – and if you have been, then please start showing it.

    Giving this a subtitle, when it already has a very distinct name that’s super easy to remember (or Google), is so unnecessary and seems to signal more of a shift towards storytelling and away from gameplay. Stop making people like me nervous and please start showing that this is going to be a GOOD GAME. C’mon Ninja Theory. Good luck!

  • I got chills watching the trailer. Amazing work to all involved. I’m still on PS3, but this will make me upgrade to PS4. Well done! By the wa, my wife doesn’t play games. I showed her the trailer and she thought it was for a new movie…. That should say something in itself…

  • Lol what about waiting for some gameplay before saying you want to pre order asap .So many game look good before showing some and end up bad .

  • I’m confused as to why people seem to be lapping this trailer up, you guys just basically showed us nothing.

    It’s been over two years since this game’s announcement and we’ve barely seen any gameplay… It’s crazy. I’ve been a big fan of the last 3 console games released by Ninja Theory, and had been looking forward to this game, but at this point I think it’s no longer a day one purchase for me unless something changes to bring me back in between now and release. I just really doubt that.

    Also, if they really only have 16 people working on this game (perhaps an explanation for the seemingly long development cycle without much shown), what else are they working on?

    • 2 years is quick for a development cycle for a game. Even when that’s using already known assets.

      Building on a newer engine takes a long time, deploying new techniques of creating character’s more realistic rendering takes a ton of work also.

      All that with a small team I think would mean a larger workload per person. Being a narrative driven story I imagine what they show is often spoilery.

      All that aside I would put my money on a upcoming delay. They’re supposed to release this year but no specific date. So they have about 9 more months to do that. But like many games in development I think it’ll be pushed back and we’ll end up seeing more when they’re closer to a release.

      Redoing their main character may have also put a damper on showing what’s in the game.

      This is all just my speculation though, maybe they could show more but just feel the work they’re doing in making it is more of a compelling argument at the moment for interest in the game.

    • I’m aware 2-3 years can be a quick cycle, but my main point was it had been that long and we’ve seen almost nothing of the game. Not that I expect to see large chunks of a game before release (as a matter of fact I hate those “here’s the first X hours of Y game!” posts that some devs are keen on doing. But NT hasn’t even shown anything to give me a clear idea of what this game is.

      I do think you’re right though in that they’ve changed the game quite a bit over the years, possible even starting over from the ground up – and that’s slowed them down quite a bit. That’s fine, but don’t keep teasing us with nothing, and maybe wait a while until you announce your game. Too many games get announced when they’re little more than an idea and a short CGI trailer.

  • Love it. Looks amazing. Keep up the good work.

  • Best game ever! This rocks my socks off like my first blow job when I was 10. Give me some more!

  • This is awesome. Can’t wait for the finished product! Keep up the good work!

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