New Hellblade video offers a first glimpse at the PS4 action game’s world

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New Hellblade video offers a first glimpse at the PS4 action game’s world

An early look at the ambitious new project from Heavenly Sword studio Ninja Theory

Hello, Dominic Matthews here from Ninja Theory. I wanted to come back to PlayStation Blog to share our latest development diary with you and to also give an update on how things are progressing with the creation of our new PlayStation 4 title Hellblade.

Back in August we announced Hellblade at the Sony Gamescom Press Conference, which at the time was just four months into development. By traditional standards, we were announcing the game incredibly early. The reason for such an early announcement is that we want to share as much of Hellblade’s development with you as we possibly can.


The standard approach is for games and their development to be hidden away, with details slowly drip fed to players very carefully and slowly over time. But we want to do the opposite. We announced early so that we could start sharing our development approach, creative exploration and decision making from the very beginning.

We’ve created, which is the central hub of our sharing. Since Gamescom we’ve been updating the site with regular development diary videos, blog posts, concept art and live streams. We’ve released three development diaries to date, focused on the announcement trailer, Hellblade’s art inspiration and the game’s protagonist, Senua, respectively.


Today, I’m very pleased to be sharing with you our very latest development diary, No.4: Creating the World. This episode focuses on the approach that we’re taking to create Hellblade’s world with just one Environment Artist and the artistic vision behind it:

The Hellblade team, which consists of 13 people, is currently embarking on the prototyping phase of development. In prototyping we’ll be exploring game mechanics, art styles, and technologies. Despite the small team, this is probably our most ambitious game yet. We are leaping into the unknown and overturning much of what we know about game making to make Hellblade play, look and feel special.

As we have been doing with our development to date, we’ll be sharing as much of our prototyping phase with you over the next couple months, so to keep up to date visit, follow us on Twitter @NinjaTheory and on our Facebook page at


Thanks a lot for reading – I’d love to come back soon, but in the meantime I hope you follow our journey, get involved in the discussions and let us know what you think of our work so far. The journey is very much a part of the Hellblade experience.

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  • How combat-heavy will this game be? Depending on the type of action, is 60fps a target?

  • Will it be an open world level design or will it be broken into smaller linear sections? Or will it be smaller open world areas. Also, what game engine will this be running on or was this already announced?

  • Excellent insight into development, thanks for the video. Looking forward to see how it further develops.

  • Loving these Development Diaries, keep up the amazing work folks!

  • So this will be exclusive for PS4 or multiplatform?

    • They’re currently focused on the PS4 version, though it was never said that it’s a PS4 exclusive. Due to the ‘size’ of the team, they had to put their main focus on one console. I’m guessing if there’s demand, time and budget for it, they’ll expand to other consoles or PC. Good thing I have a PS4 though, I’ll be playing the game regardless.

  • Can’t wait for this game! Those dev diaries are a very interesting look in the world of game creation. I love the idea of combat + the ability to lose yourself in the world around you. I hope you guys will achieve that.

  • u may want to fix that link…anyway the game looks gorgeous!

  • Do like the look of this… but also have a kiiiind of off topic question for someone in Sony?? Is what’s reported on this page true? I wanted to get a ps tv for my mum for Xmas (she doesn’t need a ps4 but I thought she could piggy back using mine sometimes) but this seems really unfair for us in the eu… again… :(

  • The actual game really excites me, the idea of publishing more information during the development is also a really nice idea. It certainly worked well for Minecraft!

    The only thing I would say is that I don’t think the developers are very customer/fan focused. I happen to work in the building next door to them and so thought I’d pop them an email. That was a couple of months ago and I simply didn’t get a response, they ignored me completely.

    Not very nice considering all I was stating was that I was a fan of them…to be honest…I’m not a big fan anymore.

    • That’s actually a very sad story. I feel your pain. I had a similar experience once, but I don’t really want to talk about it….

  • Not the biggest fan on NT. Their best game to date was heavenly sword so I’m glad this looks so similar to it. If NT really want to share and Co develop this with the gamers, I think we will need evidence that they will take in our suggestions and listen to us.

    1) your combat mechanics are weak compared to Gow, Darksiders and any combat game made by Kamiya. If you are going to do combat, learn from one of these great developers.

    2) don’t let Tameem speak. He drives gamers away like a repellent of sorts.

    3) get someone decent to write the script not Tameem. DMC had a horrendous script.

    4) lock to 30fps if you can’t do 60.

    5) Have a lock on button for combat

    6) have a variety of combat and styles

    7) create epic boss fights (not broken or stupidly difficult). Play through darksiders, dmc 1 and 3, SotC, GoW, Bayonetta 1+2, and other similar games.

    I think that’s it for now, but I do hope this really is a genuine attempt by you guys to change for the better as a studio.

    • the only thing i agree with is number 4.
      NT are my favorite and I hope they do things like they usually do, with bravery and sticking to their vision, instead of giving in to internet voices.

    • actually i misread #4…i don’t agree with it either xD

  • Kind of remind me of the Viking Series on Tv and we havent seen a great looking Viking game for ages. Super excited. Guys don’t rush this game, rather polish this for a longer period to make an excellent looking game. I really love the artworks and atmosphere that was added to those.

  • I like Ninja Theroy because aesthetically they always try something a little bit different, normally with class and character, Kai would still stand as one of my favourite side kicks. Mechanically things tend to be fairly standard, but hopefully this one changes that.

  • It would also be great to know as far as the eye can see one can explore and go there, and not only have it as a back drop or semi explorable world. To have the ability to climb mountains and any rock facade, find treasure, discover villages and landmarks of the people of that time. Making it worth exploring. The first time i played black flag, i opened up the map and got really excited about its size but to huge disappointment that one cant explore all of the landmass that is actually on the maps. A lot of games gives you these days to explore to some limit, but about 80% of them is kind of useless to do so and you end up just playing the story and finish the game. Make it a breathing living world. Will follow your posts, feeling really excited.

  • Big world with adventuring does need “immersive” level aesthetics and graphics to be, well, immersive when combat is rarer and not taking the focus off the world itself. And I’m fine with that. Increase foliage volume and plenty vertical areas as well as horizontal areas for more versatile world.

  • Why the HECK can we not buy PS3 “minis” on the PS4????? The PS4 PSN Store is boring and empty while the the PS3 version is already full and interesting :( I got money to spend but nothing to buy. I could maybe buy 6 minis and some PS1 games. Once you play PS4 games like Tomb Raider, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Infamous, Rayman, Thief, Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed, it’s getting pretty boring on the PS4. We need games that take 50-300 hours to finish like Skyrim or plenty of indies or “PS3 minis” which we don’t have. How long do we have to wait? The PS3 is so much better in terms of quality games. At least you could make the “minis” backwards compatible!

    • Wrong place to ask this question.

      But anyway dont be an idiot.

      PS4 is less than a year old, ps3 is 7 years old.
      Do the math.

      PS4 runs on completely different architecture. you cant just put games on the store that are made for ps3 and its really not worth their time or money porting them.

      This must be your first console launch.

  • Wow it’s looking pretty good, can’t wait to put my hands on this game

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