Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Gets New Gameplay Footage; Is Less Combat Heavy Than It Once Was
New Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice gameplay footage has surfaced thanks to Game Informer, who is featuring Ninja Theory’s upcoming PS4 and PC action game as it’s cover of its April issue of its monthly magazine.
According to the game’s creative director Tameem Antoniades, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a AAA quality game — which you can see by its beautiful graphics and motion capture work — but is perhaps half the size and half the price of a normal AAA game. Antoniades describes the game as a creative risk, but because of the lowered development cost (which is somewhere in the middle ground between AAA and indie, similar to old AA games of the past) Ninja Theory doesn’t need to sell 2 or 3 million copies, but rather can find its niche, which Antoniades says will be people who like story-driven adventures.
For those that don’t know, Hellblade, according to Antoniades is a “mythical adventure about a Celtic warrior going on a vision quest into the Viking heartland.” The aforementioned Celtic warrior refers to Senua who has severe mental illness. The “vision quest” refers to the quest being formed by her trauma and voices in her head. Antoniades describes the game as a fantasy set in a real world that’s interrupted through her mind.
In the new video, Antoniades says that the team is not trying to be too prescriptive about dividing the game up into specific blocks of combat, puzzle solving, etc., but rather the approach has been to create an atmospheric journey. Antoniades adds that Ninja Theory imagines that if you play the game, you will be play it without the lights, curtains drawn, sound up, and fully immersed. Further, that there will be moments of intense and brutal combat, but there will also be just scenes or levels where you’re just trying to piece things together.
“The more we found out about how people with psychosis think and associate things in the world, the more we started to discover ways in which we can create associations in the game, visual patterns, visual clues, imbue meaning on them and arrange them or put them together in different ways so you can find a way through into the next area or you can uncover a bit of backstory.”
Talking about the game’s puzzles, the creative director says they aren’t “traditional puzzles” but “experimental puzzles.” Citing an example of this, Antoniades talks about a section of the game where you don’t have your sword and you’re essentially wandering your way through pitch darkness using sound cues.
The video reveals that when the game started, Ninja Theory was thinking of doing something quite combat heavy, but as the other gameplay elements started to come about, the team began to have more confidence that it could engage the player with constantly dropping you into fights.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is set to release sometime in 2017 for PS4 and PC. Below, you can listen to all of the above mentioned talking points and more, as well as see some new gameplay footage, courtesy of Game Informer: