Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice Review CRG
Ninja Theory has done a real good job in bringing alive the true experience of fear, anxiety, sorrow and psychosis when you embark this journey with Senua which is evident early in the game and gives you a true experience of voices in your head.
The story begins in a dark land which looks deprived of any human presence whatsoever .Inspired by Norse Mythology and Celtic Culture , Hellblade follows Senua , a celtic warrior who must make her way to Helhiem in order to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the goddess Hela .
In addition to this the game acts as a metaphor for the character’s struggle with psycosis, as Senua, who suffers from the condition but believes it to be a curse, and she is haunted by an entity known as “The Darkness”, and voices in her head known as “Furies”, they haunt senua throughout the length of the game depicting her many levels of psychosis. Unlike other horror themed games Hellblade focuses on binural voices and heart beating music to depict the state of mind of senua which makes the use of headphones a must have to enjoy the true experience of the game
With the lack of a HUD, tutorials or a minimap the only thing guiding you through out the game are the voices in your head, they may tease you, question your decisions, revoke you but ultimately they are the only ones protecting you from the dangers around you.The gameplay is mainly divided into two parts one of which is solving puzzles by exploring the world around her with Senua’s heightened senses by entering the focus mode and the other being destroying the enemies hiding in the darkness and occasional boss battles.
Early in the game Senua gets infected by a dark rot which grows each time you face a death and once the rot reaches your head you die permanently erasing all your saved game and forcing you to start the game all over again. Despite of the permadeath mechanic the toughest part of the game is the puzzle solving element where you have to align the glyphs with the shapes present in the nature, at many times this gets really multi layered as you can see a particular pathway only through a specific portal.
The combat is simple and gets really fluid when you master the base game combat mechanics involving a light attach, heavy attack and also a parry which can be connected with a further combinations. Even though these are the base mechanics of the game each of the fights and puzzles in the game depict a deep underlying experience of fear and psychosis experienced by Senua and the game does a really good job in depicting the pain she feels throughout the whole game and gives us a feeling of sympathy as she embarks on this quest to save the soul of her loved one.
Hellblade Senuas Sacrifice brings together a fusion of story telling and an amazing gameplay experience while depicting the true horrors of psychosis and hallucinations and makes us truly embark on this beautiful journey with senua as she strives hard to reach the soul of her loved one and i would give this game nothing less than a rating of amazing.