Hellblade is finally almost here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. That Ninja Theory decided to sell their latest game for a mere $30 – half the price of standard AAA titles – has me even more excited.
Ninja Theory has made a name for themselves with well-crafted, highly-polished games over the past decade. They have also been very vocal about the state of the AAA industry and how it affects smaller developers – especially ones who cannot find funding for their own ideas and visions – which often leads to studio closures from so-called “underperforming” games.
As a gamer, watching the development of this game has been an interesting journey. The developers are refreshingly open and up front about the development process, as well as the struggles they’ve gone through to get to this point. Reading through their development “diary” shows that they are passionate. Not just about this project either; they are eager to prove that there’s space for “Independent AAA” games, as they call them. Games with high production values that don’t need inflating budgets to compete – and the increasing levels of sales just to stay alive.
If you have the time, I recommend reading through some of their posts. If nothing else this article is a worthwhile post to highlight the niche that they are trying to fill:
Judging by the screenshots and trailers available so far, I’d say they’ve done a great job of providing more-than-adequate visuals. Especially for the price that they have now set. Have a look at the screenshots currently up on the Steam store page:
The visuals alone are exceptional for the price the developers have aimed for
As far as the game itself is concerned, you are cast as Senua – a Celtic warrior who tasks herself with saving the soul of her recently-killed lover. Senua’s mental health plays an integral role as she deals with depression and psychosis from the events she has witnessed and survived. Expect close-quarters, visceral combat alongside psychotic delusions that were carefully crafted under the supervision of mental health experts to portray these struggles as well as possible.
From the start this looked to be a promising game, and as someone who has dealt with bouts of anxiety and depression – however mild – I’m eager to see how this is treated in the game. Fortunately there’s not long to wait to find out.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice launches August 8th for $29.99/€29.99/£24.99 on PC and PlayStation.