After a delay last year, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is finally available. The action game, which is the latest title from Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry developer Ninja Theory, blends combat and puzzle sequences with a sympathetic story of mental illness and its effects.
GameSpot critic Alessandro Fillari praised the game’s “handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game,” and said players could “come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.” Read more in our full Hellblade review.
Other reviews have started to emerge, and we’ve collated some of them below. For a wider look at the game’s critical reception meanwhile, head over to GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
- Developer / Publisher: Ninja Theory
- Platforms: PS4, PC
- Release: Out now
- Price: US $30 / £25 / AU $45
GameSpot — 8/10
“Hellblade’s most notable achievement is the handling of an incredibly sensitive subject matter within an engaging and well-crafted action/adventure game. At its heart, the story is about Senua’s struggle to come to terms with her illness. In the process, she learns to find the strength within herself to endure, and to make peace with her past. And in a profound and physical way, we go through those same struggles with her, and come away with a better understanding of a piece of something that many people in the world struggle with.” — Alessandro Fillari [Full review]
IGN — 9.0/10
“Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a masterclass of atmosphere, storytelling, and the marriage of mechanical and conceptual design. While there are moments that feel shoehorned in to remind us we’re playing a videogame, the care and attention Ninja Theory has clearly poured into Senua and her story has created something amazing. This is a game everyone should play, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have lived inside the mind of Senua, however briefly.” — Brandin Tyrrel [Full review]
Destructoid — 7.5/10
“Slowly but surely Ninja Theory has moved into film territory, but they can’t let go of their need to shove action mechanics into everything they do. With the increased focus and acceptance of so-called “walking simulators” there’s a huge market they can tap into, and I hope they end up doing that in the future. I enjoyed pretty much every facet of Hellblade that didn’t involve combat, which unfortunately pops up a little too often on top of the aforementioned technical problems–just enough to grate.” — Chris Carter [Full review]
Game Informer — 8.0/10
“Psychosis in video games is often used to justify a villain’s world-destroying ambitions, or as a vehicle to present gameplay gimmicks. Hellblade goes beyond those conventions, using Senua’s mental illness as the core from which the entire tale radiates. That approach results in some phenomenal and unsettling narrative moments that knock you off-balance. However, in pursuit of that achievement, Hellblade weaponizes the real-world frustration it causes in exploration and combat. That’s where it falters as a game, even while it captivates as a piece of interactive art.” — Joe Juba [Full review]