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Crying Wolfshene: On Hellblade’s Progress

Ninja Theory has pitched Hellblade as “independent AAA”, and by doing have wedged themselves into an unnecessarily tough, possibly inflexible, position. Whether long-winded introductions are saved with this distillation, it nevertheless invites a much greater level of scrutiny and pressure, the latter of a variety the developer may have been kinder to itself to keep internal.

With Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Ninja Theory established a commitment to “character action” games with sophisticated facial capture and exuberant cutscene work generally: if the company’s creative foundations stabilize on a reliable bedrock, it’s because they are consistently iterative on these areas. The frustration in being a fan of the studio’s work is in having to endure a few equally consistent weaknesses whose improvement is mostly static.

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OB1Biker1627d ago (Edited 1627d ago )

Good read! Thanks for that.
A few good points and all in all making this game even more interesting and all the more anticipated for me.
I just wish more was said about Senua s illness as I think its pivotal in the narrative and gameplay.
'And then there’s the whole mental illness theme…Eesh.'

playtimewilltell1627d ago

Thanks for reading!
I hope Ninja Theory doesn't assume having support of people in the mental health field guarantees successfully broaching the subject, and contributing to its discussion.

Now, if I could just get this article approved...

IamTylerDurden11626d ago

I HIGHLY doubt Ninja Theory is using a good natured effort to raise mental illness awareness for the wrong reasons.

How can you criticise Ninja Theory in any way for raising awareness? Do they feel like they are saints bc they partnered w/a group for a good cause? I doubt it.

Simply by raising awareness and bringing attention to the subject contributes heavily to the discussion. Partnering w/a group that helps w/awareness contributes. It's more than i have seen ANY other dev do with this tenuous a serious issue.

They deserve praise.

playtimewilltell1626d ago (Edited 1626d ago )

Whoa, there. You misunderstand me partner.

In the piece when I say Ninja Theory "appears to be taking the task seriously, but intentions are no protection from error," I'm not denigrating them for using their game to raise discussion on the issue, as you've put it. I applaud the ambition.

Rather, I'm simply talking execution. You can have the best intentions possible and still make mistakes, and because this issue is particularly sensitive to - and has a history of - misrepresentation which has, through misguided/lazy and even well-intentioned approaches in the past via film and other mediums, caricatured or demonized the illnesses and therefore those with them - Ninja Theory has much more responsibility with this game narrative-wise than most developers would dare attempt.

I agree they seem to have good intentions, but as I've repeated a few times now, that doesn't guarantee anything, admirable as it may be.

IamTylerDurden11626d ago (Edited 1626d ago )

Hellblade looks fantastic, the mental illness aspect is fascinating and the setting is dark and woodsy. I love the look and feel of this game as well as the premise, Heavenly Sword was awesome and this is a spiritual successor.

Idk how Sony got Hellblade as a PS4 exclusive, but i'm happy.

Battling monstrous vikings and your own personal demons, quite literally, i'm all in.

I think it's outstanding that Ninja Theory is striving for an independent AAA quality game and i think the visuals look awesome. I love that they raised the bar and said AAA, should they've said they're shooting for AA or low budget indie quality?

I think it looks AAA and i LOVE the combat, i particularly LOVE the female protagonist, the huge ruthless looking enemies, and the combat animations.