Hellblade: Sacrificing gameplay for story

Having been an avid fan of Ninja Theory since the moment in 2010 when Enslaved: Odyssey to the West rocked my entire worldview, naturally, I almost peed myself with excitement when I learned that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was in production. But was I expecting too much?

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
TheProfessional504d ago (Edited 504d ago )

Couldn't agree more. Hellblade has great graphics and an interesting concept but the gameplay was tedious, the campaign was too linear and the puzzles were awful. The combat was disappointing after Enslaved and the DMC reboot.

potatoseal504d ago

I platinumed this game, and the title heading is spot on. Gameplay was bare bones and the combt was laughable, but I knew it wasn't the point of the game. The story and her mental demons were the point of the game. It also looked amazing.

503d ago
King_Noctis503d ago

This wasn't the case when Hellblade was exclusive on the PS4. Everyone here was saying differently.

We know why.

garos82503d ago

no i said it from day 1. Decent game but no where near as good as some where making it out to be

503d ago
Imortus_san503d ago

Well said, I remember people braging about beeing a Sony Exclusive, how great it was and the bells and whisles.

potatoseal503d ago

That's simply not true. No one was saying the combat or gameplay was amazing. But the game wasn't about that. It was always about her story. People accepted this because it was an indie game.

DivoJones503d ago

Yeah I've long accepted the PS4 bias on here, but then I typically just post my thoughts and don't bother reading any follow-ups because I already know what they'll say.

leejohnson222503d ago

I remember so many people calling it another boring walking sim on PlayStation then it was the 2nd coming when MS bought NT, strange behaviour. Almost hypocritical

rainslacker502d ago

I don't recall people saying that the game play was excellent, or robust. People said it was serviceable for what the game was trying to do. It's like saying people are going on about Quantic Dreams game for their game play. It just doesn't happen.

People went on about the graphics, and animations, which were superb. They went on about the story and themes, which were superb. They went on about the experience and atmosphere, which were superb.

Maybe there were a couple people, if I can generalize like you are, that said so, but it certainly wasn't any kind of huge campaign to talk up the game play. You're trying to create a narrative of general consensus that never existed.

But, if you insist on sticking to this argument, can we also say that the reason people did so was because of all the downplay that the Xbox side did, which they suddenly forgot about when it became an Xbox exclusive? Or, is this some one way street thing when it comes to fan boys and trolls?

BISHOP-BRASIL502d ago (Edited 502d ago )

Try again, people been dissing NT's gameplay since Heavenly Sword back in PS3 broke the just-functional sword play with unrequited motion control arrows and some of the worst QTE placement of that gen... In fact, Enslaved was barred from perfection in most reviews because of the platforming and puzzles that felt more like infallible tutorial than gameplay and combat which was utterly generic and plagued by input delay, DmC was called out not just for all rebooting controversies but also for it's "color coded dumbed down combos" and Hellblade was, as already commented here, famed as a "walking simulator".

NT can make great stories enjoyable in game form, but their gameplay had always been, for one reason or another, iffy at best. Don't get me wrong, I'm still 100% jealous of you guys getting the Hellblade sequel, if anything their gameplay directing had been evolving, but let's not fool ourselves here ok, they have a lot of ground to cover in that department before they can be seem as a flagship studio. Here's hoping they find under MS the environment to do just that.

King_Noctis502d ago

"NT can make great stories enjoyable in game form, but their gameplay had always been, for one reason or another, iffy at best."

Maybe you had forgotten a little game called DMC Devil May Cry.

FanboysKiller502d ago

You know some other double A xbox games when they put it in triple A shoes to make the perfect spot for criticism like ryse and other games for example , you just need to experience it for yourself and see how it doesn't match what the critics says about it and even though critics deep down aremade to affect our choices ms made it literally for free to give it a shot and zip those critics big mouth.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 502d ago
Darkwatchman503d ago

Enslaved has awful combat. As uninteresting as Hellblade’s core combat is, Enslaved’s is even worse

DJStotty503d ago

I personally got well into Senua's sacrifice, and did not really have a problem with the combat.

Can not wait to see more of Hellblade 2 in 3 days!!!

DivoJones503d ago

I was hoping for a little more combat and less puzzles as the game went on, but to no avail. Some of those puzzles were not particularly obvious either, and without some guides I would've been on them for quite a while. Still enjoyed it though... but also glad I played it via Game Pass.

502d ago
+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 502d ago
majiebeast503d ago

Game was mediocre as hell just like every Ninja Theory game

Sunny_D503d ago

I enjoyed Heavenly Sword. 🤷‍♂️

Elda503d ago

I did as well it was just too short.

Sitdown503d ago

Add me to the list of those who enjoyed it.

CrimsonWing69503d ago

I really enjoyed Heavenly Sword and Enslaved

FlavorLav01503d ago (Edited 503d ago )

Enslaved , Heavenly Sword, and skewer me now - but I loved their version of DMC. Ninja knows how to make great games. And I especially love their combat systems. Which is probably why I didn’t care about Senua much. But it would be a lie if is said I didn’t get excited anytime I hear they’re tied to an IP or project I care about. I root for them to do well, just wish they hadn’t singed with MicroService

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 503d ago
TheRealTedCruz503d ago

Oh. So that's why they got bought by one of the largest companies in the world; because they're mediocre.

Makes sense.

sprinterboy503d ago

I think ninja theory are great devs but from a business standpoint you can see the potential of a studio and think OK we can make these AAA.

Pancit_Canton503d ago

Because they are cheap. They only paid $10 million to acquired Ninja Theory. Compared to Sony buying Insomiac games for $229 million.

King_Noctis503d ago

Hellblade won GOTY.

Great accomplishment for a mediocre game.

King_Noctis503d ago

It did won game of the year from a few publications/outlet. Geoff's Game Award is not the be all end all award show.

Belbrock91503d ago

Ninja Theory isn't mediocre. This one game was. If you've played their other games you'd know how awesome they are

refocusedman503d ago

Heavenly sword was amazing!!!! It definitely needed a sequel. The fighting mechanics were amazing.

DJStotty503d ago

Mediocre, not that the studio is owned by Microsoft.


+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 503d ago
olorin818503d ago

I found myself unable to finish the game. Despite the great visuals, and interesting premise, I couldn't stand the gameplay.

DEEHULK88503d ago

Why make an article about this now?

TheRealTedCruz503d ago (Edited 503d ago )

Because there are sites out there so insignificant that they need to fuel the N4G nerd war for a simple number of clicks.

The game was held in high regard when the original released; both professional and consumer. It's now in the hands of MS, so it's time to make issue of the series.

503d ago
_dangerclose_503d ago

Hold on a second I thought everyone was allowed to have an opinion even if it was a negative one that's what we were all told when anyone questioned negative reviews for TLOU2. Some people just might not have liked Hellblade for many reasons and aren't at all hyped for the next game..

DiRtY503d ago

100% Agree.
The downplaying starts now.

When the game launched:
“OMG Masterpiece!”

When it launched for Xbox:
“Decent game!”

Now that this studio is part of Microsoft:
“This Game is fundamentally flawed!”

Belbrock91503d ago

Actually, no.

I played this when it came out (as you would if you had read the article). Even THEN I was sorely disappointed with the combat and gameplay. But the concept and story are worth it

TheRealTedCruz503d ago (Edited 503d ago )


Get over yourself.

The Last of Us 2 was based on leaks.
This can be attributed to personal bias, being really nothing too tangible is known of the title, outside of it's simply the sequel to the original game.

Sorry I made you look dumb a few weeks back, and how you, unsuccessfully,tried getting me blocked after the fact, but stop trying to get my attention. That situation is over lol.

TheRealTedCruz503d ago


It wasn't?
Seems to be held in high regards virtually on any aggregate sites. Most critics liked it. Most consumer aggregates praise.
I've been on this site for the better part of a decade, and know most people praised the game.
I don't remember people on here going out of their way to trash the game. Let alone only Xbox fans.

Do you have proof? Or is this just propaganda on your end?

dumahim503d ago

"It wasn't held in high regard by the Xbox faithful when it launched."

Funny how the Xbox version is 88 on metacritic but only 81 on PS4.

_dangerclose_503d ago

"Get over yourself."

Take your own advice.

The Last of Us 2 was based on personal bias

"Sorry I made you look dumb a few weeks back, and how you, unsuccessfully,tried getting me blocked after the fact, but stop trying to get my attention. That situation is over lol."

Spoken like a true six year old, you don't have the intellectual fortitude to make someone look dumb, and I wouldn't expect you to get blocked for some reason people like you who do nothing but troll and start arguments are allowed to be here.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 503d ago
green503d ago

Was thinking the exact same thing.

Belbrock91503d ago

1) I was asked to by my editor
2) Real life got in the way of my writing, so I never had the time to publish this
3) I'm allowed to have an opinion. As are you. I appreciate you even commenting - thank you.

DEEHULK88503d ago

Almost three years later, you finally have time.......smh The game came out August 2017 on Ps4.

Belbrock91503d ago

You try being a teacher. Then tell me when you have time to write after teaching, prepping, grading, counselling, disciplining, managing your classroom, and fighting with management to get your dues. Once you've done all that, I'll apologize for my tardiness.
*smh right back*

DEEHULK88503d ago

I don't know your situation, so I apologize, but it's a little strange that this comes up around the time that they are about to show more about the game. You even mentioned the new game.

Belbrock91503d ago

The only reason I have time to write now is because of COVID.

I don't mean to be snarky, but I assure you, there really was no alternate objective (besides needing an outlet), nor am I being paid by Microsoft or Ninja Theory (would be nice though).

I really do appreciate you reading the piece and commenting. Seriously, all I want is to game, and write about it. The timing is purely coincidental.

503d ago
+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 503d ago
Futureshark503d ago

I put the combat on easy after the first few rounds, I found it awful and unresponsive.
Story was quite interesting though and the game had some great effects and ideas in it so I finished it and felt like I enjoyed rather then a slog.
Don't think I'll ever play it again though.

DJStotty503d ago

If you struggled with combat, do not play dark souls whatever you do lol.

This game was a cakewalk combatwise.

Belbrock91503d ago

The issue was not that I (or any of the commenters) struggled with combat. In fact, it's the opposite. We found it boring and wanted something more challenging. That being said, I'm not enough of a masochist to put myself through Dark Souls again

Futureshark503d ago

Haha, Dark Souls combat is great, has some real heft and connection.

This felt like I was waving a feather duster about whilst submerged in treacle, it was awful!!

Give me Dark Souls, Sekiro, Bloodborne anyday, don't play Hellbalde for the combat anyway.

DJStotty502d ago


I never said the combat in dark souls was bad, quite the opposite, i was alluding to the difficulty of the game as you stated

"I put the combat on easy after the first few rounds"

Changing the difficulty would not result in the combat becoming more "responsive"

If you found the combat "awful and unresponsive" you would not have finished the game.