Tag Archives: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

What Remains of Edith Finch wins BAFTA Best Game Award

The 2017 BAFTA British Acadamy Game Awards were held last night and TiX favourite What Remains of Edith Finch took away the prize for Best Game. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was another big winner on the night, taking home a whopping FIVE awards, including Artistic Achievement and Best British Game. The ceremony was hosted by Dara Ó Briain at Troxy, London.

What Remains of Edith Finch is the second game from BAFTA-winning developer Giant Sparrow Studios who previously won for The Unfinished Swan in the debut game category in 2013.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which explores the titular character’s struggle with mental health issues, won Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, British Game, Game Beyond Entertainment and Melina Juergens won in the Performer category for her role as Senua.

Super Mario Odyssey, the 3D platform game from Nintendo, won Game Design and Family. Another eight games were winners on the night. The hand-drawn story puzzle game, Gorogoa, won Debut Game. Following its win at last year’s awards for Multiplayer, the team-based first-person shooter Overwatch won Evolving Game. Golf Clash, the real-time multiplayer game, won Mobile Game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the action-adventure game, won the BAFTA for Game Innovation. The role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin 2 won in Multiplayer. Cuphead, the run-and-gun indie game, won in Music. Night in the Woods, the adventure game focusing on exploration, story and character, won the BAFTA for Narrative. The action role-playing game Horizon Zero Dawn won for Original Property.

The Fellowship was presented to Tim Schafer in recognition of his outstanding creative contribution to the industry and for his illustrious career in game design.

You can click the links to read our reviews for both What Remains of Edith Finch and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

The BAFTA YouTube site is a great visit for interviews and to see the awards in full.

The full list of winners (in bold) and nominees are below.

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY Development Team – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

AUDIO ACHIEVEMENT
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD WAR II Development Team – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
DESTINY 2 Development Team – Bungie/Activision
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE David Garcia Diaz – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II Development Team – DICE/Electronic Arts
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY Development Team – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

BEST GAME
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

BRITISH GAME
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd

MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
REIGNS: HER MAJESTY Leigh Alexander, François Alliot, Arnaud De Bock – Nerial Ltd/ Devolver Digital
THE SEXY BRUTALE Charles Griffiths, James Griffiths, Tom Lansdale – Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works/ Tequila Works
SNIPER ELITE 4 Development Team – Rebellion/ Rebellion
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER II Development Team – Creative Assembly/ SEGA

DEBUT GAME
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HOLLOW KNIGHT Development Team – Team Cherry/Team Cherry
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/Finji
THE SEXY BRUTALE Charles Griffiths, James Griffiths, Tom Lansdale – Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works/Tequila Works
SLIME RANCHER Development Team – Monomi Park/Monomi Park

EVOLVING GAME
CLASH ROYALE Development Team – Supercell/ Supercell
FINAL FANTASY XV Hajime Tabata – Square Enix/ Square Enix
FORTNITE Development Team – Epic Games/ Epic Games
OVERWATCH Development Team – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX SIEGE Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft

FAMILY
JUST DANCE 2018 Development Team – Ubisoft Paris/ Ubisoft
LEGO WORLDS Development Team – TT Games/ WB Games
MARIO + RABBIDS KINGDOM BATTLE Development Team – Ubisoft/ Ubisoft
MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
SNIPPERCLIPS Development Team – SFB Games/ Nintendo
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

GAME BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT
BURY ME, MY LOVE Development Team – The Pixel Hunt & Fig/ ARTE & Playdius
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
LAST DAY OF JUNE Massimo Guarini, Elia Randon, Andrew Thompson – Ovosonico/505 Games
LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM Development Team – Deck Nine Games, Square Enix/Square Enix
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
SEA HERO QUEST VR Matthew Hyde, Max Scott-Slade, Hugo Scott-Slade – Glitchers/ Glitchers

GAME DESIGN 
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
NIER AUTOMATA Development Team – Platinum Games; Square Enix/ Square Enix
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

GAME INNOVATION
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
NIER AUTOMATA Development Team – Platinum Games; Square Enix/Square Enix
SNIPPERCLIPS Development Team – SFB Games/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

MOBILE GAME
BURY ME, MY LOVE Development Team – The Pixel Hunt & Fig/ ARTE & Playdius
GOLF CLASH Paul Gouge, Alex Rigby, Gareth Jones – Playdemic/Playdemic
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
KAMI 2 Development Team – State of Play/State of Play
MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
STRANGER THINGS: THE GAME Development Team – BonusXP, Inc./BonusXP, Inc.

MULTIPLAYER
DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2 Development Team – Larian Studios/ Larian Studios Games

FORTNITE Development Team – Epic Games/ Epic Games
GANG BEASTS Development Team – Boneloaf/ Double Fine Productions
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
SPLATOON 2 Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
STAR TREK BRIDGE CREW Development Team – Red Storm Entertainment/ Ubisoft

MUSIC
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.

GET EVEN Development Team – The Farm 51/ Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE David Garcia Diaz, Andy LaPlegua – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Jeff Russo – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

NARRATIVE
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Tameem Antoniades – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
TACOMA Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja – Fullbright/ Fullbright
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive
WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS Jens Matthies, Tommy Tordsson Björk, Tom Keegan – Machine Games/ Bethesda

ORIGINAL PROPERTY
CUPHEAD Chad Moldenhauer, Jared Moldenhauer – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

PERFORMER
ABUBAKAR SALIM as Bayek in Assassin’s Creed Origins
ASHLY BURCH as Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn
CLAUDIA BLACK as Chloe Frazer in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
LAURA BAILEY as Nadine Ross in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
MELINA JUERGENS as Senua in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
VALERIE ROSE LOHMAN as Edith Finch in What Remains of Edith Finch

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice review (PS4)

Part action game, part walking sim and wrapped in a cinematic experience, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice looks absolutely stunning with lifelike characters, gorgeous lighting and stunning vistas. The graphics constantly impressed me as I travelled with Senua to Helheim on her quest to reclaim the lost soul of her dear beloved, Dillion, who was sacrificed by Northmen (Vikings) when they invaded Senua’s home while she was in exile.

From the get go Hellblade pulls no punches, but before you begin the game there is a warning about the content depicted in the game. This note about psychosis highlights that Ninja Theory have done their homework around the condition, consulting with both professionals and people living with the condition. To fully experience the game, Ninja Theory also recommends that you play with headphones for a ‘full 3D binaural sound’ experience. I of course was happy to oblige and if I were you, then take heed and do so too – the sound engineering is some of the finest I have ever heard in a video game.

The gameplay, while simple, owes its mechanics to the research conducted by the team, which is elegantly detailed in a featurette that is worth watching once you have finished the game. Hellblade’s many intricacies pay homage to the different symptoms of psychosis – it’s a tremendous achievement – not only does the game look at mental health and psychosis, but Ninja Theory have managed to create an enjoyable experience that is sympathetic to its source material.

Indeed it’s an enjoyable experience, but one that is fantastically uncomfortable. The many voices in Senua’s head swirl around you. They argue, they discuss, they talk over one another and they heighten the tension of the game making you squirm under their constant murmurs. Not only is the voice acting top notch, but the intensity of them will set the hairs on the back of your neck to attention.

Senua’s world is one that is made even more unsettling by the character herself. Her body language is incredible. You can feel her pain as you look on; her eyes pierce through the screen as she looks beyond her world. Often she swings wildly around, almost flailing, to piercingly look right at you. Sometimes her eyes are challenging or accusing and sometimes they are frightful. This is heightened by one of the voices calling to you directly as you look on. There is even a scratched lens effect that sits in front of Senua’s virtual world – a device that makes the game almost voyeur in nature – it’s incredibly chilling and extremely intimate.

To progress through the game, Senua must overcome many challenges, both combat and environmental. Navigational obstacles hide the path Senua must follow, highlighting the twisted nature in which she interprets her world – using ‘magic portals’ to reveal past, future and present states of the environment. Numerous puzzles are focused around runes, which require you to locate them within the landscape as objects or shadows – another symptom of psychosis – visualising patterns and images that others would simply pass by.

The combat of Hellblade is very intimate, with one-on-one fights that lock your gaze onto a single opponent and can be swapped with a flick of the RS. The move set is limited to simple button presses for attacking, blocking and parrying; there are no complex combos or unlockable moves. It keeps the game focused on the experience; fights are instead paced throughout the game so as not to make them too monotonous.

There is weight to the combat too and the choreography is wonderful. Each strike feels empowering, particularly as you take down some pretty grim looking enemies – freaky, morbid creatures that grunt and fight unrelentingly, with cow skulls and sticks for hair – they reminded me of the creature from the film, The Village or the warped nightmares of Silent Hill – but no action game would be complete with boss fights and Hellblade’s are superb, it’s a shame there weren’t more of them.

Unfortunately the camera can be a real pain in the ass during combat. Should you back up too far the environment can obscure your vision and if you have multiple enemies, some may even be behind you, then certain death almost always follows and if you die too often then you risk having your save deleted!

Yes, apparently there is perma death, which I think is more of an empty threat. Early on you discover that Senua is obsessed with ‘The darkness’, a threat that scares her, worse is that she is tainted by black rot and should it reach her head the journey is over. You are warned that the black rot travels further towards Senua’s head when she falls in battle. Even though I died numerous times, the black rot never won, whether this ‘mechanic’ is a white lie to heighten the action, I cannot confirm but it certainly worked, it made me on edge when playing and fighting.

There is also an auto difficulty that adjusts as you play. Towards the end of the game I was up against numerous enemies and thanks to the camera crashing, I was at the wrong end of a cleaver. On my next attempt there were far less enemies to fight – a clear indication of just how the setting works.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a story driven experience where combat and environmental puzzles are almost tertiary to the game. The visuals and sound pull you in, offering an experience that had me on the edge of my seat and leaving me with my mouth agasp as the end credits rolled.

Although simple, I found the combat finely balanced – it didn’t take the focus away from what the game is about. I did however feel cheated by the lack of exploration opportunities. The world is terrifically detailed, it may be morbid and intimidating but it is so invitingly stunning that I wanted to explore deeper.

Shut yourself away. Dim the lights and pop on your favourite pair of cams to truly immerse yourself in Senua’s world. If time allows, then play it through in one sitting, which takes around 6-8 hours. The ending is extremely satisfying, punching you right in the gut and staying with you to ponder for days to come. Hellblade certainly has some of the best storytelling I’ve experienced and one that is built around mental health. Bold and sympathetic, it’s a game you simply must experience.

We purchased our own copy of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to bring you this review