As part of Ninja Theory‘s plan of being open and transparent about development, in the past few months we’ve learnt quite of things about their upcoming PS4 (and PC) action title Hellblade. We’ve been introduced to leading lady Senua, we’ve been clued in on the triple A independent development process and we’ve seen some impressive concept art too. But with the game pencilled in for a 2015 release, there’s still so much that we don’t know. Luckily, Ninja Theory recently let Official PlayStation Magazine UK into their offices to talk about it for their cover feature. So from that preview, here are six things you didn’t know about Hellblade.
When Ninja Theory announced third person action game Hellblade back in August at Gamescom 2014, plenty of people read that would be coming ‘first to PS4’ and raised their eyebrows. Did this mean that Senua’s billowing locks and unsightly foes would be making their way to other platforms at a later date? With their new game, Ninja Theory are testing out a fancy development model called ‘independent triple A’ that lets them make great games on tiny budgets. The team have previously spoken about why PS4 is a fantastic testing ground for that and they have now announced that Hellblade will be coming to PC too.
With a trailer rushed in time to make Sony’s press conference at Gamescom in August, Hellblade was one of the biggest (and nicest) surprises of the year. Focused on a woman warrior named Senua, Hellblade looks to infuse Celtic and Viking mythology with the stellar combat and stories that we’ve come to expect from developer Ninja Theory (who also worked on Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry). We also know that Hellblade will be a timed PS4 exclusive and now, Ninja Theory have finally revealed why they decided to bring Hellblade to Sony’s console first.
Having being announced with a vague (albeit incredible) proof of concept trailer, we are gradually learning more about upcoming PS4 exclusive, Hellblade. Developer Ninja Theory have made it clear that the game is not a spiritual successor to their much-loved title Heavenly Sword (despite both games being heavy on mythology and being antonyms of one another) and we’ve met Senua, Hellblade‘s powerful, battle-hardened female lead. Ninja Theory have also explained that Hellblade won’t include multiplayer or an open world and that combat will be ‘brutal’. Let these brand new Hellblade concert art images add to the info pile then, as they provide a hint of what’s to come.
Hellblade is certainly an interesting one. Ninja Theory have said that it’s ‘independent triple A’, that it will be a PS4 exclusive (at first) and that they’re also pushing the limit of what the studio’s animators are used to. So there are a lot of buzzwords there, probably enough to turn this into a glossary more than a bonafide piece of games media but Hellblade’s ambition could be one of the best things about it. Its lead, Senua, will take on nightmarish enemies that would give Dark Souls a run for its impossible-to-beat money, the world is full of Celtic and Viking mythology and everything is doused in mystery and intrigue like a sea sponge that’s never been wrung out. We do have the tiniest bit of new info about the game though, as revealed by Ninja Theory in a Twitter Q&A.
Simply put, we know about minus three things about Ninja Theory’s upcoming PS4 exclusive, Hellblade. From the shadowy announcement trailer we discovered that the game is all for sacrificial rituals, swords just a tad bit sharper than your kitchen knife drawer and unseen, demonic forces. Always with the malevolence. We also know that the protagonist at the head of Hellblade’s tale is named Senua, a woman who rocks some killer, intimidating war-paint and can probably slice enemies up like her very presence is serrated. Thankfully, developer Ninja Theory is offering a drip-feed of information via its semi-regular developer diaries and its latest one gives us an insight into Hellblade’s art, its lore and its incredibly mysterious story.