It’s been a minute since Ninja Theory came bounding onto the indie gaming scene with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, but not so long that anyone could have expected a new game announcement of this caliber. Hot off of Microsoft’s reveal of the sleek XBox Series X design, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was announced by way of showing off the graphics processing capabilities of the next generation of Xbox consoles. Senua’s Sacrifice was nothing to sneeze at in terms of graphic design; the game was widely praised for its beautiful graphics and relatively steady framerates. It was also praised for its touching storyline and well-developed characters, especially that of Senua herself. The team worked carefully with mental health professionals to ensure that Senua’s struggle with schizophrenia was responsible and respectful of real patients.
Without spoiling the first game, I can tell you that Senua’s Sacrifice follows Senua and the voices in her mind as they venture across the barrier between worlds to reach Hel in a bid to retrieve Senua’s beloved. Along the way, Senua’s background is slowly revealed, and it is as heartbreaking as one would expect for the journey she is undertaking. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II picks up where that story leaves off, which was foretold at the end of Senua’s Sacrifice. We knew this day would come, but it is particularly satisfying to see it come so soon, especially for such a young studio.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice swept through awards season after its release, picking up a host of awards for story, design, community impact, and acting. Since Senua is played by one of the employees at Ninja Theory, Senua is keeping the face and expressiveness we all know and love. In the trailer, she is less fragile that at the beginning of Senua’s Sacrifice, and seems to have become more battle-hardened in her quest. While little is shown to give away the major enemies she will face in Senua’s Saga, we do get to glimpse what looks like a very large mountain troll in the final scene.
Once we know more about the next stage of Senua’s journey, we will be sure to post. In the meantime, players can check out the original game and get started on their 2020 holiday wishlist; Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II appears to be developed for the Series X, and that will be dropping for Holiday 2020.