Ninja Theory released another development diary for their upcoming third-person, psychosis, hack-and-slash thriller, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. A new seven and a half minute developer diary focuses on the 3D soundscapes features in Hellblade.
The video talks about the way the sounds are used in the game to help bring the narrative experience to life.
One thing they reveal is that there will be a minimum HUD in Hellblade so they needed a way to guide players through the world using cues; sounds will be the cue.
As explained by David Garcia, the lead audio engineer at Ninja Theory, they’re using 3D sounds based on a modular system setup through the Unreal Engine 4’s Blueprint feature, which allowed the audio designers to implement sounds into the game based on a three dimensional paradigm. This allows for multi-directional sound cues to guide the player based on their position in the world.
This hearkens back to their use of the sounds in a level where visually things aren’t so clear, and players have to navigate using sounds.
I do wonder how well this will work for those with hearing impairments?
Anyway, they also mention that binaural sound recordings can’t be modified after they’re recorded and implemented into the engine. So what you hear is what you get. They used binaural recordings for the voices Senua hears, but it all worked out in the end since the unidirectional effect that the voices have are supposed to be relative to the player experience, and not necessarily Senua’s direction position within the game world.
Also, check out the Aleistair Black lookalike at the 6:02 mark.
Anyway, the combat actually looks like it’s coming along really, really well, even though we don’t get to see it much.
A lot of gamers are still worried about Hellblade, and possibly having too much focus on its story rather than its gameplay. It’s a tough call to make at this point because so much of the dev diaries have focused on the narrative and cinematic elements and not so much the gameplay elements.
Some discussions/arguments broke out in the YouTube comment section over the narrative focus versus the gameplay focus. Apparently some people are worried this will be closer to a walking sim than an action game, and others are saying that it’s okay if it’s more of a walking sim than an action game if this is what Ninja Theory wants to make.
It’s hard to say at this point and the verdict is obviously still out. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is due for release on PS4 and Steam.
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