Shortly after announcing that the pre-order bonus for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice would be a specially made comic book called Hellblade: Senua’s Song, made in collaboration with Valiant Entertainment, Ninja Theory tossed out a new trailer for the game featuring snippets of new cinematics and some very light, light gameplay.
The trailer is only 30 seconds long. The trailer ends at the 30 second mark and thereafter Ninja theory begs for pre-orders as a way to help bring back the single-A, mid-budget market that’s been buried under a lot of AAA nonsense and bloated costs for a lot of unfun games. You can check out the trailer below.
A couple of notes here:
1 – I think Hellblade looks like a cinematically magnificent game. It easily could pass for an AAA title. That’s a great selling point from a marketing perspective and it easily shines through with the 30 second cinematic collage showcased above.
2 – I love how the technology and performance capture injector they’ve used within the Unreal Engine 4 is actually a core part of the game’s design. A lot of times some really cool tech gets developed for games and then falls by the wayside never been seen or heard from again. It’s nice to know that this technology is being planned to use with more than just Hellblade because it’ll make performance capture so much easier and cost effective for mid-budget (and big budget) studios working on games going forward.
3 – While I understand that the game will be half the size of an AAA title at half the costs, I’m absolutely worried about the gameplay loops. Those within the OAG community and even those outside of the community have voiced the exact same concerns I’m about to bring up right now: we haven’t seen enough gameplay that justifies that this will be a short but highly replayable title. If the combat is smooth and enjoyable and dynamic, it might be something that draws gamers back to the title, even if it’s only used sparingly throughout the adventure.
4 – However, I fear that this may be more of a walking simulator than a thorough gameplay experience, and that would actually hurt Ninja Theory in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with walking sims, but I get the impression that Ninja Theory actually wants gamers to pick up and play Hellblade. I could be wrong, but if they’re aiming for the core demographic, they’re going to need some good gameplay loops.
For the most part I think it’s a cool looking game from a visual perspective. But at the end of the day there has to be a strong resonance of gameplay immersion available for a title like this if they want positive word of mouth to help propel sales. Pre-ordering is a risky venture for an unproven title that may or may not live up to expectations.
You can look for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to launch on August 8th for $29.99 on the PS4, Steam and GOG.com. The game will only be available digitally for the listed platforms.