Hellblade Trailer Scores Big With Atmosphere, But Gamers Still Question The Lack Of Gameplay
Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice
(Last Updated On: June 22, 2017)

Ninja Theory released the latest trailer for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, detailing the release date and the price for the game. Hellblade will launch on August 8th, 2017 for $29.99 on Steam, PS4, and as a DRM-free offering on GOG.com.

Ninja Theory had revealed previously that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice would only cost half as much as an AAA title (and this is true, given that it’s only $29.99 instead of $59.99) and they also revealed that it would only be half the length of an AAA title. According to the FAQ it’s expected to be around six to eight hours worth of play-time.

This information was revealed with a new trailer that popped up over on the developer’s YouTube page, which you can check out below.

While most gamers admit that Hellblade has superb graphics and the performance capture is absolutely top notch, the major issue is that there’s still a lingering segment of the community levying criticism at Ninja Theory for not showing enough gameplay.

Fanboys have fired back claiming that people complaining about the lack of gameplay can go surf through Ninja Theory’s YouTube feed to find videos featuring gameplay.

Outside of the typical fanboys praising Hellblade to the high-heavens, the people actually interested in the game asking questions beyond the price and release date (which is $29.99 and August 8th), there are people still asking about the gameplay.





This has been an issue since the original developer diaries began airing years ago. Infrequently people would ask about the gameplay and oftentimes they would be told that Hellblade isn’t a traditional hack-and-slash game, or that Ninja Theory has showcased the gameplay already.

We got to see the most gameplay during the combat developer diaries, but then after that it was kind of pushed to the back burner. We did learn that there are some puzzle-solving mechanics, and exploration themed segments in the game, but majority of it seems to be an on-rails story experience.

I have no idea how well Hellblade will do once it releases. Will the audience looking for a hack-and-slash game be disappointed that it’s more story-oriented? Will the word of mouth be positive or negative for the game? Will it be able to carve out a niche as a more story-focused experience with a small side-order of gameplay? How well will hardcore gamers react and will casuals actually give it a try?

Gaming is a volatile market, and perception plays a huge part in how well the audience connects with a title. We’ll see if gamers connect with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice when it launches on August 8th, 2017 for $29.99 on Steam, GOG.com and PS4.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Phasmatis75

    Okay got to get some snark out of the way first.
    “Half the length of a AAA game, damn it’s only going to be 2 hours long!”

    I disagree on the game having an interesting setting, I said this elsewhere:
    “The whole it’s schizophrenia (IE not real) takes away a large part of the interest in this game for me. The mystery is solved, you’re insane, there is no final conclusion that will unravel that revelation. “Look at these weird visuals, cool right?” Nah, just mental illness and poorly researched for the time period at that.

    Norse also didn’t have a hell. They had Hel, Helheim, or Realm of Hel. It is not the same place as Christian Hell which at the time of this game would have been called haljo. It is often portrayed as a positive or neutral place where the dead just carried on with what they did before death. Rather disappointing they put all the research into mental illness and then nothing else.

    I simply don’t see the appeal in this game, sadly because it tries to be so edgy with it’s mental illness plot.”

    Having things be paranormal and then say owe but you’re just mentally ill just zaps the mystique from it. Bragging about how accurately they depicted it by consulting people in a field where 80% of everything they say is absolute fabricated bullshit, isn’t wowing (I want to enter that field btw). Yeah it looks good, but contextually it’s uninspiring and without any deeper contextual meaning since none of it is real.

    • Dead Jester

      Snorri did so much damage with his Prose Edda. If anything that’s probably where those “people in the field” got their information.

      • Phasmatis75

        I prefer the works of Daniel McCoy. His website is a glorified advert for his book, but it gives you all the basic information. Since finding it I’ve referenced it a lot because of the level of research and depth he goes into.

        • Dead Jester

          The Norse myths for smart people? Aye, I usual go to his site first when I need a quick refresher. Haven’t bought his book yet, but thinking I will sometime soon.

          • Phasmatis75

            I’ve got it, but haven’t read it yet. On my to do list. It looks pretty concise. What books would you recommend?

          • Dead Jester

            The only one I can think of, due to it being right in front of me, is called Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. It’s by John Lindow.
            Basically it’s a dictionary.

          • Phasmatis75

            I like those kinds of books. They’re handy to keep around. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Yeah it looks good, but contextually it’s uninspiring and without any deeper contextual meaning since none of it is real.

      I don’t care about any of that, nor the accuracy (or lack thereof) of their take on Norse history. It all starts and ends with the gameplay for me, and there hasn’t been enough of it to hold my interests, so everything else — accurate or not — is the equivalent of monkey feces for all I care.

      I can settle for a game with piss-poor storytelling if the gameplay is engaging and replayable, and I haven’t seen anything from Hellblade that suggests that it is. So even if it were 100% accurate regarding Norse history, I would rather swallow arsenic bullets than buy that game.

      • Phasmatis75

        I can agree to that. In Expedition Viking I endured pseudo cultural anthropological view on vikings because the combat and game was genuinely enjoyable. It wasn’t until they created a character that began soap-boxing their views unskipably that I gave up on the game.

        They’ve focused heavily on story for this game though, so that’s what they’re putting forward to interest us. It doesn’t capture my interest. Hell a bad interpretation would be tolerable (if not for how they brag about how much research they’ve done), if not for the whole “it’s mental illness.”

        How’s that going to tie into gameplay? It’s going to make it boring. The whole point of a journey with paranormal instances is the intense bigger than you, more powerful than you feeling. That no matter how skilled you are, there is something that can just snuff you without a second thought. That really makes for intense moments in a game, but when that’s all known right off the bat to be fake you’re not going to have those moments.

        So it’s going to be meh combat with obnoxious illusions constantly through the game.

        Story is important to me, a good narrative can turn a mediocre game into something special. Cryostasis for instance turned everything going on into a deeper philosophical instance. The reason the enemies looked the same was because the cold a force of nature had remade them when the submitted before it. In Silent Hill the town and monsters are manifestations of your own psyche projected onto a subjective piece of space that uses you like an Old One in Bloodborne. It created some breathtaking narratives that complemented the gameplay turning them into classics.

        I remember the first RE game I played was 2. Finding out a corporation was behind everything I took on a heroic mission to find as much evidence through the files in order to expose them afterward, but the lore really does enhance the gameplay.

        Vanquish compared to Gears of War shines because of both story and gameplay. Character development and revelations. To me having a bad story is potentially overlookable if you’re just a stupid fun game like Splatterhouse, but for a lot of experiences it makes the difference between enjoyable and not enjoyable (for me anyway and I’m sure others, but to each their own). This story here is meh and the gameplay doesn’t look stupid fun, so it’s got nothing going for it. It’s obvious they’re trying to push for a narrative driven experience, but making it insanity from the start nips that because who gives a crap about the insanity of others when we preoccupy ourselves with our own.

      • Phasmatis75

        I can agree to that. In Expedition Viking I endured pseudo cultural anthropological view on vikings because the combat and game was genuinely enjoyable. It wasn’t until they created a character that began soap-boxing their views unskipably that I gave up on the game.

        They’ve focused heavily on story for this game though, so that’s what they’re putting forward to interest us. It doesn’t capture my interest. Hell a bad interpretation would be tolerable (if not for how they brag about how much research they’ve done), if not for the whole “it’s mental illness.”

        How’s that going to tie into gameplay? It’s going to make it boring. The whole point of a journey with paranormal instances is the intense bigger than you, more powerful than you feeling. That no matter how skilled you are, there is something that can just snuff you without a second thought. That really makes for intense moments in a game, but when that’s all known right off the bat to be fake you’re not going to have those moments.

        So it’s going to be meh combat with obnoxious illusions constantly through the game.

        Story is important to me, a good narrative can turn a mediocre game into something special. Cryostasis for instance turned everything going on into a deeper philosophical instance. The reason the enemies looked the same was because the cold a force of nature had remade them when the submitted before it. In Silent Hill the town and monsters are manifestations of your own psyche projected onto a subjective piece of space that uses you like an Old One in Bloodborne. It created some breathtaking narratives that complemented the gameplay turning them into classics.

        I remember the first RE game I played was 2. Finding out a corporation was behind everything I took on a heroic mission to find as much evidence through the files in order to expose them afterward, but the lore really does enhance the gameplay.

        Vanquish compared to Gears of War shines because of both story and gameplay. Character development and revelations. To me having a bad story is potentially overlookable if you’re just a stupid fun game like Splatterhouse, but for a lot of experiences it makes the difference between enjoyable and not enjoyable (for me anyway and I’m sure others, but to each their own). This story here is meh and the gameplay doesn’t look stupid fun, so it’s got nothing going for it. It’s obvious they’re trying to push for a narrative driven experience, but making it insanity from the start nips that because who gives a crap about the insanity of others when we preoccupy ourselves with our own.

  • LurkerJK

    When devs get too coy when talking about gameplay you can just assume its a walking simulator (a walking forward simulator going by whats shown in the videos so far)

  • LurkerJK

    When devs get too coy when talking about gameplay you can just assume its a walking simulator (a walking forward simulator going by whats shown in the videos so far)

  • Bitterbear

    Well. GoW 4 has been nicknamed Dad of War. So don’t be surprised that this one is going to be Mom of War.

  • Bitterbear

    Well. GoW 4 has been nicknamed Dad of War. So don’t be surprised that this one is going to be Mom of War.

  • Dead Jester

    I may be thinking of a different game but wasn’t there a story just a few weeks back(maybe not even that) that the combat mechanics had changed? So even if there are gameplay trailers from earlier in development( Definitely call me lazy, I’m not going to look) they don’t reflect on what the gameplay is now, if the news I’m remembering is for this game that is. Doesn’t that make it all the more necessary for a gameplay trailer to be released before, well, the game releases?

  • Dead Jester

    I may be thinking of a different game but wasn’t there a story just a few weeks back(maybe not even that) that the combat mechanics had changed? So even if there are gameplay trailers from earlier in development( Definitely call me lazy, I’m not going to look) they don’t reflect on what the gameplay is now, if the news I’m remembering is for this game that is. Doesn’t that make it all the more necessary for a gameplay trailer to be released before, well, the game releases?

    • You’re not crazy, this is that game.

      Ninja Theory changed the game’s combat system from a directional attack system to a standard button masher. They said it was done to make things more enjoyable, but it seemed like it was done to casualize the game further.

      The directional combat was the one thing I was actually looking forward to with this game.

      • Bitterbear

        Told ya, Mom of War.

      • Bitterbear

        Told ya, Mom of War.

    • You’re not crazy, this is that game.

      Ninja Theory changed the game’s combat system from a directional attack system to a standard button masher. They said it was done to make things more enjoyable, but it seemed like it was done to casualize the game further.

      The directional combat was the one thing I was actually looking forward to with this game.

  • Brick

    If this game is as bad as I believe it will be (I hate ninja theory since DMC), It will play like a “trump election crazy masked woman with flute dragging cans” simulator.

  • Brick

    If this game is as bad as I believe it will be (I hate ninja theory since DMC), It will play like a “trump election crazy masked woman with flute dragging cans” simulator.

    • Dead Jester

      Nearly spit out my beer when I watched that video. Some people just can’t help but show their crazy in public.

    • Dead Jester

      Nearly spit out my beer when I watched that video. Some people just can’t help but show their crazy in public.