There are a lot of eyes on the upcoming sequel to 2017’s outstanding Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The good news is, developer Ninja Theory is quietly confident that the Xbox / PC exclusive will exceed expectations. Combat designer, Juan Fernández has said his team are pushing the quality “through the roof”.
Speaking openly in an interview with Spanish website Vandal, he offered new detail on the depth and breadth of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. When compared to the original game, there seem to be a lot of changes in plans, and no shortage of breadcrumbs dropped. Specifically, Fernández indicated that combat will take a very different route from the first game, which was arguably a little light on variety in this area.
“We’re raising the bar of doing more with less. We’re more people than the first Hellblade but the quality we’re giving versus the team behind it compared to similar games… I think it’s through the roof. What I like about Hellblade 2 is that it’s a very unique approach, I think it’s going to have an impact like Hellblade 1 but for other reasons, because obviously there’s a lot of things that were new in the first game that will have less impact in the second game, but there’s a whole bunch of other new things that will have that impact.”Juan Fernández, Hellblade 2 Combat Designer
However the gameplay may differ from the first game, Hellblade 2 is shaping up to be one hell of a good looking game
For clarity, the quote above was translated from Spanish, and some nuance of meaning may be lost a little in that respect. But the premise remains clear; Hellblade 2 will not be a simple revision of the original game. There is clearly a lot of ambition to add yet more depth to the sequel, particularly with regard to combat gameplay. Juan continues,
“What I was least satisfied with in Hellblade 1 was the lack of enemy variety, the long-range combat was stifled. And the balancing stuff; the way the difficulty systems were tuned, the enemies had too much life, they had too much durability and it got tiresome a lot of the time. We had a lot of variety of attacks and combos but the enemies didn’t really encourage you to use one or the other. People found two or three moves they liked and repeated them constantly. There were very generous parries and story timings that could be balanced more intelligently.”
Whilst we know Hellblade 2 will release for Xbox Series X | S and PC, as yet we have no idea when that might be
For fans of the original game, this is good news indeed. It’s been 5 years since the original Hellblade released, and since then we have had a new generation of consoles launch. That said, a lot of the original fans will have of course played on Playstation. Right now, Hellblade 2 has release plans only for Xbox, and Windows PC.
Then again, there’s no release date yet. And with E3’s recent cancellation it’s not clear when we might get a next look at what is promising to be an incredible game. Are you excited for the next chapter in Sauna’s story? Let us know in the comments below.
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020