Ninja Theory’s Hellblade has undergone yet another costume surgery - I mean change, re-emerging at GDC under the new name Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Having gone back to the drawing board already for Hellblade, the psychological hack ‘n’ slasher has been given a retooling, including a new look for heroine Senua. She’s basically gone full William Wallace.
The new name is designed to split attention between the traditional action of Hellblade and the mental health struggles protagonist Senua is going through. She’s a Celtic warrior you see, journeying into the Viking heartlands all the while battling against psychosis and trauma, represented as various powerful foes.
“It is important for us to portray the physical, emotional, and mental trials of her quest in both the character model and the representation of her reality,” says Ninja Theory’s Dominic Matthews. “An example of this is the voices that Senua hears in the scene. These voices have been recorded binaurally which means that if you listen to them with headphones on they will sound as if they are in the 3D space around you.”
Ninja Theory is also touting a new technology which it reckons is a world first - the mo-capped actress playing Senua can actually perform the scene live and be rendered directly into the game world. Typically, this is done with basic textureless models, but with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice it’s at full fidelity.