Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice is a game that I have been meaning to play for a while now. I finally sat down to play it and I’m disappointed, mostly in myself.
Reviewed on Xbox Cloud Gaming
Hellblade is not just a game, it’s truest an experience. I strongly recommended you play this with headphones, it will make the game even more immersive. Let’s start with that part, the immersion. The game looks beautiful. There is no HUD to distract you, just your character and the beautifully haunting environment. As you move throughout the game you will constantly be hearing voices in your head, that’s why I recommended headphones. It was definitely creepy but super immersive.
Walking around the game world was an experience. There is no map so you wander aimlessly trying to find where to go. Exploration is one of the main things you are doing. For me, I recognize how great it is but I was constantly lost and frustrated.
My frustration continued with the puzzles in the game. You have to use your focus to see different paths in the environment. You also have to use your focus to line up different parts of the environment to solve puzzles. I personally did not find this enjoyable.
I play games to get lost in a world. That’s exactly what happens here, hence why I’m disappointed in myself. The game is masterfully made and just so well done that I wanted to love it but I couldn’t get into it.
Combat was an amazing pallet cleanser to the hard exploration. The fighting in this game was similar to a souls-like game with dodges and parrying and felt just right. Sprinting at an enemy and kneeing them in the face never got old. If this was a combat only game I feel it would have been one of my favorite games, that’s how much I enjoyed it.
Sadly once the combat ends you are back to trying to figure out obtuse puzzles in the world. I know it’s not a long experience so I tried powering through but I just never got it to click for me.
Hellblade is a game that I was disappointed in myself for not getting into. I can see why it’s so well loved but it just was not for me. The atmosphere is haunting, the sound is great, and the combat is top notch but for some reason, it just didn't click.
Verdict: Unlikely to return