Best known for their work on Heavenly Sword and DMC: Devil May Cry, Ninja Theory has been teasing the gameplay reveal of their next game, the PS4 and PC exclusive, Hellblade, for quite a long time. And here it is. Following a Celtic woman named Senua, Hellblade explores the trauma she experiences in the wake of a Viking invasion.
This trauma is then translated, for the player, as a trip to hell, a “manifestation of Senua’s mental illness” in which she “experiences psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, as well as suffering from anxiety and depression. As a player you will witness Senua’s living nightmare through her own eyes.”
Explaining further, Ninja Theory says, “Developing Hellblade independently gives us the freedom to tackle a subject as challenging as mental health. It is a subject that we are handling with all the respect it deserves, ensuring that our portrayal of Senua’s condition is both accurate and sensitive.”
To dissuade any fears that such a subject would be dealt with in a way that is not as sensitive, Ninja Theory continues, “To help us with this we are working closely with Professor Paul Fletcher, a professor of Health Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, as well as arranging to consult directly with people who have experience of mental health difficulties. We are also very proud to say that Hellblade is being supported by Wellcome Trust, which is a global charitable foundation which aims to build a greater public understanding of science and in particular health.”
To glimpse even further into the mind of Senua, be sure to check out Ninja Theory’s dev diary discussing the topic. Revealed at Gamescom last year, there is still no release date for Hellblade, but hopefully we will hear more at E3.
What do you think of the first snippets of gameplay? Hellish enough for you? Let us know in the comments.