Ninja Theory Delivers an Authentic and Moving Story of Mental Illness in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Video games are a medium we love because they can do so much for us. They can be educational and inspiring, they can fill us with wonder and pride, or challenge us in new ways. It’s a wide open field of possibilities and yet there are some topics we have strayed away from. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice may be new to you, in fact, this may be the first time you have even heard the name, but ever since its announcement with only a small blurb, this game has captivated a large number of gamers. For the first time, a video game is not only tackling an accurate depiction of a mental illness, it’s doing so with respect, research, and a real understanding of its subject. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a powerful story of grief and uses the affliction burdened upon Senua as the driving force of the story, while also intertwining it in with the gameplay to make a real and authentic experience. For more on Hellblade, and why this is gaming’s most important game of 2017, check out our video analysis below.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a third person hack-and-slash game but in fact is so much more, with its powerful story and respectful depiction of the title character’s battle with psychosis. Senua must travel through her own personal hell made up of the manifestations of her psychosis, plagued by guilt. It’s a hauntingly beautiful story and one that opens a dialogue on what it’s like to deal with mental illness. Anyone who has not had the opportunity to play this game should definitely keep it on their radar.
In our official review of the game, we said: “Hellblade’s rewarding combat system and its larger story that deals with mental health in a significant way make for a great cinematic journey that isn’t afraid to embrace its linearity. While I would have liked to see the same kind of ambition in the puzzle design, Senua’s Sacrifice is a worthy addition alongside the likes of the severely underrated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Ninja Theory has delivered a game that is equally good and important for the industry in terms of serious storytelling and the ability to create AAA experiences at a low cost.”
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice released on August 8th for PC and PlayStation 4.