Another game, another thread (Hellblade)



  • Whelp, Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice came out three days ago, I actually beat it on Wednesday but by the time I got home from work on Thursday noon, I was barely able to keep my eyes open, much less pay attention to what I was doing, hence why I am posting now. So tl;dr first:

    DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME WITHOUT HEADPHONES

    The long version: This game is bi-aural game (meaning that it uses the L and R channels of your sound seperately) and has you play as a schizophrenic character. In case you are unfamiliar with it (or in case I am, in which case, probably good thing I'm explaining it) you have hallucinations and hear voices in your head and have a pretty distorted sense of reality. The hallucinations are pretty easy to put into a game since those are visual.

    But the voices in your head?

    That is where this game being bi-aural comes into play. Holy god, this is where the game really shines. The reason why you want to wear headphones for this game is so that you are inside Senua's head. You hear what she hears. You hear her breathing, you hear her surroundings, you hear the voices in her head. Those voices are annoying, helpful, insightful, suicidal and many other things. But they add sooooooooooo much to the immersion.

    Immersion? Let's add to that. There is very little telling you that this is a game, no HUD, no tutorial, no (or very little) tooltips, nothing (except that one time where there was on-screen text telling you that if you die too many times you lose your save and have to start over again from the beginning). This game is 100% a cinematic game. This is where the voices you are hearing are actually really helpful. They actually tell you when an enemy is behind you, what to look for, or a little bit about what's going on. They pretty much fulfill the role of tooltips and the HUD and add so much more to the game than tooltips or a HUD ever will.

    Wait too many deaths and you perma-death the save? This function added a little bit of anxiety to the gameplay. Not knowing how long the combat is and the enemies you face (as well as the amount of enemies) add a lot more to the fighting. A sense that you HAVE to win or else you will lose all you've worked for. There was only two forced losses in this game, once at the beginning before you find out about the perma-death, the other... you'd need to find for yourself.

    Story: this is where I am a little bit at a loss. You play a Celtic (warrior?) looking to save the soul of the man you loved (Dillion) from the "northmen" gods (the Norse gods, specifically Hella). You travel to Hellheim, land of the dead... and oh boy were there dead people. You learn about the relationship you had with Dillion, some Norse mythology from the lorestones (some creepy looking epitaph looking things), and about your own history. But I was having trouble following along with what the hallucinations were telling me since they didn't give a sense of time other than "the past". Nothing about what events happened first, when you went crazy, how you met the important figures in your life, or how you've managed to get yourself to Hellheim. This is honestly where I felt the game was its weakest, I wanted to know more about Senua especially since I'm hearing the voices in her head.

    The setting definitely was atmospheric. You ARE in the land of the dead. Dark and dreary, death everywhere, and the voices certainly added to the experience. I didn't die much (actually only three times total), but man there was a sense of danger just about everywhere you went. I was scared playing this game and there wasn't much anywhere to not be scared, pretty much the end of the game (at the climax) is when I was least scared. Partially because I knew it was the end of the game, partially because it stopped being scary. I won't say I loved the setting (considering my aversion to being scared/horror) but it didn't steer me away. I don't like the sense of being alone in a video game, its always bothered me.

    Is/was this game worth the 30$ price tag for its ~6-8 hours of gameplay? Well... I would say yes. This was definitely a different experience to gaming I've ever had and I'd play more if I could. If there is a sequel I'll pick it up, but there really isn't much as far as replay value is concerned. But I can't think of any other game like this one. I like uniqueness and will gladly buy a unique game like this. And, imo, hearing what she hears and seeing what she sees add so much to the game that I feel it's worth the price.



  • @darthrutsula40 Even though I haven't played it yet I hope it does well so we can get something like it again.



  • Darth explains,

    "you have hallucinations and hear voices in your head and have a pretty distorted sense of reality.."

    Now, is there anything in the literature that suggests how this game will affect those who already claim to hear voices in their head?



  • @P.J. said in Another game, another thread (Hellblade):

    Darth explains,

    "you have hallucinations and hear voices in your head and have a pretty distorted sense of reality.."

    Now, is there anything in the literature that suggests how this game will affect those who already claim to hear voices in their head?

    There is a warning before you start playing saying that there are depictions of psychosis and that you may find it disturbing or if you experience them... yada yada yada.

    I generally don't read warnings because I don't need to.



  • Darth explains,

    "because I don't need to."

    Spoken like a BOSS. I could picture Master Shake saying those words.

    More or less my dry humor. I would imagine that those hearing "voices" in their head would not be playing this game... In any event, got to keep them loonies on the path (laughs) ;-)

    Take care,
    P.J.


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