Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

It’s Worth It!

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is about a Pict Warrior woman named Senua and her dark journey through a Viking and Celtic inspired world on her way into Helheim. She is broken, mentally, as she must take her lover’s remains to rest within. This is one of the key areas of the game: Senua’s mental illness. (Professionals in the mental health field as well as real world patients helped with developing the game.)

The gameplay, start to finish, is like taking part in a beautiful movie, with no HUD or lifebars on the screen. The cutscenes flow in and out at times, making the experience so enthralling. And one of the biggest immersive points is the audio; the whispers and voices, the environment, and the music is all exceedingly well done with attention to details. 

I first played the game about two or three years ago, and I admittedly do not play many hours of video games these days. (Much of my hobby time currently goes into painting minis or making terrain) Still, this game grabbed me and did not let go, both the first playthrough, and this one. There are several puzzles that come into play within the chapters, levels? And many of them tend to be done with clever visuals and environment placement. They also, in parallel, give you bits of Norse lore, stories of the gods and famous figures, that are found in Lorestones placed throughout the maps. 

There are, of course, fights to be had as well, and let me tell you, wow! The beauty of the fight animations and the pleasing aesthetics of a good combo far outweigh the occasional frustration of constant enemy auto-target. And once more, the audio kills it during the combat as well (thinking of you, final boss battle). The enemies you face are some of my favorite looking ‘video game bad guys’ ever. With fighting, comes losing sometimes, and the mechanic they have for losing is amazingly cool. I won’t spoil much for you, but a darkness creeps up her arm further each time you die, adding this building fear and unknown variable of limited time. 

Without delving into possible spoilers, I will elaborate on a few final points of interest… 

The amount of Norse and Celtic lore they pulled inspiration from for the game world is also very cool, like sunglasses cool. Every piece of scenery, every costume, and all the runes, are so on point. And, as I mentioned, the Lorestones, oh yes. There are dozens of pieces of a handful of stories that you can hear by finding them. All spoken to you by a great voice actor who does much of the narration. 

One of the biggest wins for me, is the constant connection between the story and the metaphors/representations of Senua’s mental complications. It is so well done and beautiful that I find myself still feeling emotions from it days later. There are times where the music, the intensity of the moment, and the story arc are all dancing in unison around you, and it moves you [it moved me]. Whether it is with fear/anxiety or sadness or feelings I can’t quite give words to, there are definitely awe inspiring efforts to take you through Senua’s experience, beyond a controller and a screen.

If you’ve seen it but not played it, do yourself a huge favor and try it out. 

Happy Gaming 

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


Hello, I’m Steven, and I’m a plastic addict. I live in a small city and do graphic design, sign, and shirt work on the weekdays. I tend to spend a lot of my hobby time painting/making Warhammer or D&D mini stuff. Occasionally, I play video games as well. 

Instagram: @mindlesstelepathy

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