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Hellblade: New Gameplay Trailer Follows a Struggling Warrior

Dominic Matthews's Avatar Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 // Product Development Ninja, Ninja Theory

Hello, Dominic here from Ninja Theory. Today I’m happy to be sharing a new Hellblade trailer with you. In it, we show Hellblade gameplay for the first time, as well as give a deeper insight into the game’s story and world than we ever have before.

Hellblade launches next year on PS4 and tells the story of Celtic Warrior Senua and her journey into Hell. The Hell in question is no ordinary Hell, but is in fact a Hell that is the manifestation of Senua’s mental illness. Senua 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.

From George Orwell’s 1984, to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, the best fantasy breaks down barriers and lets us see the world without prejudice. This is what we want to do with Hellblade. To see the world through Senua’s eyes, and in doing so, address a subject that is still considered taboo.

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.

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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.

Hellblade is being developed by a small team of 15 people under a new development model that we are calling Independent AAA. The idea behind this is that we can create a game independently, with creative freedom, but still deliver AAA quality production values. As part of this we’re creating the game openly, sharing as much of the development process as possible. You can follow Hellblade’s journey at Hellblade.com and via the Ninja Theory social channels.

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59 Comments

1

+ paulogy on June 10th, 2015 at 8:03 am said:

A team of 15? Could’ve fooled me! This looks AWESOME :-D


     

    + paulogy on June 10th, 2015 at 8:08 am said:

    I should add, watching your development dairy videos has shown just how ingenious you’ve had to be given your constraints. I find it kinda funny, but also kind of sad what you’ve had to cobble together to make this game happen. But the results are proving it’s possible regardless!

    On a more serious note, tackling mental illness is a very noble goal that I wish more projects would tackle with “all the respect it deserves”


     

    + KevinKFBacon on June 10th, 2015 at 10:50 am said:

    Looks dark and twisted. Like Greg Miller’s mind ;P


2

+ G-Force08 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:04 am said:

Huh. The story sounds interesting. So it’s really a mental illness that the character is fighting with. Looking forward to seeing more from this. Loved Heavenly Sword and Enslaved.


     

    + Ravenous74 on June 10th, 2015 at 12:34 pm said:

    Looks awesome! my kind of game.


3

+ BluenoseGames on June 10th, 2015 at 8:07 am said:

This looks awesome !


4

+ XtemmA on June 10th, 2015 at 8:09 am said:

Oh man, how much sanity should we lose to gain insight from insanity?


5

+ cubbielovr on June 10th, 2015 at 8:12 am said:

Count me in. Today’s a pretty awesome day for trailer reveals…here’s hoping there is even more to show next week!


6

+ Tonykidv2 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:15 am said:

Watch they pull an assassin creed 1 on us and the game takes place in the present following a person with Celtic heritage who is a mental patient in a psych ward.


     

    + Ikusa02 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:25 am said:

    Ha, from a person who’s played a few Assassin’s Creed games, I laughed at this =D


Dominic Matthews's Avatar

7

+ Sid Shuman on June 10th, 2015 at 8:16 am said:

Cool!


8

+ anarkii on June 10th, 2015 at 8:18 am said:

This looks soooo good! Been following the dev blogs, and seriously amazed at what you all have achieved so far!
I’ll be promoting the crap out this on my FB group guys :) Cant wait to see what surprises we will see at E3 :D


9

+ spacedelete2 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:19 am said:

this is a future PS Plus game.


     

    + ImAPirateSoSueMe on June 10th, 2015 at 9:48 am said:

    Every game is, your point?


     

    + Welmosca on June 10th, 2015 at 11:10 am said:

    @ ImAPirateSoSueMe – Every game?…ha you’re trippin.


10

+ Ikusa02 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:21 am said:

We’re on the highway to Hellblade!

I find your purpose noble in its intentions :) How you are going to merge something like mental illness with something like a woman fighting Hellish demons with a blade may be lost on some. It’s definitely going to be a great experience as a game but I would believe that marketing it will be hard. Focus too much on action and you’ll lose story and whatnot.

Oh, and will there be any Quick Time Events in this game?


     

    + mevrouwdewi on June 11th, 2015 at 3:52 am said:

    There will not be any QTE’s. They’ve confirmed this in one of their Q&A’s. ;-)


11

+ yowzagabowza on June 10th, 2015 at 8:25 am said:

Im glad you guys understand that you can have mature subject matter and ALSO great game play. Most would have made this a walking sim.
Ninja theory is my favorite developer. I’ve loved all their games so far, can’t wait for this one!


12

+ saab01 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:37 am said:

Looks great cant wait to pick this up. Do we know an exact date when this will release? Any pre order bonuses ?


13

+ Bellalara on June 10th, 2015 at 8:40 am said:

Can’t wait to play this game!


14

+ diablo103 on June 10th, 2015 at 8:40 am said:

Looks Amazing! Now please make a sequel to Heavenly Sword!


15

+ Krillinfan on June 10th, 2015 at 8:46 am said:

Wow. I can genuinely say I’ve never seen anyone really tackle this concept this way before.

Bravo.


16

+ Kain_the_Demonic on June 10th, 2015 at 8:49 am said:

looks decent but come on….out of celtic warriors….you choose a woman….wtf are you thinking? I hate playing as women in games….thats why i like games with character creations and if i do play a game with a woman it better have a good story line and game play….just dont see how out of celtic warriors you choose a woman…..that baffles my mind


     

    + profane_god on June 10th, 2015 at 3:33 pm said:

    Much like you cannot choose the perspective of the protaganist in a film which you are not making, you should not be entitled to choose the perspective of the protaganist of a game someone else is making, regardless of your feelings.


     

    + shinkenmoe on June 10th, 2015 at 11:33 pm said:

    As an actual Irish person: bugger off. WOMEN taught men how to fight in Celtic society (ban-gaisgedaig — look it up). They owned their own schools for it, fought in wars and often outnumbered men on the battlefield in some areas.

    So yes — out of Celtic warriors, they chose a woman, and it is possibly (and probably) more appropriate than a male Celtic warrior. I’m sorry you have such little respect for women and for history, but instead of whining about this on the Internet perhaps you should take some time to self-reflect and figure out why that might be.


17

+ fadingshadow on June 10th, 2015 at 9:01 am said:

Cool heroine. Darkness surrounds. Beautiful graphics. On PS4? I’m SOLD!


18

+ Capshot18 on June 10th, 2015 at 9:02 am said:

It’s always good to see people try to tackle mature themes and this seems like a pretty unique way of doing so. Count me in.


19

+ MrBeens on June 10th, 2015 at 9:09 am said:

“Senua 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.”

Oh great. ‘Cause real life isn’t depressing enough already! :)


20

+ Agantara on June 10th, 2015 at 9:12 am said:

Cool :=)


21

+ sealum01 on June 10th, 2015 at 9:34 am said:

I think triple-I (or III) is a good way of describing something that is both independent and AAA quality.

I’m really looking foward to this triple-I game!


22

+ soundandvision77 on June 10th, 2015 at 10:03 am said:

This looks great.

The main character looks a lot like Trip from Enslaved. It’s something about the eyes I think. I’m not complaining though – Enslaved was a great game with great characters.

Looking forward to this game!


23

+ GerolPS on June 10th, 2015 at 10:03 am said:

Hopefully this will be bundled with a remaster version of Heavenly Sword <3


24

+ D-Squad3 on June 10th, 2015 at 10:04 am said:

Hmm I need to see more gameplay. I really much prefer the camera to be more zoomed out in hack n slash games.


25

+ Zilas on June 10th, 2015 at 10:13 am said:

After playing previous Ninja Theory games, I already know this title will be a day one for me. Love the story idea, music and art. Can’t wait to take this journey with Senua.


26

+ remanutd5 on June 10th, 2015 at 10:28 am said:

Is that the Last Guardian on the background? Lol


27

+ saintaqua on June 10th, 2015 at 10:35 am said:

I’m excited for this. I love your games!


28

+ iREVOLTER on June 10th, 2015 at 10:48 am said:

I’m struggling. =|


29

+ JaredM80 on June 10th, 2015 at 10:55 am said:

“I hate playing as women in games….that’s why i like games with character creations and if i do play a game with a woman it better have a good story line and game play” wait what? so you are from the future and you feel the game sucks and that is why you hate they chose a female? can i borrow your time machine?


30

+ KazeEternal on June 10th, 2015 at 11:13 am said:

Don’t think I’m feeling this darker Don Quixote of Video Games. Entire game will have you question if anything you’re seeing is real and has any reason. Could be exploring Senua’s personality sure, but everything else like the world becomes this fragile object of wrapped in disinterest and becomes largely meaningless once we’re free of her madness. Assuming she doesn’t die in the process. That’s also assuming that the madness is manifested in hallucinations. Also not entire sure what is Taboo about this subject? Does Ninja Theory just want this to be Taboo? Is this a regional thing? I don’t understand that. not sure if I’m going to stick on board with this game. Hope you find your audience.


31

+ Welmosca on June 10th, 2015 at 11:14 am said:

Good trailer game looks pretty neat…I’ve been following the dev diaries of you guys and the game has potential,I just hope you nail that good gameplay feel.Really looking forward to this but….it ain’t a PS4 exclusive right?…and that is a disappointment.
Anyway…now show us some gameplay in action.


     

    + SilentNova on June 10th, 2015 at 11:26 am said:

    Evidently it is a timed exclusive with the possible PC release in the future. Depending on the article you read the reason behind it is very different. The one I trust the most they said from the beginning that it was a timed exclusive and they wanted to work with Sony since it felt kind of like going back to their roots and they have a good history together.


     

    + Welmosca on June 11th, 2015 at 12:53 pm said:

    Yeah timed exclusives are not good for PS.


32

+ GaMeR_bOi_83 on June 10th, 2015 at 11:38 am said:

15 people made this game? Wow not bad. Looks interesting. Will get it day one. Will this be a digital only game or physical?


     

    + mevrouwdewi on June 11th, 2015 at 4:04 am said:

    This game is digital only. Kind of a bummer for me since I love owning physical games, but I’m hoping that if they have enough of a profit, they will eventually release physical copies. Never say never. :)


33

+ anydoubleyou on June 10th, 2015 at 11:42 am said:

It is REALLY GREAT that you all are tying this into other actual important issues within the real world — like Mental Illness. I am a medical student and actually we have just discussed Psychosis and associated mental health disorders today. I really appreciate and admire you all for tying my 2 passions together (health and video games!).


34

+ beamstrike on June 10th, 2015 at 11:55 am said:

I’ll just wait for reviews since the last time Ninja Theory hyped up a story…well…yeah…


35

+ medenko1975 on June 10th, 2015 at 1:01 pm said:

wow this look great.


36

+ shy-1 on June 10th, 2015 at 1:42 pm said:

Looks and sounds like kai from from heavenly sword and wasnt she kinda mental too


37

+ JAMIESON on June 10th, 2015 at 2:20 pm said:

Can’t wait It seems mentally challenging…LOL…. I’m a horror freak. And seeing this trailer it seems so intense I know it will have you grabbing the seat of my pants…lol…. (meaning) It will scare the living *BLEEP* out of you…lol… thanks for sharing the info looking forward to it!


38

+ spacemonkeyham on June 10th, 2015 at 4:48 pm said:

He’ll blade. Hell yeah.


39

+ ZombieRollz on June 10th, 2015 at 5:42 pm said:

This looks great. I love the different atmosphere and combat it seems to have!


40

+ Kid_Grim on June 10th, 2015 at 6:50 pm said:

looks great can’t wait.


41

+ TurismoM3 on June 10th, 2015 at 7:44 pm said:

Thank you for tackling this subject, it sucks to suffer from anxiety and depression. Game looks awesome. Great job.


42

+ TheBlindGorilla on June 10th, 2015 at 9:43 pm said:

I’m definitely diggin’ on this. That small team of 15 peeps you got workin’ on this must be 15 bad asses because this looks pretty slick. Nice work Ninja Theory!


43

+ CrazyRap on June 11th, 2015 at 1:04 am said:

Looks meh
Waiting for it on PS+


44

+ AdrianConflict on June 11th, 2015 at 2:47 am said:

That is really creative. They should allow this as therapy for inpatients in psych wards.


45

+ Reymart_Cruz on June 11th, 2015 at 4:42 am said:

This graphics are so assassin creed last gen.


46

+ Jon-Payne- on June 11th, 2015 at 7:59 am said:

So Ninja Theory first makes a game called Heavenly Sword and now one called Hellblade. Sounds like a cool juxtaposition =P


47

+ LuxRay07 on June 15th, 2015 at 11:37 am said:

Whoa this is awesome I am totally excited for this!


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