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Mar 03

Mar 03

Hellblade: Two-year Journey Approaches End as Ninja Theory Hits Alpha

Dominic Matthews's Avatar Posted by Product Development Ninja, Ninja Theory

Hello PlayStation fans, Dom here from Ninja Theory. I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on the progress of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which we’ll be launching later this year on PS4.

We’ve just hit the Alpha stage in the development of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. This is significant, because it means that for the first time the entire game is playable from beginning to end.

That doesn’t mean that the game is finished, however. There’s still a huge amount of work to be done across Hellblade. Some parts of the game are starting to look and feel just as we envisioned, whereas others are still only built to a basic level. The important thing at this stage is that all of the areas are laid out and the design clearly defined.

We have now shot all of our performance capture scenes in our budget-built, in-house, mo-cap studio — and these scenes are now in the process of going into the game. We have recorded all of our VO for the voices that follow you throughout Senua’s journey, capturing them binaurally so that when you hear them on headphones you’ll be able to place the voices in the 3D space around you.

All of our gameplay mechanics are in and are now being refined. Our combat system is complete and set for thorough play testing, and our puzzle experiences — based on our learnings of psychosis — are now ready for a final art polish.

Our vision for Senua’s movement is starting to be realised, where we’ve captured hundreds of bespoke animations in performance capture so that Senua moves and reacts realistically in all situations. Finally, most of the game’s music is complete and is being mixed into Hellblade’s soundscape.

Two years of hard work by the Hellblade team is starting to pay off and we’re ready for the next stage: Beta. This is where we can focus on the player experience — looking at the game step-by-step, improving it along the way, honing how the game will look and feel to our players. It is at this stage that we will add a lot of the small details that make a big difference.

Beyond Beta, we will move into the final stage of Hellblade’s development: Mastering. It is in this stage that we will iron out any remaining bugs, ensure that Hellblade performs optimally on PlayStation, and prepare for launch.

We have a lot of work ahead and the team is putting all of our care into Hellblade to make it as special as it can be. We’re getting super excited about sharing Hellblade with you later this year and we look forward to bringing you further updates on the road to release.

Add Your Own

Illuminat3d_ said:

March 3rd, 6:11 am

First! But seriously this game was supposed to come out last year

    Dominic Matthews's Avatar

    Dominic Matthews said:

    March 3rd, 6:35 am

    Hi, we did initially intend for Hellblade to be released in 2016 but we took the decision to push the game in to 2017 to give ourselves the time we need to give the game the love it deserves. In this video we talk about that decision:



    March 3rd, 11:41 am

    You want broken crappy games with main story only like 10-15hrs of play?.. FFXIV took 7 yrs and story was 10-15hrs..what a dissappointment.


    March 3rd, 11:42 am

    Oops scratch that, LOL. 10years and I meant FFXV.

    xxdmcgee2288xx said:

    March 3rd, 12:48 pm

    you either never played FFXV or you did yourself a serious disservice by rushing through the game. I’m at around 60 hours, give or take, and I haven’t even fully finished the campaign. FFXV is amazing, and many people love this game. Hell, it couldn’t have been that bad of a game if it got an 81 on Metacritic, that rating based on the average of 109 total critic reviews! So, yeah, next time you say “what a disappointment” consider the broader spectrum on what most people thought of the game before you just dismiss it as crap.

    TWODEEEE said:

    March 4th, 7:41 pm

    Ff15 took since the reveal of ps3 to make, almost 15 years, which is why im worried for kh3, he’s already said ff7 remake wont be finished til next gen, he’s a bad director tbh, but luckily games arent solely made by just the director so ff15 was good, hopefully he doesn’t ruin the ff7 remake, he’s the one who made cloud “emo” when he never was in ff7

Setsui_No_Hado said:

March 3rd, 6:11 am

Will you guys be sending Alpha codes to random players? I am actually quite interested in checking this game out.

    Dominic Matthews's Avatar

    Dominic Matthews said:

    March 3rd, 6:37 am

    We won’t. As a story-led experience, we want everyone to have the chance to go through the journey at the same time.

langdon said:

March 3rd, 6:16 am

I’m so excited for this! I loved Heavenly Sword and everything surrounding it (the animated series!!). I can’t wait to get this!

iKingAces said:

March 3rd, 6:43 am

Keep up the work, guys, and girls. Take your time on this game, I’m looking forward to playing it later this year.

intheface88 said:

March 3rd, 6:44 am

Incredibly excited for the game and actually happy you guys pushed it back. Rarely do we (the gamer) get the short-end of the stick when games are pushed back a reasonable amount of time to really define and perfect your vision of the game. Plus there is just WAY too much to play right now. Looking forward to the updates.

cusman said:

March 3rd, 6:50 am

Hey, slow down. Give me enough time to play Horizon and Breath of the Wild and then release. Also, don’t release right along God of War. Some time before or some time after. Timing matters.

    TWODEEEE said:

    March 4th, 7:43 pm

    Lmao god of war is def not a 2017 game, sorry to break it to you, theyre still hiring to make it

JuniorJaxon said:

March 3rd, 6:59 am

This game looks incredible! Take your time to make this one great. I know you guys will do a fantastic job… Can’t wait to get the announcement of collectors edition….?? :)

millerscout said:

March 3rd, 7:03 am

Looking forward to this game.

saw some videos about the working you guys are doing, and i’m amazed.

keep it up o/

cman199 said:

March 3rd, 7:08 am

Definitely a day one buy! PLEASE MAKE A DMC 2!

    iCrAzy_2D_XtrEmE said:

    March 3rd, 8:22 am

    DMC 2 already exists…

    TWODEEEE said:

    March 4th, 7:44 pm

    He means the reboot where they ruined his look and then mocked hardcore dmc fans with a wig, the combat was still great tho

Foxx said:

March 3rd, 7:09 am

This is awesome – congratulations on reaching Alpha and love the open look into development that you’re extending to the community throughout the progress of Hellblade. A game that touches on mental health has had me highly intrigued since this was announced, can’t wait to play the final game later this year.

Cheers Ninja Theory – keep up the great work!

ShadowCrowMan said:

March 3rd, 7:31 am

Another great PlayStation exclusive. PlayStation – “WHERE THE GAMES ARE AT” sorry switch and xbox1 fans. But damn slow down i need to beat Horizon Zero Dawn and Nioh first.

BurntGoliath said:

March 3rd, 7:40 am

I’ve been looking forward to this game from the first glimpse you gave us in 2015. What a great concept and the game is looking awesome! This is one of those games that needs the time to put the right finishing touches because of the deep emotional connection that it is attempting to make. For that reason, I’m trying to be patient, but I can’t wait to play this game.

paulogy said:

March 3rd, 7:55 am

Glad to hear things are coming along. Having followed the development of this game for some time I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out :-)

fecks said:

March 3rd, 8:19 am

This game looks stunning! Cant wait!

EverythingOnFire said:

March 3rd, 8:19 am

Fantastic news. Shoutout to Enslaved: Odyssey To The West. Still one of my favorites after all these years.

Keep on keeping on, Ninja Theory.

jrodfantastic said:

March 3rd, 9:00 am

Super super duper psyched for this game! Loved Heavenly Sword and Enslaved even more than that! I can’t wait!

HyeVltg3 said:

March 3rd, 9:15 am

Please just take all the time you need.
Dont rush things.
I just want this to be an interesting and fun game to play, not another rush project that’ll just get knocked for how many issues there are.
I’ve been waiting since the beginning, rushing it to the finish line has gone bad for so many games, please don’t follow suite.

gertsevereyns said:

March 3rd, 9:33 am

Hope they let us play the beta ! And to get the full game as soon as possible ( but no hurries), i will waiting to get my disk as long it takes, But it’s important too take all the time you need to make Hellblade a great game !

KingJohnJr said:

March 3rd, 10:21 am

Excited for this game! I agree, take the time you need to make it a great game but (obviously you won’t cause why would you) don’t listen to these people telling you to delay the game release so they can finish previously released games. What nonsense. Like they’re the only ppl living on the planet. Like yeah, the developers are really gonna delay the game until you give the say so. How selfish our world has become today. Rock on, Ninja Theory!

djsaiyan said:

March 3rd, 10:40 am

Super pumped for this! :D

iM-A-tRuMsTaH said:

March 3rd, 11:09 am

Really looking forward to seeing more about this game. I really enjoyed Heavenly Sword.

medenko1975 said:

March 3rd, 11:36 am

so everyone gets a a chance for alpha?


March 3rd, 11:44 am

Can we get co-op mode? Everyone “big” titles seem to bring coop after release as a dlc…..

ShowUp2ShutDown said:

March 3rd, 11:48 am

Oooooh snaps now we are speaking the same language allowing all past present and future fans to get a taste of another game changing kick @$$ jewel and I appreciate the pullback due to you all wanting to make sure this diamond shines like its suppose to.. Im Excited Im In and Im Ready

Pendharker said:

March 3rd, 12:20 pm

To this day, I still totally love and adore Heavenly Sword. In fact, it’s the first video game my then-4-year-old got into and she completed (with my help on the boss fights, but still). I have been following Hellblade’s development and I am insanely anxious to play this title! Thank you for working so hard to make it just right.

Question: Do you plan to add enhancements for PS4 Pro? If so, at launch or as a patch?

KazeEternal said:

March 3rd, 1:29 pm

Sounds like we won’t see this game till next year. Alpha is really only insight of the end, but honestly not the end or even the beginning of it.

Will the Beta be far enough along by June so we can see it at E3?

Reverseshift said:

March 3rd, 4:51 pm

Take your time. I really hope this game is successful for you guys. p.s. would love to see a DmC devil may cry 2….

White_JackaL said:

March 3rd, 5:54 pm

I loved enslaved and heavenly sword, dint like the remake of dmc and while the game is beautiful from a graphics stand point, I feel like there have been too many mental illness related game’s in the past year’s so im gonna pass.

Jump_Kickasaurus said:

March 3rd, 7:22 pm

Take the time to build and finish the game, theres plenty of game coming out soon so we have alot to play till this game comes out, im really excited for this so i dont mind the delay to polish the game.
Wish you guys the best of time making the game.

DaJayhawkr said:

March 4th, 12:33 am

Is PS4 pro support planned?

TheAmazingYeah said:

March 4th, 1:47 am

Thanks for the update! This is one of my most anticipated titles, and your team does strong, amazing and much-welcomed female characters so well.

I guess I’ll say I CAN wait!

dracondria said:

March 4th, 7:10 am

Thank you for taking the time on this game. Been so excited since announced. I’m sure most gamers out there appreciate the dedication and passion devoted to this game. Can’t wait to play!!!

jk82482 said:

March 4th, 11:26 am

With the way Ninja Theory put new life into DMC, I’m very excited for Hellblade. A lot of time and hard work gets put in by this company. Hopefully we will see a DMC2 at some point in the near future in more of an open world(worlds) setting.

D-Squad3 said:

March 4th, 7:46 pm

So is it coming out this year?

gilgamesh21 said:

March 4th, 11:11 pm

Hello Ninja Theory,

Any chance you guys can get the rights back for Heavenly Sword and give us the sequel you would want? I have ideas for a sequel, and I’m sure you do too. Sony’s take on-and retconning of the story in the DVD/movie was interesting but ultimately not near as good as your original. So I want to see where you take the story, not Sony. Of course I’d give it a chance if Sony announced an in-house sequel though.

er910 said:

March 6th, 4:45 am

Woohoo! I’m so glad you all are able to finish this game. I enjoy all that you do.

Welmosca said:

March 8th, 10:38 pm

I hope the combat was improved.

aedoolen said:

March 11th, 11:35 am

Only just found out about this game, but was completely hooked by the trailer and other videos you have released! It looks stunning and amazingly fantastic! Can’t wait to play it!

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