Everything We Know About Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga

Given the impressive Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was, it seemed inevitable that there would be a sequel. The game, despite being independently created by Ninja Theory, blew up even the highest budget games on the market in terms of graphics fidelity and storytelling. Microsoft must also have realized this potential and bought the studio to not only provide a bigger budget for the team for the eventual sequel, but also to secure it as an exclusive console for its then-unreleased Xbox Series X and S systems.

Hellbalde 2: The Senua Saga was one of the first games presented for the Xbox Series X and S and was even initially considered one of the system’s launch titles. That didn’t happen, but the team took that extra time to create this sequel in what appears to be even more impressive than the original. Between the first Game Awards event where the game was announced and the last demo featured on the 2021 show, we have a really good grasp of the important details surrounding this sequel. Don’t be fooled by the voices in your head, because we have all the information you need. Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga.

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Release date

It’s been years now that Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga premiered at the Game Awards 2019, with the last appearance being the same event at the end of 2021. The game, while never giving a firm release date, appears to have been pushed back several times already. Based on the progress of the latest footage we’ve seen, it’s possible that this might be a title arriving in the fall or winter of 2022, or maybe slipping in early 2023. We we expect to see and learn more in early to mid-2022, but for now we can only speculate.

Platforms

An Icelandic volcano emitting smoke.

We know that Ninja Theory was acquired by Microsoft after the first Infernal blade was released, which was, oddly enough, a timed PlayStation exclusive, so the sequel will now come exclusively to Xbox consoles, especially the latest Xbox Series X and S, and PC.

Trailer

It wasn’t until the 2021 Game Awards that we got our first in-depth look at Hellblade 2: the saga of Senua, while the first trailer we got was more of a tone piece. In that initial reveal, we simply saw landscapes as Senua let out a throaty, off-putting chant and made distorted facial expressions as the footage grew more and more disturbing.

The latest gameplay reveal gives a much more cohesive look at what the game will actually be. After a bit of storytelling declaring war on the gods, we come to Senua leading a band of warriors into a cave. As she gives orders to the others, we hear the familiar whispered voices in Senua’s head pulling her in different directions and asking questions. She runs with the group, flaming torches and spears in hand, though Senua herself appears helpless.

In the mist, something huge hides and moans. She continues, voices warning that “death is approaching” and inspects the skeletal remains that litter the cave. The giant crawls, looking weak or tired, ahead. She tells her men to hold back until the giant rests against the stone wall. She takes a flaming spear from one man while another throws a container of black liquid, presumably oil, at the giant. When the spear hits, it ignites.

The giant moans as more spears fly, falling to the ground and lifting a wall of dust. Senua, now alone, calls out to her allies but is answered by one who flees the dust engulfed in flames. A second appears but is splashed by the giant’s hand. Still on fire, she draws the giant’s attention to her. He begins to reach for her and Senua retreats, more men behind her bracing and throwing spears.

They bombard and attack the giant all the way out of the cave and onto the beach, but he still pursues Senua who realizes that it is her that the giant is looking for. Eventually coming back behind a barricade, Senua screams to attack, but the giant sweeps through the defenses. The giant reaches out and seems to ask for help from Senua, who then says “I know you.”

Ninja Theory has been fairly low key on what the overall story of Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga will, only that it aims to develop the former and continue to incorporate and shed light on mental health issues. They confirmed on the Xbox Games Showcase in 2021 that the game will take place in 9th-century Iceland and take players through many miles of pristine landscapes, which matches the former with a heavy emphasis on Celtic culture and Senua’s home being Orkney in Scotland.

Gameplay

Senua points a flaming spear at a giant.

The first one Infernal blade The game basically had two play modes: exploration and puzzle solving, and combat. None of the elements were particularly deep or difficult, especially combat, due to the low budget and the squad, however, the game still shone thanks to some incredibly impressive visuals, an audio design depicting Senua’s psychosis and the treatment of mental health problems. From what we’ve seen, it looks like all of those positive ratings from the first game will be back, and better than ever, along with a more in-depth combat system.

For one thing, assuming the trailer shows actual gameplay, this will be the first time Senua has fought alongside other Warriors. The trailer shows her coordinating with what looks like more than a dozen other people to try and take down the giant, issue orders, coordinate attacks, and even acquire weapons for them. At what level will that actually be achieved in the full game or whether it was more of a set piece, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, it at least suggests that larger-scale combat is possible, along with more weapon options that Senua can take advantage of.

Multiplayer

Senua looks ahead with war paint.

Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga technically not refuse that it will be a purely solo experience, but it is almost certain that it will be. The first game was designed to be a story-driven single player game, and the sequel showed no signs of attempting to reverse that trend. Given the emphasis on sanity, especially with the emphasis on audio, it wouldn’t make sense if there was any form of multiplayer, cooperative, or competitive.

To do the topic justice and to make sure the focus is on the right base experience, we believe Ninja Theory understands that Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga is, well, the Senua saga. It’s about Senua and his own issues, overcoming them and not being “gamey” like he would if there was another player involved.

Downloadable content

Senua stands by a few drummers.

This is an interesting question, but for the moment purely speculative. The first one Infernal blade didn’t receive any DLC, but that was back when Ninja Theory was still standalone and didn’t have Microsoft support. With a bigger budget, it might be possible to expand the game with additional content after the game launches, which we wouldn’t mind here as a concept. It all depends on how and where it fits and with the story told by the base game. Given that we know next to nothing about this front at the moment, it could go either way as to whether the DLC would make sense for this game or not.

Pre-order

Ninja Theory has been especially careful in giving a release date for Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga. Even years after its announcement, we don’t even know what year they expect us to get their hands on it, so preorders are probably the last thing the team thinks about. However, for anyone who doesn’t need or want a physical copy, you can basically pre-order. Hellblade 2: The Senua Saga by simply becoming a Game Pass subscriber. As with all first-party Xbox games, this game will be available for download through this subscription service on the day of its release, regardless of when.

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