Review – Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II


Posted on May 21, 2024 by Tyler Nienburg

Listen to this Article:

10/10

Summary

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II emerges as a visual and storytelling masterpiece, and is unquestionably the best-looking game I’ve witnessed on Xbox Series X since its launch.

Developer – Ninja Theory

Publisher – Xbox Game Studios

Platforms –  Xbox Series X|S (Reviewed) and PC

Review copy given by Publisher

Senua’s Saga continues from 2017 in a new brutal journey in Hellblade II, set in 10th Century Iceland, Senua intends to save those who have fallen victim to the horrors of tyranny. Throughout her journey, she confronts inner and outer darkness while striving to vanquish the colossal gods wreaking havoc across the world. In this tale, Senua is joined by Thorgestr, Fargrimr, and Astrior, who offer both support and engaging dialogue.

At the beginning of the game, you journey through settlements devastated by the Northmen, uncovering the remnants of a massacre. This foreshadows the events to come and eventually, Senua runs into a dark ritual when a mysterious man is tied to it which looks to be the next sacrifice. This is when you will get a real taste of Hellblade II’s immersive combat system that provides great storytelling between the one-on-one battles you face.

Shadow makes a return to Hellblade II and continues to play with Senua’s emotions throughout the entire story. He always tries to put doubt in her ability to kill the gods that have done destruction to the world. The relationship between both characters intensifies as the story goes on.

hellblade II review

Thorgestr is another character that plays an important role in Hellblade II when at first it feels as if you should hate him. It turns out he needs Senua’s help more than anything just like many others in this cruel world they live in.

Throughout the first three chapters, you’ll gain an appreciation for what Hellblade II offers, but it truly begins to peak in Chapter 4, and this is where the sequel truly shines. I’ve played many great missions in video games before, but there’s something special about this chapter that encapsulates the brilliance of Ninja Theory’s creation. I will stop there before spoiling too much.

senua's saga hellblade II review

Gameplay

Puzzles return in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, now enhanced by a greater emphasis on exploration. Unlike the first game, these puzzles occur less frequently and are far from boring; they actually provide engaging moments that enrich the story. Seamlessly woven into the narrative, these puzzles reflect Senua’s mental state and perception of the world. The game includes numerous tasks that involve environmental manipulation and perception, such as aligning elements and unlocking mysterious paths.

The combat in Hellblade II is some of the best I’ve experienced in a long time. There are instances where you eagerly anticipate a combat encounter, and when it finally occurs, it’s exceptional. Throughout a large part of the game, combat scenes feature one-on-one duels with some dialogue between characters (depending on who you fight), adding depth to the action. Whether parrying or attacking, every aspect of the combat feels outstanding.

The greatness of this game doesn’t solely rely on its puzzles or combat, however, as there are several “boss” missions that have a similar goal which you’ll encounter at a certain point in the game. Without giving away too much, the experience is highly immersive, making you feel like you’re part of a movie.

Hellblade II’s gameplay keeps you on the edge of your seat, from start to finish, ensuring there’s never a dull moment!

hellblade 2 review

Hellblade II Is The Best Looking Xbox Game

Ninja Theory took full advantage of what Unreal Engine 5 had to offer when it developed its new AAA title and it delivered, tremendously. The developer utilized photogrammetry to capture images of real-world locations in Iceland, aiding in the creation of highly realistic and textured 3D models for the game.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II emerges as a visual masterpiece, and is unquestionably the best-looking game I’ve witnessed on Xbox Series X since its launch. It’s a title that left me in awe and finally convinced me that I’ve experienced a true next-generation video game.

From the intricate details of lighting, water, grass, rocks, lava, and snow, to the mesmerizing facial features and beyond, everything in Hellblade II is extraordinary. The gameplay and visuals seamlessly fuse together, crafting a truly cinematic experience.

Not only that but, the soundtrack that is offered in this title, is nothing short of exceptional. The music crafted by Ninja Theory captures story moments so impeccably that it’s truly breathtaking. No matter if the music plays during gameplay or a cutscene, it all fits perfectly.

The 3D Binaural sound in Hellblade II is a thrilling addition, placing you right in the heart of the action as voices swirl around your head. It’s just like Senua’s Sacrifice when it is highly suggested players wear a headset for the best experience. It’s not only the voices you hear, but the environment around you that enhances the experience.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II delivers top-tier storytelling, which is some of the best I’ve seen in video games. The narration throughout is masterfully crafted, keeping players gripped to their controllers throughout the journey. The connection between characters in Hellblade 2 is incredibly strong, with powerful emotions and outstanding voice acting deserving a ton of credit.

Share Everywhere!

Tyler ‘Tyboy’ Nienburg released Rectify Gaming back on December 17th, 2013.Feel free to contact the head of Rectify at Tyler@Rectifygaming.com

About The Author

Tyler Nienburg

Tyler ‘Tyboy’ Nienburg released Rectify Gaming back on December 17th, 2013.

Feel free to contact the head of Rectify at Tyler@Rectifygaming.com