27 people found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 12.8 hrs on record
Posted: Jan 29, 2020 @ 4:28pm

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice has left its mark. Hours went by in the game with my heart wanting to jump out of my throat. The emotional burden of playing this game has continued to weight upon my mind, now a day after completing it. The experience left me reeling. The heaviness and its effects are so real still.

This is one of the best and most compelling stories I have come across in gaming. For people who love to find a good story in a game, this is for you. Caveat of course that you are not overly disturbed by the rather realistic portrayal of serious mental health difficulties that our protagonist suffers through. If you are really brave, you can sit back, turn off the lights, and wear your headphones to get the full brunt of it all.

Finding words to describe the experience is so incredibly difficult. I sat through the final video sequence and the credits, while listening to the final song, in a complete daze, devoid of any more emotional or mental energy to almost breathe. If you have yet to experience the game for yourself, definitely pick it up, and start it up.

Of course, no game is for everyone, and this is no exception. Primarily I feel that the people who would not tolerate the game the most are perhaps people who have a lot of personal experience with schizophrenia or psychosis with auditory hallucinations. Our protagonist experiences much auditory and visual hallucinations throughout the game, to the point of nobody knowing what is her reality, and what is only in her mind. The game's story does have some fixed anchors for player orientation, but that's not important.

Immediately upon launching the game, I knew that there was a heavy focus on death. I was happy to find some Norse mythology built into the game. An eerie and creepy feeling started to crawl over me about an hour into the game. Two hours later, I was thorough shivering from cold sweats and nerves. This was a crossroad for me, I had to take a step back to decide whether or not to continue. I played another game and then returned to it a few days later. And I am glad that I did.

Some people will get frustrated at the puzzles in either thinking that they are ridiculous to push through or that they are too easy. Some people will think that the combat is too boring. I personally felt that the puzzles were just right and a few of them took me quite a bit of time to figure out. The combat is adaptive to how well you do, or you can choose to stick to one of several difficulty settings. I do not think of either of these complaints as standing with solid foundation.

I will leave it to you to decide what this game is worth for yourself. No words will adequately describe my experience, and it was about as much emotional investment as I ever want to put into a game or a movie. Yes, this game plays like a drawn out movie. The visual are awesome. They are not the best visuals ever, but certainly can hold its own.

Gameplay
Experience the story, all of the emotional and mental aspects of it, and follow Senua in her journey. Face waves of enemies, some interesting bosses, and solve moderate difficulty (for me anyway) puzzles for the most part. There is a fine balance among all of the elements here, nothing feels too much or too overwhelming at any point.

Optional sets of Norse lore scattered throughout the game as well.

Controls
I played with a controller, worked perfectly. I would not suggest any other way.

Graphics
Pretty awesome, fantastic visual representations.

Music
One of the best soundtracks I have heard in a game.

Audience
Best for mature audiences who can have a better grasp of what's going on here.

Pricing
Seeing as most people seem to finish this game in less than 10 hours and the game's base price is $30, I am going to say that it's very unfair if anyone wants to compare this game using the usual dollars to hours standard. I spent a little extra time looking for all of the lore and making sure I explored everything before some points of no return. I also did traverse most of the game walking instead of running, to listen to every sound, every voice, to watch every strike of lightening, and to really experience the game in its full glory. I would say that this game is well worth the price. But I understand if the full price is too much to many. I don't care what price you deem is reasonable for this game, I think you should experience it for yourself.

Conclusion
Go play it. It's worth your money and time.

10/10.
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5 Comments
Tasi Jul 2, 2020 @ 11:34pm 
The first 3 paragraphs are really well written... Even if that would be the whole review I would call it perfect. I feel the same about the game. It was incredible experience.
FruitNDoggie Feb 16, 2020 @ 8:04am 
A gripping story? That does sound compelling.
YQMaoski Jan 30, 2020 @ 5:32am 
@Silly, thank you! :D Definitely should!

@janner, I hope you do play and please let me know what you think! This came as a recommendation from a friend about 2 years ago, and I procrastinated like crazy to play it, I am glad that I did play it ultimately.
janner66 Jan 29, 2020 @ 10:54pm 
You've convinced me. Must play this game very soon (after my review backlog!) Thanks for the review.
Dont be silly Wrap your willy Jan 29, 2020 @ 8:52pm 
Wonderfulfull review , Meowski ! :voice: i want to try it out even more now.