Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a cinematic psychological horror action-adventure video game released August 2017. Through Hellblade you follow Senua, a celtic warrior on a journey through Hel the mythical viking realm of Hel goddess and daughter of Loki. The journey is Senua’s quest to recover the soul of her lost lover Dillion who was sacrificed to Hel during a Viking raid of Britain.
Hellblade has a dark beauty to it, the environment it a wild and rugged landscape with amazing viking style buildings all twisted and in ruins. The story so far is engaging and emotional.
Hellblade also has a unique feature in that Senua has psychosis, I’m no expert on this condition but according to the NHS “Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations or delusions.” This offers a dark experience with Senua regularly hearing voices in her mind which with headphones feel like they are in your head and coming at you from all sides. She is also chased by a ‘darkness’ which follows your every move. The impact of this is intense and offers a glimpse of how the condition affects people.
From my first hour playing Hellblade I am already engaged and cannot wait to experience more. Senua’s condition makes the game more intense and leaves the story up to interpretation, is this world all playing out in her mind? Or is this real? It’s up to you to decide.