Ninja Theory Wields Hellblade Against the Living Nightmares of Mental Illness


Ninja Theory, the studio behind DmC: Devil May Cry, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and Heavenly Sword, has released the first gameplay trailer for its next game, the independently developed and published Hellblade, which was first revealed last year at Gamescom.

Hellblade looks fantastic, sort of like a darker, grittier, almost horror-themed Heavenly Sword viewed from a Ryse-style camera perspective. As had previously been announced, the story centers on a Celtic warrior named Senua and her journey into a hellish, mythological underworld. Today, though, we have learned that Senua’s story goes far deeper than the initial setup suggests, and aims to tackle a sensitive issue of increasingly important social impact.

Senua’s Hell is not the Hell we often think about. You know, the Hell that’s the opposite of Heaven, where it’s all fire and brimstone, and the Devil reigns supreme. Senua’s Hell is a living nightmare brought on by the hallucinations and delusions she suffers due to anxiety and depression.

Ninja Theory is taking this very seriously, going so far as to consult with a professor of Health Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge, as well as real-life people suffering from mental illnesses to ensure that the subject is represented with the utmost respect and accuracy. The project has even earned the backing of charitable biomedical research foundation Wellcome Trust.

It’s an interesting concept, and I hope Ninja Theory is able to pull it off with the small team of 15 developers working to bring Senua’s story to life. We’ll find out when Hellblade launches for PC and PlayStation 4 in 2016.

Source: Hellblade E3 Trailer and more [Hellblade Official Website]

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