...
July 10, 2024

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 | Review

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series SMicrosoft Windows

Mode: Single-player video game

License: proprietary license

Genres: Action-adventure gamePuzzleFighting gameAdventure

Developer: Ninja Theory

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Series: Hellblade

SPOILERS THROUGHOUT!!

Jason’s Score 8/10

Key Takeaways

  • Better game overall than Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Xbox Series X showcase title
  • Console visuals benchmark (PS5, XSX)
  • 6 to 7 hour game length
  • Easier and fewer puzzles than predecessor
  • Great mo-cap performances
  • Combat improved. Visceral but lacks depth
  • Story was decent with good writing
  • Gameplay stutters on Xbox Series X
  • Walking simulator with puzzles and combat
  • Doesn’t dive too deep into mental illness compared to it’s predecessor
  • Good NPC characterization
  • Free the slaves and kill giants goal
  • Played via Gamepass
  • Chromatic aberration needs a toggle button (off)
  • Enemy variety decent
  • Hidden collectibles: Lorestones, Hidden Faces
  • Open linear maps
  • Bleak, depressing atmosphere
  • Floating weapons bugs

Introduction

Ninja Theory and myself have a history dating back to Heavenly Sword on the Playstation 3 which I adored. One thing I’ll give Ninja Theory as a developer credit for are that they try different aspects in their games creation.

For instance Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is basically a walking sim with puzzles. Yet they made “DMC” Devil May Cry and Enslaved which is a sleeper video game in my opinion which were not walking sims.

As for Hellblade 2 it is at it’s core a walking simulator with puzzles, some combat, some cutscenes. I love a good walking sim which Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is. If you are not a fan of walking sim type story driven video games Hellblade 2 isn’t for you. Just being honest. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Video Playlist

Presentation

Let’s start with the obvious. Hellblade 2 is Xbox Series X’s showcase title. It’s the best looking console game currently available setting the benchmark for Sony to chase. Technically-wise, I did see floating weapons after a few combat sequences. There was always a weird framerate stutter when jumping down off chalk ledges.

I alluded to above Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 at it’s essence is a story driven walking sim with puzzles, combat with a focus of dialogue through narration and Senua’s consciousness.

For the price of $49.99 you get a AAA video game that is on the shorter side clocking in at six to seven hours (for me). I have Gamepass so I played it via that service on my Xbox Series X. I’m thinking you’re paying for Xbox’s showcase game which is fine because even with it’s faults it’s still a really good game when the dusk settles.

Story

While the story itself in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is decent it was elevated due to it’s writing involving mostly characterization of Senua herself as well important NPCs such as Fargrimr, Astrior and Thorgestr.

As for the crux of the story it goes Senua is on the hunt of unbeknownst to her at the time the King of the Giants, a tyrant that goes by the name of Alefir. Early into the story you are suppose to liberate slaves until the story turns into a giant hunt, literally.

Much of the story involves learning of giants names for a ritual to kill them. Each giant has a heartfelt backstory that was told by the unseen mysterious Hiddenfolk who help guide Senua. Great writing involving the Furies and the first playthrough narrator really fleshed out Senua’s struggles.

Gameplay

Okay. So gameplay is similar to the first Hellblade in that it’s a walking simulator with dialogue sequences, puzzles and combat sections scattered about. There are no crafting of upgrade trees for Senua. Druth reprising his Lorestones lore and Hidden Face are in game collectibles that offer more lore dialogue.

As for combat you get a sword and the ability to use “focus” that builds up by hitting and dodging draugr, soldiers and whatnot. If you hate walking sims I would recommend passing on this game despite it’s amazing visuals.

The puzzles were easier compared to the first game. I played on dynamic combat setting where I died two or three times. Combat itself is one on one sword-play with parry counters and it’s fully cinematic.

I personally enjoyed myself with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2’s gameplay because I beaten the first and knew what I was getting into beforehand for the most part. Granted the game could of been worst than the first but that wasn’t the case. It improved on pretty much everything.

Visuals | Graphics

It’s the best looking console game out now. It’s Xbox’s visual showcase game kinda how Gears of War was back for the Xbox 360 circa 2006. Details and effects where amazing. Wait until Unreal Engine 5 is fully used.

Sound ⁆ Music

Music had that high fantasy vibe but otherwise didn’t stand out to my bad hearing ears. What did stand out was the voice over dialogue sequences involving all main characters including the narrator and the Furies inside Senua’s head. that’s it. Thanks for reading. Later – Jason

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

Jason

Jason Flowers
Hello all. Welcome to Jason's Video Games Source! JVGS is a independent art and entertainment video game website linked to my decade old verified Youtube channel featuring tens of thousands gameplay videos made entirely by yours' truly. I created jasonsvideogamessource.com in 2022 due to Youtube demonetizing my largest gaming channel after nine years of work. It's remonetized now if you care. As a lifelong gaming enthusiast I felt it was time to start my own gaming website. Feel free to spread JVGS's content around the net in video game communities where allowed. I am NOT a video game journalist. Furthermore, JVGS has never been sponsored by any corporation. I run my own Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate links via my personal accounts here. This site isn't going anywhere. Sign up via your social login account. It's free. I'll never grift people on my website. Thank you for visiting JVGS - Jason

Bayonetta