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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Review (Xbox Series X|S & PC)

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Senua’s Saga Hellblade 2 Review

Seven years later, Hellblade 2 is finally here with a thrilling action-adventure like no other. The game has captivated the gaming community with its super immersive gameplay. Thumbs up to Ninja Theory for making a masterpiece that ensures every moment feels impactful and engaging. 

Players are drawn into Senua's harrowing journey, experiencing intense combat and a deeply personal narrative. The attention to detail and the story's emotional depth are top-notch, creating an unparalleled fighting game experience. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 resonates with both fans of the original and newcomers alike. Eager to know what the game has to offer? Let's jump right into its review. 

In the Beginning

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

The predecessor did a commendable job, but Hellblade 2 has outdone itself. The story of Hellblade 2 continues to explore Senua's struggles with even greater depth. The game begins with Senua seeking revenge against Viking raiders who have devastated her life. As she embarks on this journey, she uncovers a more profound conflict involving mysterious giants, blending Norse mythology with her inner demons.

The narrative structure is rich, with Senua's psychosis playing a crucial role. The voices in her head, known as “Furies,” are not just hallucinations; they are vital to the narrative. They provide commentary, guidance, and sometimes hindrance. Similarly, players experience Senua's internal battles firsthand, creating a deeply immersive and empathetic experience.

New characters introduced in Hellblade 2 enrich the story further. An ensemble cast joins Senua on her quest, each bringing their own stories and perspectives. These companions help guide Senua and the player, offering context that deepens the narrative. However, their roles remain supportive, emphasizing Senua's journey rather than overshadowing it.

Additionally, Hellblade 2‘s storytelling is also enhanced by its environmental design. Each location reflects Senua's mental state and the narrative's progression. From the haunting beauty of Icelandic landscapes to her psyche's dark world, the environments are as much a part of the story as the characters and dialogue.

The True Beauty

The visuals

The visual and presentational aspects of Hellblade 2 are nothing short of breathtaking. Running on the Xbox Series X|S, the game achieves a level of graphical fidelity that rivals even the most impressive tech demos. Every aspect of the game is fantastic, from the smallest details in character models to the expansive landscapes of its Icelandic setting. 

On PC, Hellblade 2 shines even brighter, taking full advantage of high-end hardware to deliver stunning visuals at higher frame rates. With the right setup, players can experience the game at resolutions and frame rates that showcase its true beauty. Whether playing on a console or PC, the visual and presentational excellence of Hellblade 2 is undeniable, making it a true showcase for the capabilities of modern gaming technology.

The decision to cap the frame rate at 30 FPS on consoles may initially raise eyebrows, but it's a choice that pays off in spades. Furthermore, the game maintains a consistent and cinematic look by prioritising visual fidelity over frame rate. This deliberate decision results in a smoother, more immersive experience with minimal distractions or performance issues. You prefer a higher frame rate, right? But guess what? The 30 FPS cap on consoles ultimately enhances the game's presentation and atmosphere.

The Masterpiece

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

The cutscenes in Senua's Saga: Hellblade II are beyond good. In fact, they're absolutely phenomenal! To merely call them “good” would be an understatement. Each cutscene is a masterclass in storytelling, featuring stunning visuals, gripping dialogue, and heart-pounding action. From intimate character moments to epic set pieces, the cutscenes in Hellblade II deliver on every front, leaving players on the edge of their seats.

One of the most impressive aspects of the cutscenes is the seamless transition between gameplay and cinematics. This fluid integration enhances the immersive experience for players. Whether exploring the world or engaging in intense combat, the transition to a cutscene feels natural and effortless. It keeps the momentum of the game's pacing intact.

Furthermore, the cinematic quality of the cutscenes elevates Hellblade II's overall entertainment value. Each scene is expertly crafted with precise attention to detail, from camera angles to character animations. So, the result is a series of moments that feel like they've been plucked straight from a blockbuster movie. Whether it's a quiet conversation between characters or a pulse-pounding action sequence, the cutscenes in Hellblade II are guaranteed to leave players thoroughly entertained.


Senua looking behind

In Hellblade 2, the audio and sound design play a crucial role in enhancing the overall atmosphere and immersion of the game. Truly, it's a definition of perfection at its best. Interestingly, the game doesn't feature the traditional heads-up display (HUD). From the haunting whispers of Senua's inner demons to the thunderous combat clashes, each sound is bound to evoke emotion and draw players deeper into the game.

The game's score, composed by industry veterans, complements the visual and narrative elements perfectly. Whether it's a moment of quiet reflection or an intense battle sequence, the music enhances the mood and heightens the emotional impact of each moment. Ranging from environmental noises to powerful combat sounds, the audio design in Hellblade 2 is truly immersive and captivating.

One of the standout features of Hellblade 2′s audio design is binaural audio technology. So, this technology creates a sense of spatial awareness and realism for players wearing headphones. The cool part is that players can accurately perceive the direction and distance of sounds within the game. Whether it's the rustling of leaves in the wind or the distant cries of enemies, the binaural audio in Hellblade 2 is super exciting. 

Take a Detour 


While Hellblade 2 prioritizes narrative-driven gameplay, it still offers elements of exploration and navigation to engage players in its richly crafted world. The game features a linear path through the game. However, there are moments where they can diverge from the main storyline to discover hidden secrets scattered throughout the environment. These detours allow players to immerse themselves further in the action adventure of Hellblade 2. 

Navigation in Hellblade 2 is straightforward yet compelling as players traverse the game's environments. While the main path is predetermined, the stunning visuals and immersive audio encourage players to take their time and appreciate the details of their surroundings. Each location is carefully designed to evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity. Notably, you will want to explore every corner of the game, from towering cliffs to mystical ruins.

In a way, the game's linear structure may limit the scope of exploration compared to open-world titles. Nevertheless, Hellblade 2 makes up for it with its attention to detail and environmental storytelling. The experience is truly satisfying.

In the game, every location tells a story, whether it's through visual cues or interactive elements that prompt players to uncover hidden secrets. Hellblade 2 offers a unique gameplay experience by combining exploration with its narrative focus.  

Cheap and Sweet 

Senua heading towards a creepy hut

Hellblade 2‘s approximately 7 to 8 hours runtime may initially raise concerns for some players expecting a longer experience, especially given its $50 price tag. However, it's important to consider the quality of the gameplay hours rather than just the quantity. Each hour of Hellblade 2 is packed with engaging storytelling, stunning visuals, and immersive audio design. 

Some players may feel that the shorter runtime doesn't justify the price. However, others may find the experience worth every penny due to its high production value and impactful narrative.

Additionally, the decision to sell Hellblade 2 at a slightly reduced price compared to standard top-tier titles isn't bad. It actually demonstrates a commitment to providing players with a more accessible entry point into the game. While the lack of physical copies may disappoint some fans, the digital-only release helps keep costs down and ensures players can enjoy Hellblade 2 at a more affordable price.

Ultimately, whether the game's length and price are justified will depend on individual preferences and expectations. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the superb work done by the team at Ninja Theory for delivering the quality of the experience that Hellblade 2 delivers.


Fighting the fire demon

In conclusion, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 shines brightest in its dedication to storytelling and artistic expression. Each element of the game, from the beautifully crafted environments to the haunting performances of its characters, contributes to an emotionally impactful narrative.

While the game's shorter runtime and linear gameplay may be seen as drawbacks for some players, they ultimately enhance the game's narrative depth. The game sacrificed traditional open-world mechanics in favor of a more focused and intimate experience. 

Hellblade 2 allows players to fully immerse themselves in Senua's world without the distractions of side quests or collectables. Every moment feels purposeful and deliberate, driving the story forward and deepening the player's connection to the protagonist and her struggles.

Ultimately, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 shows the capability of video games as a storytelling medium. Its bold approach to narrative design and breathtaking presentation elevate it beyond mere entertainment. It is a piece of art that brings a thrilling vibe to action-adventure games. Those who appreciate a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant experience will find much to admire in Hellblade 2

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Review (Xbox Series X|S & PC)

Perfect Adventure

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is a stunning continuation of Senua’s story, blending captivating narrative with immersive gameplay. With its intense and focused storyline, the game’s visual and audio excellence create an unforgettable experience. For fans of the original and newcomers alike, Hellblade 2 is an-it title. Go for it!

Cynthia Wambui is a gamer who has a knack for writing video gaming content. Blending words to express one of my biggest interests keeps me in the loop on trendy gaming topics. Aside from gaming and writing, Cynthia is a tech nerd and coding enthusiast.