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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, a Harrowing Journey Through Mental Illness 15.08.17

From the creators of Devil May Cry and Heavenly Sword comes Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. A game centred around Senua; a Celtic warrior who has to undertake a savage journey as she battles her way through Viking Hell to fight for the lost soul of her dead lover. Senua is broken and suffers from a mental illness, a taboo which is well handled here as the game has been created in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who suffer from psychosis.

The developers of the game have used binaural audio, a specific recording technique that uses two microphones to create a 3 dimensional audio experience for the player.  To get the full experience, you need to play this game with your earphones plugged in from the start - a sensation so real I had to remove mine several times  to scan the room as I was convinced someone was present.

Most games will provide the player with the ability to control a character, manoeuvre through different stages and battle various demons .Hellblade on the other hand truly immerses the player into the tormented mind of Senua creating a gameplay experience I’ve never had before.

From the beginning you are faced with a number of voices that Senua has to struggle with – the ones who doubt and challenge her to the ones who sympathise and understand her. The opening scene is captivating – Senua sales downstream alone in a small boat as the voices begin to torment her, doubting her, urging her to go back. Complimented by the binaural audio, the voices are so clear at this point the hairs stood on the back of my neck.

Aside from the atmospheric highlights throughout the game, the combat is slick. Ninja Theory is renowned for creating an enjoyable combat experience when it comes to gaming, an area that is not forgotten in Hellblade - the only problem? There’s not enough.

Overall, Hellblade is unique and provides an interesting gaming experience like no other. The lack of combat and weak puzzles left me feeling bored at times however, with a price tag of €29.99 this game is well worth it for the chilling immersive experience it delivers.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is available to download now from the PSN store for €29.99