Hellblade No More, Meet Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade was the name of Ninja Theory’s currently in-progress new IP due out on PS4 and PC this year, but now it seems there’s been lots of fleshing out behind the scenes. Senua’s Sacrifice is a reference to the main heroine’s name and plight, and an accompanying trailer gives a little insight to the setting of this new epic in the making.
Ninja Theory have always shot for the moon in terms of setting up richly detailed worlds and utilizing impressive tech in their IPs like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, and Hellblade is falling right in line. The trailer let loose this week comes from Epic’s Unreal Engine GDC keynote and shows some truly inspiring motion capture tech that’s being used to bring life to the characters.
Attendees of the keynote were presented a dramatic cutscene that moves through the hollowed out hulls of destroyed Viking-esque ships as a female narration describes the plight of the lead. The trailer continues and reveals the protagonist may have some personal issues to work out, what with the multiple voices in her head and the burning tree of bodies that was solely in her mind… But the big twist comes when it’s revealed that the entire scene had just been acting out, LIVE on stage!
Behind the scenes the team had a head-tracking rig attached to the actress to capture even the most minute twitch of her face – which created an almost perfect 1:1 recreation on-screen. Truly impressive to see it happen in real time, and not just as a pre-rendered cutscene!
Ninja Theory believes such fidelity hasn’t even been utilized in the industry before, but little is really known about the actual game itself at this point. Previous builds are told to be kind of boring and uninteresting, and the scope of the project could come in a little lower than that of previous releases from the team.
Time will tell if Ninja Theory will finally have the actually groundbreaking, memorable game they’ve been chasing all these years, but best of luck to them. Their work looks awesome so far!