Hellblade Dev Quells Fears Over Starting Project "Afresh"

Title still on course for release in 2016, says Ninja Theory.

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Ninja Theory, the studio behind Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC: Devil May Cry, has addressed concerns it is starting "afresh" on its next major project, Hellblade.

On Thursday, the Cambridge studio said on Twitter that it had "retired" a vertical slice of the game that was recently shown to media outlets. The post, which has since been deleted, added the studio has "started Hellblade production afresh".

This triggered speculation that lukewarm reactions to the content may have led the team to return to the drawing board. In turn, this raised concerns over whether the game would still make its 2016 release date.

However, the company has since told GameSpot that it "absolutely" can still finish the build before 2017.

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"Retiring our vertical slice and moving on into production is good news," a studio representative wrote in a statement via email. "[Development] is not starting again, it is moving forward as expected."

Hellblade will now go through full production, followed by the polish and balancing phase. When asked about whether the game is still on track for release in 2016, GameSpot was told it "absolutely" is.

The studio has also made these clarifications on Twitter, indicating that it is no longer experimenting with ideas and has settled on a design blueprint.

Hellblade explores themes of mental health and features third-person combat. Ninja Theory's stated goal has been to develop a triple-A video game experience on an indie budget by coming up with creative solutions for costly production elements such as motion capture.

The studio has said Hellblade will deliver "ninja-class melee gameplay, strong character stories, and a unique art vision."

Sony has secured Hellblade as a timed PS4 exclusive. However, the game is also in development for PC.

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