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New Look At Hellblade 2 Reveals Photorealistic Facial Animation

These facial animations look Unreal.


Developer Ninja Theory has revealed another quick look at Senua's Saga: Helblade II, with the studio's latest video focusing on impressive facial animations. Shown at the Game Developer's Conference, Ninja Theory's use of Unreal Engine 5 has allowed the studio to render more nuanced and subtle facial movements from Melissa Juergens, the performance capture artist for Senua.

This demo of the technology includes overt acting as the actress declares that she'll be committing deicide, as well as more subtle motions and movements from Juergens. While Ninja Theory has used a lot of advanced technology to dial up the realism of its Hellblade sequel, the studio has also opted for more low-tech solutions, including a homemade contraption that incorporated a toilet plunger into its design. You'll also want to avoid leaving clothing around the developers, as they've taken a blowtorch to apparel to see what materials look like after they've been burnt.

Ninja Theory has been hard at work on Hellblade II since it was announced in 2019, with one of the more recent gameplay trailers being released back at the 2021 Game Awards. That video showed Senua working alongside a group of warriors to take down a giant beast and it has been confirmed that the game will take place in Iceland. A release date has not yet been announced.

Unreal Engine 5 has quickly become one of the more popular engines for game development since it was first announced, and several high-profile games will be made using the toolset. The list so far includes The Witcher remake, Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate, and Layers of Fear, among others.

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