Not all it's hyped up to be

User Rating: 5 | Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice XONE

Going into Hellblade, Expectations were a bit high. There was a lot of hype behind it, A lot of praise and IMO - It just doesn't live up to the hype.

The story, in a nutshell, is Senua's journey into hell in an attempt to save her lover's soul from eternal damnation. And along the way, You learn a lot more about her life story that involves serious mental health issues and her troubles dealing with them as everyone else think she's an outcast of sorts. It's a story that applies heavily to the stigma of mental health today and I really like how well they portrayed it in the game.

Now as for the combat in the game, It's not too bad. A little repetitive at times and there's no real challenge to it. Opponents do the same moves over and over so it's quite easy to defeat them, Mini-bosses may prove to be a slight challenge but nothing that can't be overcome. I felt the whole permi-death thing was rather needless, Does nothing for the game nor is the game challenging enough to really die permanently in. I did really enjoy the lore-based collectables spread throughout the game as each level contained a set of collectables that told a story that applies to whatever is going on in the game at the time. The puzzle solving in the game is pretty basic and straight-forward. Much like the combat, There isn't much of a challenge to it although finding some of the runes may be a bit of a challenge.

That being said, That's probably the only thing they got right. The pacing is all off with this game. The first few chapters flew by but by chapter 5 and the whole trails section of the game, Things came to a grinding halt. There was no action and little story, It really came off as a filler section rather than anything of substance. And by the time I reached the ending, I didn't care as much for Senua's journey as I should have. It's the kind of game that very much limps to the finish line and wraps up in a kind of unsatisfying way.

Overall: 5/10
The story was OK to start but definitely fades heavily in the second half of the game. The combat grows repetitive and the puzzle solving isn't much of a challenge at all. I think Hellblade, at least for me, was just too hyped up. I wasn't blown away with it nor did I find it to be one of those must play games, As everyone made it out to be.