What you need to know
- Xbox Game Showcase 2023 + Starfield Direct took place today.
- New gameplay footage for Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 was shown off.
- It's being published by Ninja Theory and Xbox Game Studios.
- It will release on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X|S, and Steam in 2024.
During today's Xbox Game Showcase 2023 event, we got to see some exciting news for the upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2. It's kind of crazy to remember that this sequel was announced all the way back in 2019 at The Game Awards, but we're getting very close to the game's release now.
The trailer shows Senua as she makes her way through some sort of dark cave and eventually sees her own reflection staring back at her. While it doesn't give any more details on what to expect from the sequel's story, it's a very provocative and emotional trailer.
From this livestream, we know that Hellblade 2 is coming to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox Games Pass, and Steam sometime in 2024.
What is the Hellblade series about?
The first game (called Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice) told the story of the titular Senua, a Celtic warrior living in the 8th Century. The plot takes place in a time of war in which the Vikings have invaded Senua's Orkney homeland and have sacrificed her lover to their gods. This emotional tale follows our heroine as she makes her way through the Viking underworld, Hel, in order to put her lover's soul at peace.
One of the most compelling things about Senua's story is how it gets told from her perspective, allowing players to experience it through her psychosis, which she's had since childhood. This involves hearing voices and seeing hallucinations. As such, players encounter mythical creatures and deities while hearing various commands and thoughts. It's also helpful for learning more about mental health. Paul Fletcher, Psychiatrist and Professor of Health Neuroscience at University of Cambridge consulted with Ninja Theory on the game to help the team understand how to treat mental illness. It's considered one of the best PC games as well as one of the best Xbox games of all time.
You can learn more about the first game in our Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice review.
Ninja Theory has stated that for the sequel they have once more consulted with mental health professionals, including Fletcher, in what they've called The Insight Project in order to understand mental health problems and how they "shape myths, gods, and religion." We don't know exactly what Senua's story will be in the sequel, but trailers have shown that there are more characters in the story rather than it being a more isolated tale where Senua travels alone (at least at some point).
We're once more stepping into Senua's shoes and exploring a gritty world while wrestling with the warrior's personal demons. The story will likely take us places we haven't been before. It's coming to PC and Xbox Series X|S.
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Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's gaming editors with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of game guides, previews, features, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market.