What you need to know
- Senua's Saga: Hellblade II gets a new behind-the-scenes trailer at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase extended.
- Microsoft is revisiting its fantastic E3 2021 conference with new announcements and input from developers like Ninja Theory.
- The developers behind Senua's Saga: Hellblade II showed up to share some details on their biggest project yet.
- The behind-the-scenes trailer is all the craziness you'd expect from Hellblade II, and looks very exciting.
The Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase at E3 2021 was already packed to the brim with announcements and reveals, so Microsoft spun out some content into an "extended" version of the showcase. Already, one of the biggest participants of the extended showcase has been Ninja Theory, which has made an appearance to share a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.
Many players lamented the fact that Senua's Saga: Hellblade II didn't appear during the initial Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase, but Ninja Theory wasn't quite ready to share more about the game. However, they were happy to prepare an incredible behind-the-scenes trailer, which helps get players amped for this ambitious project. In the trailer, we learn that Melina Juergens, the actress behind Senua, has been training tirelessly for over two years to prepare for Hellblade II.
Senua's Saga: Hellblade II doesn't have a release date right now, and is likely still several years away. We do know that the game is heading to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and Xbox Game Pass. Ninja Theory is building Hellblade II with UnrealEngine 5, using the latest gaming technologies to ensure the best possible experience. When Senua's Saga: Hellblade II finally releases, it'll almost certainly become one of the best Xbox games ever released.
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Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
"When Senua's Saga: Hellblade II finally releases, it'll almost certainly become one of the best Xbox games ever released." Don't ******* jinx it! Look at what happened to Cyberpunk.
On a more serious note, I really, really hope that Hellblade 2 maintains it's linear approach to storytelling and doesn't go the open world route. Keep things intimate and focused. Not that there is any indication it will be open world, but it just seems to be a trend lately and not everything needs a big sprawling map to traverse across.
Ninja Theory, along with Obsidian, are becoming promos for selling out to MS. 😏 NT is practically an experiment in seeing what a group of focused developers might do if given the time and resources to create and (mostly?) freed of revenue driven pressures. This could still end badly but NT seems to be going places other developers can't go because of normal business needs. Normal developers exist to make money as quickly as possible which on ocassion leads to things like the premature releases of ANDROMEDA, CYBERPUNK, FALLOUT 76, etc or the scaling back of ambitious projects like the FABLEs. Looking at the things NT is doing, like Project Mara, they look a lot like a Skunkworks focused on tools and techniques more than on games. In fact, some of the Mara stuff sounds like its focused more towards virtual actors for filmaking than for games. Which suggests any games that come from it may be really really different from the current gaming status quo. And yes, linear story telling seems to be part of their approach, an evolution of the old "on rails" games. In recent times western RPGs have evolved into powerhouses by delivering strong storytelling and massive replayability through environment openness and player choice, sometimes meaningful (Mass Effect 1&2) sometimes illusory (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2). These techniques have proven so powerful they've spilled over to other game genres. Shooters, for one, have evolved from simple run and gun gauntlets (Doom 1.0) to sophisticated story-driven adventures (Halo). NT seems to be working on evolving the linear narrative by increasing immersion and narrative complexity where the game approaches a first person movie. (Maybe with an eye to a future, more advanced VR system?) The first HELLBLADE has been described as a walking simulator which isn't a bad thing if it enables a quantum leap in narrative sophistication in recognition that modern gamers include a lot of mature adults who enjoy the intellectual challenge of a game more than the twitch reflex challenge. This is decidedly unconventional and risky by today's standards, something only truly deep pockets can fund. If it pays off proportionally to the investment (big if) it may open a new chapter in game development, much as Halo did. These documentaries are interesting in themselves more than just as placeholder teasers to keep interest in a future release alive.
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