Hellblade - Ninja Theory

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by OrangeRakoon » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:35 am

I still can't work out what you actually do in this game - the trailers just look like cinematics and walking

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Gemini73 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:57 am

Trelliz wrote:Eurogamer gave this an essential rating, despite the audaciously political choice to make a woman the combative protagonist in a work of fiction.


Apparently Jim Sterling awarded the game 1/10, having had another one of his tedious hissy fits because reasons.

“But I don't want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here".
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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Tafdolphin » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:59 am

Gemini73 wrote:
Trelliz wrote:Eurogamer gave this an essential rating, despite the audaciously political choice to make a woman the combative protagonist in a work of fiction.


Apparently Jim Sterling awarded the game 1/10, having had another one of his tedious hissy fits because reasons.


He's since retracted it and admitted his mistake. He had an issue where he missed a quest essential item and the game autosaved behind him, meaning he couldn't progress.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Gemini73 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:10 am

Tafdolphin wrote:
Gemini73 wrote:
Trelliz wrote:Eurogamer gave this an essential rating, despite the audaciously political choice to make a woman the combative protagonist in a work of fiction.


Apparently Jim Sterling awarded the game 1/10, having had another one of his tedious hissy fits because reasons.


He's since retracted it and admitted his mistake. He had an issue where he missed a quest essential item and the game autosaved behind him, meaning he couldn't progress.


He's still a tedious, attention seeking bore regardless.

“But I don't want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here".
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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cal » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:13 am

Tafdolphin wrote:
Gemini73 wrote:
Trelliz wrote:Eurogamer gave this an essential rating, despite the audaciously political choice to make a woman the combative protagonist in a work of fiction.


Apparently Jim Sterling awarded the game 1/10, having had another one of his tedious hissy fits because reasons.


He's since retracted it and admitted his mistake. He had an issue where he missed a quest essential item and the game autosaved behind him, meaning he couldn't progress.


I saw his first 1/10 review yesterday morning - it was still up at 8.30am (I was having breakfast!). I thought at the time he'd made a massive mistake - especially as he'd praised the game right up the final five minutes when he just went into an infantile rant about the section he got himself stuck in and then slapped a 1/10 on the game. Ridiculous. He quickly took that initial review down (made it private), then issued an interim video explaining that he'd misunderstood his in-game mistake for a bug. He later posted a re-review, awarding the game 7/10 (1 point for every hour he'd been able to play), but still insisting that his problems were down to poor auto-save placement on the part of the devs. Well, we'll see. He might have a point - perhaps the devs will have a look at that.

Here's his final review:



I have to say the whole episode serves as a reminder (as if it were still needed) that game reviewers are just as prone to daft mistakes and unwise, summary pronouncements as the rest of us.

And if I hadn't made it clear already: this game is exceptional. I'm pretty sure it's going to attract its fair share of gongs, come the next awards season.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by HSH28 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:05 pm

Cal wrote:I saw his first 1/10 review yesterday morning - it was still up at 8.30am (I was having breakfast!). I thought at the time he'd made a massive mistake - especially as he'd praised the game right up the final five minutes when he just went into an infantile rant about the section he got himself stuck in and then slapped a 1/10 on the game. Ridiculous. He quickly took that initial review down (made it private), then issued an interim video explaining that he'd misunderstood his in-game mistake for a bug. He later posted a re-review, awarding the game 7/10 (1 point for every hour he'd been able to play), but still insisting that his problems were down to poor auto-save placement on the part of the devs. Well, we'll see. He might have a point - perhaps the devs will have a look at that.


1/10 might be taking it a bit far.

But if the game lets you miss an essential item, autosaves and then doesn't let you progress...that is a game breaking bug and it deserves to be mentioned as an issue.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by souljahsstory » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:29 pm

Anybody playing this with headphones on? Apparently its creepy as hell.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cal » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:00 am

souljahsstory wrote:Anybody playing this with headphones on? Apparently its creepy as hell.


I think people overplay this aspect. The game uses 3D binaural recording to create a complex sound scape and it's definitely... busy. Personally, I find it a bit irritating. I can understand what the devs were going for, but I think they just overdid it. I know they wanted to try and recreate some kind of approximation of what they understand someone suffering from a psychosis might have to endure, but even this I don't think really works as intended. Playing through the game, I can honestly say - from my experience - I haven't learned anything new about mental illness. I'm just being continually bothered by disembodied voices. Yes, I recognise the possible contradiction there.

What I mean is this..

Senua's tale seems to be grounded in grief. She is very seriously traumatised by the murder of her male partner, Dillion - the only person she has ever really felt connected to (as her back story makes clear). This seems to be the single biggest event underpinning her motivations, her momentum and her present suffering. Where the devs tell me the game is about psychosis, I don't see that. To me, it's all about grief. Lost in abject grief, Senua sets out to the underworld ('Hel') to find Dillion, to rescue him, to bring him back. She says quite clearly, several times during play, that without him she cannot go on. And yet... here's the disconnect: I still haven't seen any scene which portrays that pivotal moment - Dillion's actual murder or its immediate aftermath. Remember the start of Shadow of Mordor when Talion witnesses the brutal executions of his wife and son? That was his motivation for all that followed. Ditto, Joel in The Last of Us, with his young daughter Sarah dying in his arms after she was shot. Two games that put the shocking events that caused the grief of their main protagonists front and centre, unambiguously. Hellblade doesn't do this and so I'm struggling to fully empathise with Senua's motivation. I needed to see who Dillion was, what he represented, why Senua loved (and still loves) him so much and how terrible that initial moment of loss was - so terrible, apparently, that it causes Senua to embark on a desperate, lonely quest to rescue her love from the depths of Hell itself.


Yes, gripes, I know. But this stuff matters, if you are going to set unpassable, overwhelming grief (and loss, and mourning) up as the main motivational factor in your protagonist's journey and the reason why she is doing and enduring all that she does.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Tafdolphin » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:33 pm

Cal wrote:
souljahsstory wrote:Anybody playing this with headphones on? Apparently its creepy as hell.


I think people overplay this aspect. The game uses 3D binaural recording to create a complex sound scape and it's definitely... busy. Personally, I find it a bit irritating. I can understand what the devs were going for, but I think they just overdid it. I know they wanted to try and recreate some kind of approximation of what they understand someone suffering from a psychosis might have to endure, but even this I don't think really works as intended. Playing through the game, I can honestly say - from my experience - I haven't learned anything new about mental illness. I'm just being continually bothered by disembodied voices. Yes, I recognise the possible contradiction there.



From what you're saying, and I didn't read the spoiler section, it's working exactly as intended:

https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/hellblade-p ... osis-feels

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/hellblad ... tal-health

The devs worked with academics and institutions in the field of mental health and psychosis. It's not an aspect of the game that's meant to be comfortable and is widely being praised as one of the most accurate dives into real-life mental health symptoms.

It might not be to your taste, but I don't think that means it's a failure.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cal » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:36 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Cal wrote:
souljahsstory wrote:Anybody playing this with headphones on? Apparently its creepy as hell.


I think people overplay this aspect. The game uses 3D binaural recording to create a complex sound scape and it's definitely... busy. Personally, I find it a bit irritating. I can understand what the devs were going for, but I think they just overdid it. I know they wanted to try and recreate some kind of approximation of what they understand someone suffering from a psychosis might have to endure, but even this I don't think really works as intended. Playing through the game, I can honestly say - from my experience - I haven't learned anything new about mental illness. I'm just being continually bothered by disembodied voices. Yes, I recognise the possible contradiction there.



From what you're saying, and I didn't read the spoiler section, it's working exactly as intended:

https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/hellblade-p ... osis-feels

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/hellblad ... tal-health

The devs worked with academics and institutions in the field of mental health and psychosis. It's not an aspect of the game that's meant to be comfortable and is widely being praised as one of the most accurate dives into real-life mental health symptoms.

It might not be to your taste, but I don't think that means it's a failure.


I've spent considerable time with the game now and still the whole 'psychosis' thing doesn't sit well for me; it seems extraneous.

Let's step back a bit and consider a few things. What would be the correct historical context for this game? 8th century? That seems about right for when the Vikings were up to no good, raiding, raping and pillaging across the North Sea. This was a time, certainly, when all Northern tribes were still in thrall to superstition; scientific reasoning hadn't yet been invented in Northern Europe, particularly in Northern Britain and the Scandinavian countries. People's experience of the world - of natural phenomena - was one of fear, folklore and superstition (a point the game itself makes repeatedly).

Imagine taking out of the game all the 'psychosis' stuff and simply saying 'this is a game which attempts to view the world through the eyes of someone who was alive in this particular place at this particular time'. That would have been enough - just rolling up all that cultural baggage then extrapolating it out into how someone like Senua would have perceived her world and the events around her (and thus her reactions to it)... that would have been enough. It was a world full of folkish lore, ghosts, imaginary terrors - let alone the very real terrors of war, brutal death, sickness, plague, starvation, etc. It's hard to see why the whole 'psychosis' angle was even necessary, given just how utterly frightening (certainly by today's standards) life for a girl like Senua would have been in the wilds of Northern Britain at that time.

But even the game won't sit within its own historical context - everytime I hear a character say 'okay' I feel pulled out of the illusion. Because 8th century Picts used word like 'okay', I guess...

The point is not that I don't have any empathy for a subject like mental illness. in the 1980s I worked for four years with what we then called 'disturbed' teenagers. I saw all kinds of 'f*cked-up sh*t' (forgive the language), believe me, and I've never forgotten it. I just don't think this game, in this particular historical and cultural context, needed to hitch its wagon to the whole 'psychosis' thing. Like I said, I think it would have worked just as well (or better) without it. Looking with 21st century conceits about mental health (and what we think we now understand about it) back into the 8th century and projecting our current understanding and interpretations of the condition onto characters ostensibly operating back then just doesn't sit well for me.

The fact the developer included a 25-minute documentary in the download which dwells entirely on how they sought to do just this, left me feeling frustrated. Like they were trying just a bit too hard to drive home the point, if I'm honest.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Tafdolphin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:41 pm

Cal wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Cal wrote:
souljahsstory wrote:Anybody playing this with headphones on? Apparently its creepy as hell.


I think people overplay this aspect. The game uses 3D binaural recording to create a complex sound scape and it's definitely... busy. Personally, I find it a bit irritating. I can understand what the devs were going for, but I think they just overdid it. I know they wanted to try and recreate some kind of approximation of what they understand someone suffering from a psychosis might have to endure, but even this I don't think really works as intended. Playing through the game, I can honestly say - from my experience - I haven't learned anything new about mental illness. I'm just being continually bothered by disembodied voices. Yes, I recognise the possible contradiction there.



From what you're saying, and I didn't read the spoiler section, it's working exactly as intended:

https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/hellblade-p ... osis-feels

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/hellblad ... tal-health

The devs worked with academics and institutions in the field of mental health and psychosis. It's not an aspect of the game that's meant to be comfortable and is widely being praised as one of the most accurate dives into real-life mental health symptoms.

It might not be to your taste, but I don't think that means it's a failure.


I've spent considerable time with the game now and still the whole 'psychosis' thing doesn't sit well for me; it seems extraneous.

Let's step back a bit and consider a few things. What would be the correct historical context for this game? 8th century? That seems about right for when the Vikings were up to no good, raiding, raping and pillaging across the North Sea. This was a time, certainly, when all Northern tribes were still in thrall to superstition; scientific reasoning hadn't yet been invented in Northern Europe, particularly in Northern Britain and the Scandinavian countries. People's experience of the world - of natural phenomena - was one of fear, folklore and superstition (a point the game itself makes repeatedly).

Imagine taking out of the game all the 'psychosis' stuff and simply saying 'this is a game which attempts to view the world through the eyes of someone who was alive in this particular place at this particular time'. That would have been enough - just rolling up all that cultural baggage then extrapolating it out into how someone like Senua would have perceived her world and the events around her (and thus her reactions to it)... that would have been enough. It was a world full of folkish lore, ghosts, imaginary terrors - let alone the very real terrors of war, brutal death, sickness, plague, starvation, etc. It's hard to see why the whole 'psychosis' angle was even necessary, given just how utterly frightening (certainly by today's standards) life for a girl like Senua would have been in the wilds of Northern Britain at that time.

But even the game won't sit within its own historical context - everytime I hear a character say 'okay' I feel pulled out of the illusion. Because 8th century Picts used word like 'okay', I guess...

The point is not that I don't have any empathy for a subject like mental illness. in the 1980s I worked for four years with what we then called 'disturbed' teenagers. I saw all kinds of 'f*cked-up sh*t' (forgive the language), believe me, and I've never forgotten it. I just don't think this game, in this particular historical and cultural context, needed to hitch its wagon to the whole 'psychosis' thing. Like I said, I think it would have worked just as well (or better) without it. Looking with 21st century conceits about mental health (and what we think we now understand about it) back into the 8th century and projecting our current understanding and interpretations of the condition onto characters ostensibly operating back then just doesn't sit well for me.

The fact the developer included a 25-minute documentary in the download which dwells entirely on how they sought to do just this, left me feeling frustrated. Like they were trying just a bit too hard to drive home the point, if I'm honest.


I'm sorry Cal but what the strawberry float are you on about?

Cal after playing Vice City wrote:Imagine taking out of the game all of the 'theft' stuff and simply saying 'this is a game which attempts to view the world through the eyes of someone who was alive in this particular place at this particular time.'That would have been enough - just rolling up all that cultural baggage then extrapolating it out into how someone like Tommy Vercetti would have perceived his world and the events around him (and thus his reactions to it)... that would have been enough. It was a world full of neon, synthpop and the Cold War - let alone the very real terrors of war, brutal death, sickness, financial ruin, etc. It's hard to see why the whole 'theft' angle was even necessary, given just how utterly frightening (certainly by today's standards) life for a con like Tommy would have been in the wilds of Vice City at that time'


I mean, you call the metal health aspect "extraneous" then mention the 25 min documentary they included about just that subject. The mental health adviser is also the person listed first in the credits. It's literally the whole. strawberry floating. Point. Of the game. It sounds like you want to play something different mate. Have you tried For Honour?

I'm an hour or so into it and it's remarkable so far. The intro alone is something genuinely new; the voices are disconcerting, disturbing and somehow comforting all at once. The gameplay is also interesting, going down the God of Illusion path first, some of the tricks are very well done indeed.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cal » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:12 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:I'm sorry Cal but what the strawberry float are you on about?

Cal after playing Vice City wrote:Imagine taking out of the game all of the 'theft' stuff and simply saying 'this is a game which attempts to view the world through the eyes of someone who was alive in this particular place at this particular time.'That would have been enough - just rolling up all that cultural baggage then extrapolating it out into how someone like Tommy Vercetti would have perceived his world and the events around him (and thus his reactions to it)... that would have been enough. It was a world full of neon, synthpop and the Cold War - let alone the very real terrors of war, brutal death, sickness, financial ruin, etc. It's hard to see why the whole 'theft' angle was even necessary, given just how utterly frightening (certainly by today's standards) life for a con like Tommy would have been in the wilds of Vice City at that time'


That's a strawman, though, isn't it?

Tafdolphin wrote:I mean, you call the metal health aspect "extraneous" then mention the 25 min documentary they included about just that subject. The mental health adviser is also the person listed first in the credits. It's literally the whole. strawberry floating. Point. Of the game. It sounds like you want to play something different mate. Have you tried For Honour?


I don't think it is the 'whole point of the game' because I think the game would have worked just as well, or even better, without the 'mental health' baggage. Why is it even necessary? Just imagine Ninja Theory had not trumpeted that out - just delivered the game as it is, without any of the messaging. Would it be any different? I think it would be just as intriguing, compelling, mysterious and frightening - within the context of its historical setting, doubly so. It's an excellent, immersive game. Leave me the main narrator, the storyteller and I'm good. I can figure out the rest: Senua's a troubled girl, struggling with an overwhelming grief in a brutal world. Anything else (especially anything outside of the game itself) is unnecessary and feels patronising.

Tafdolphin wrote:I'm an hour or so into it and it's remarkable so far. The intro alone is something genuinely new; the voices are disconcerting, disturbing and somehow comforting all at once. The gameplay is also interesting, going down the God of Illusion path first, some of the tricks are very well done indeed.


I agree it's a remarkable game, but probably not for the same reasons as you.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Brerlappin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:38 pm

Cal wrote:
I don't think it is the 'whole point of the game' because I think the game would have worked just as well, or even better, without the 'mental health' baggage. Why is it even necessary?.


I'm pretty sure it is one of the main, trumpeted selling points of the game. Why is it necessary? Well what other game is doing something similar? If you want a similar game without an interesting, unique take on psychosis, go play Ryse.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Tafdolphin » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:19 pm

Cal wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:I'm sorry Cal but what the strawberry float are you on about?

Cal after playing Vice City wrote:Imagine taking out of the game all of the 'theft' stuff and simply saying 'this is a game which attempts to view the world through the eyes of someone who was alive in this particular place at this particular time.'That would have been enough - just rolling up all that cultural baggage then extrapolating it out into how someone like Tommy Vercetti would have perceived his world and the events around him (and thus his reactions to it)... that would have been enough. It was a world full of neon, synthpop and the Cold War - let alone the very real terrors of war, brutal death, sickness, financial ruin, etc. It's hard to see why the whole 'theft' angle was even necessary, given just how utterly frightening (certainly by today's standards) life for a con like Tommy would have been in the wilds of Vice City at that time'


That's a strawman, though, isn't it?


No, it's me taking the piss out of you.

Tafdolphin wrote:I mean, you call the metal health aspect "extraneous" then mention the 25 min documentary they included about just that subject. The mental health adviser is also the person listed first in the credits. It's literally the whole. strawberry floating. Point. Of the game. It sounds like you want to play something different mate. Have you tried For Honour?


I don't think it is the 'whole point of the game' because I think the game would have worked just as well, or even better, without the 'mental health' baggage. Why is it even necessary? Just imagine Ninja Theory had not trumpeted that out - just delivered the game as it is, without any of the messaging. Would it be any different? I think it would be just as intriguing, compelling, mysterious and frightening - within the context of its historical setting, doubly so. It's an excellent, immersive game. Leave me the main narrator, the storyteller and I'm good. I can figure out the rest: Senua's a troubled girl, struggling with an overwhelming grief in a brutal world. Anything else (especially anything outside of the game itself) is unnecessary and feels patronising..


Again you're talking about a different game; GTA without the T, Wolfenstein without the Nazis, Mass Effect without the aliens. This, whether you like it or not, is a game about mental illness. This has been the major marketing USP, the one feature immediately presented by the game itself, and the biggest talking point around the game . You don't like that aspect of it and that's fine, but trying to suggest that this key aspect of the game is "patronising" and "extraneous" is just...weird. Not for you, you'd take issue with drinks during a brewery tour, but it makes no sense.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cal » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:29 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:This, whether you like it or not, is a game about mental illness.


Perhaps to you it is. I think it's a game about grief and Senua's inability to let go of hers (and I'm pretty certain that's what the plot keeps telling me).

Anyway, I turned off all the voices (there's an option in the Audio menu) and all I'm left with is all I need: just the main female narrator and a few ambient whispers and noises now and again but no more irritating chat, constantly wittering away in the background. The game hasn't stopped making any sense, I can follow the narrative just as clearly as before and I know what Senua's motivations are because the sole narrator makes that clear, repeatedly . Those other voices didn't bring anything useful to the tale as is evidenced by a game that plays just as well without them at all. This is a ghost story.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Skippy » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:34 pm

Cal wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:This, whether you like it or not, is a game about mental illness.


Perhaps to you it is.


And the people who made it, who put a message front and centre at the start of the game about how they had a mental health advisor during development.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Brerlappin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:25 pm

Honestly if it were up to Cal, Dark Souls would have an easy mode, Counter Strike would be a single player game vs bots only, and Street Fighter would be a walking simulator.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Tafdolphin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:38 pm

Cal wrote:Anyway, I turned off all the voices.


We've reached the summit guys, pack it up. This is peak Cal.

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by Cheeky Devlin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:06 pm

Brerlappin wrote:Honestly if it were up to Cal, Dark Souls would have an easy mode, Counter Strike would be a single player game vs bots only, and Street Fighter would be a walking simulator.

But think how nice all the corridors would look! :D

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PostRe: Hellblade - Ninja Theory
by _/\_YUNGSTAR_/\_ » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:25 pm

Such a good game in looks, sound and story.


Brerlappin wrote:Honestly if it were up to Cal, Dark Souls would have an easy mode.


I'd play the soul's games if that was so.

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