One of the best-look­ing games to come out in 2017, Hell­blade: Sen­u­a’s Sac­ri­fice is an intense jour­ney that tack­le some tricky sub­jects. I am always a fan of what Nin­ja The­o­ry puts out, but the amount of care they put into Hell­blade is stag­ger­ing. Nin­ja The­o­ry brought in men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als to ensure they were accu­rate­ly and tact­ful­ly rep­re­sent­ing men­tal ill­ness in their game and their work shines through in the final prod­uct. The audio design around the voic­es in Sen­u­a’s head is superb, you need to wear head­phones play­ing this game, and the sub­tle visu­al touch­es they make to rep­re­sent both mild and major hal­lu­ci­na­tions are done extreme­ly well. As usu­al, they have incor­po­rat­ed live action footage in some very cre­ative ways to fur­ther improve the over­all visu­al design and the per­for­mance from the Nin­ja The­o­ry design­er who played Sen­ua is top notch. Hell­blade: Sen­u­a’s Sac­ri­fice would have been much high­er on my list in a dif­fer­ent year, but it still deserves this spot as the 9th best game of 2017.


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