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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Reaches Alpha Stage of Development

A post on the PlayStation blog today from Ninja Theory’s Dominic Matthews updates us on the progress of the developer’s next game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The game, which is slated for release later this year, has now hit the alpha stage of development. In real people speak that means that the game is now playable from start to finish. Encouraging news since we’ve heard little from the game since the beginning of last year when this impressive CGI trailer was released. A developer diary was also released showing off more of the game’s concepts and some fresh gameplay which you can see above. 

While still far from finished, entering the alpha stage means a lot of key aspects of the game are now in place. As the post from Ninja Theory’s ‘Product Development Ninja’ Matthews explains, motion capture and voice over performances are now complete. This includes 3D binaural recordings of the voices in your character’s head, meaning you can play in surround sound and feel like it’s you who’s going crazy. The music for the game is also mostly finalised.

Importantly, Matthews notes that all the gameplay mechanics are in the game in some way and ready for play testing and refinement. This should help to narrow the development focus as they move to the next stage, Beta. Clearly, there’s still a lot of refinement and polishing to do but the team seems confident that a release later this year is still on the cards.

For those who have yet to hear about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the game follows the tale of Senua – a Celtic warrior who is going through a deep psychosis after losing everything to a clan of Vikings. As Ninja Theory discussed back at E3 2015, the team have been consulting with medical and psychological experts to create an authentic representation of mental illness in the game as Senua fights her way through foes both real and imagined. What’s been shown of the gameplay so far demonstrates a slow and deliberate third person melee combat style. Today’s blog post also talks about puzzles in the game that are based on what the team has learned about psychosis.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is set to release later in 2017 on PS4. Have you been following the game’s development? Let us know what you think down in the comments.

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Dom is a gaming orphan; after his surrogate father SEGA was killed in the console wars, he was adopted by Sony and raised by various PlayStation consoles. He swears he’s not biased in any way though, so that’s good enough for us.

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