Replaying Hellblade right before Hellblade 2 makes it feel more like a prequel, and I can’t wait for Senua’s Sacrifice to become Senua’s Saga

There is something about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice that makes my enjoyment of it sit strangely. It’s not the kind of feel-good afternoon fodder you play to unwind over a lazy weekend, nor does it let you live out a dynamic power fantasy as in many of the best action games. It’s not even what I would call a fun game most of the time; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

The game is a sobering experience, one that guides players through the stages of grief where the pain is sharpest. As a result, my first go at Hellblade saw me frustratedly bashing my head against environmental puzzles and horned monsters out of intrigue more than enjoyment, greedily welcoming the drip-fed lore of Senua’s torched world and shattered psyche with parched lips as my heart broke along with hers. But with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 launching in just a week, maybe the ending I once found more cruel than cathartic is just the beginning? 

The darkness before the dawn


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