Hellblade Catch-All

The one gripe I have about the game is having to stand on the exact, down-to-the-inch spot to focus on objects that need to be reconstructed. Other than that, I enjoyed everything. Senua, as a character, is an achievement, and the whole "AA" game is something I hope other studios imitate; so much so, that I keep eyeing AC: Origins and thinking I wish it was as lean and short as Hellblade...

The one critique I have about the graphics is that Senua bares her teeth way too much. I'm not sure if that's a quirk of the mocap actress, but it looks strange.

Finished this up last night. Other than it maybe getting a bit more combat heavy at the end than I'd like (I bumped it down to easy for one sequence because I was eager to get to the end), this was fantastic top to bottom. I'll probably give it a repla, and it's incredibly likely that this one goes head to head with Nier Automata for my game of the year vote.

I'm an hour or two into it, and this game is not what I expected! I had seen the GB quicklook and that didn't really give me a good sense of what it was. I immediately bopped it down to easy which seems like a good choice after getting through a boss. I'm actually quite liking the combat and love how the parry feels. It's similar to NieR Automata's in feel with the timing and slow-down. The puzzles are what surprised me, though! I expected them to be really light and fluffy, but they take some doing! They're the type of puzzles I love in Zelda, and since Breath of the Wild didn't have many of that type, I'm finding them super refreshing.

I'm glad you're liking it. You're playing with headphones, right? Because those voices need to be experienced that way.

You do need headphones, Tuffalo. This game will be one of my top choices when I get around to writing my Top 10 Games of 2017.

Yep! I'm playing it with my AKG 702s and fancy-pants DAC and tube headphone amplifier, so I'm in audio heaven with this game. I went with the PC version, too, so the game looks really nice in 2560x1440.

Sounds (see what I did there?) much better than playing with the crappy earbuds from my iPod Nano I've had for ten years, and yet I was also in audio heaven. Probably a lesser version or your heaven, but hey --I had nothing to compare it to .

Finished!!!!!!! That was so good. It had all the Zelda stuff in it I kinda missed and wanted out of Breath of the Wild. You get to play as Zelda. The 3D environmental puzzles can be tricky and unraveling the 3D environments is very satisfying. Lastly, the story is new, refreshing, and makes you think. I think they earned to go where they went. The main villain turned out to be the opposite of how David Cage does villains.

Spoiler:

At the core, the villain is a very abusive husband and father. They never give him a face or character,
though!!! It was brilliant. In doing so, they just let him represent all the awful things abusive people can do without appealing to those very visceral human emotions. I was just so impressed with how they handled that.
Sure, it might not be perfect, but I think they took a great stab at it. I haven't quite ever experienced subtle "character" development like that in anything!

The combat was okay. I got into a nice groove a few times. Glad I played it on easy.

Glad you liked it, Tuffalo. So, almost as good as NieR: Automata?

This'll sit in my top 3 for the year I think (I haven't finished Mario otherwise it might drop a spot). It's disturbingly well done, and stays respectful throughout. I'd recommend people watch the little documentary if you have ten minutes as it does have some interesting tidbits on story and how they represented the symptoms in-game.

I would recommend pro users to switch to framerate mode too; it still looks good but it's a touch less janky.

I found myself enjoying the little story collectibles too. I know norse mythology is a little hit and miss in games but the enthusiasm of the actors really helped in achieving the whole story teller vibe.

The character and enemy design is superb. They do a good job of using the setting and themes in the creation of their bad guys. Some of the best sequences however, were when they didn't show you much at all; it was a true horror game at times.

Top work by ninja theory all told. They deserve plaudits not only for the game experience they've created but for how they went about it, the creative and financial risks taken and the respect they kept

I'm very glad to see the GOTY conversation getting this game the attention it deserves.

Mario_Alba wrote:

Glad you liked it, Tuffalo. So, almost as good as NieR: Automata?

It's up there! So many good games. I've got Hellblade sitting in the #4 slot on my favorite of the year list. Not sure if that's where it will end up ultimately, but it'll be around there. I've bumped lots of good games off my list at this point. It's getting kind of ridiculous.

GOTY:
1) Nier Automata
2) Hellblade
3-n) everything else.

I just bought this game during the Awards sale on PSN. Looking forward to diving into it at some point next year.

I have been itching to play this game and GOG has it for $22.49 right now.

Probably not worth my time to wait for the Steam sale just to see if I can save a couple of bucks...

EDIT: Meh, finals are done. I treated myself. Downloading.

Strong recommend to get it. This kind of game needs support. I'm glad I picked it up at full price.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Mario_Alba wrote:

Glad you liked it, Tuffalo. So, almost as good as NieR: Automata?

It's up there! So many good games. I've got Hellblade sitting in the #4 slot on my favorite of the year list. Not sure if that's where it will end up ultimately, but it'll be around there. I've bumped lots of good games off my list at this point. It's getting kind of ridiculous. :)

I love that you love NieR so much. I won't get to it until next year, but I'm hoping to love it almost as much as you do .

I have Hellblade at number 3, which reminds me I need to post my list...

Bought this reading about this game from Ninja Theory, after hearing they were bought by Microsoft,and what a masterpiece it is. I had never played a binaural game, and with a pair of good headphones, you really, really can get inmersed in the game. If it is a subject you are interested, curious or want to test it, go get it, and in the sale its a bargain for the quality.
This is in my GOTY for 2018 contender on spot #1 right now.

The binaural stuff is really impressive. Having to play the game in short bursts because it starts to feel a bit overwhelming after a while.

VR support is being added to Hellblade next week.

Per the linked article, for free if you own it on Steam (no word on other platforms).

I stalled out my non-VR playthrough at the fire demon maze. Maybe this'll be a good excuse to get back to it.

This is currently in the summer PS4 sale if anyone was thinking about picking it up.

I've yelled about this enough, so I'll just reiterate that this is an extremely good game that you should buy and play with headphones.

Happy Dave wrote:

This is currently in the summer PS4 sale if anyone was thinking about picking it up.

Just to close the loop, there's been no word on a PSVR implementation, at least, not that I could find online. Next week's VR updates are for Rift and Vive.

Gonna be honest, having VR in Hellblade makes me more interested in picking up a VR setup. The cost involved is what's keeping me away.

Chaz wrote:

I've yelled about this enough, so I'll just reiterate that this is an extremely good game that you should buy and play with headphones.

What Chaz said.

I saw this announcement and really want to pick the game up. However, I've recently bought Moss and the BfA expansion for WoW so spent enough recently. Too bad though because I'm really digging the Oculus Rift. Last night I loaded up Alien: Isolation (which I've never played much of) in VR. It's my first VR FPS experience and it was pretty wild. I hope to play more tonight.

Game is already pissing me off.

Spoiler:

Repeatedly tell me to follow the screams to the rune. I find many things the exact shap, with screams, and nothing works. Check strategy guide and it turns out I'm right it just doesn't register until you stand far enough away. That's not a puzzle, that's poor design.

Sorry for the rant, stuff like that really kills my desire to play a game.

I noticed, with a day to spare, that this was on sale for $18 on PSN, so I grabbed it just under the wire. I played long enough to go "Ooooooooh, that's why everyone says to play with headphones!" so I've stopped until I can grab a pair because all I have are buds and it seems really obnoxious to play that way.

Also, within seconds of starting I had to pause to shoo away some LDS missionaries. Not sure what that portends, but it's something.

EvilDead wrote:

Game is already pissing me off.

Spoiler:

Repeatedly tell me to follow the screams to the rune. I find many things the exact shap, with screams, and nothing works. Check strategy guide and it turns out I'm right it just doesn't register until you stand far enough away. That's not a puzzle, that's poor design.

Sorry for the rant, stuff like that really kills my desire to play a game.

I found that there's a few aspects of the puzzle gameplay that fall down, and that's one of them. I got derailed by the fire maze section. I died about 15 times in a row, then turned it off.

My opinion on the game is that it's a bad game that rides on the coattails of its presentation, which is downright spectacular. Whether that's enough to carry you through or not is up to you.