Mobile Menu

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Review

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

Release: May 21, 2024
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Ninja Theory
Genre: Reviews, XBox One Reviews, Xbox Series X Reviews
PEGI: 18


Worth a Play About Rating
7 - Gameplay
10 - Video
10 - Audio

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is a long-awaited sequel that plunges players deeper into the tormented psyche of Senua, a Celtic warrior wrestling with psychosis. Set shortly after the first game, Hellblade 2 throws you into a brutal Viking world as Senua seeks vengeance against those who enslave her people. While the game unquestionably builds upon the phenomenal foundation laid by Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, it grapples with balancing its stunning visuals and harrowing narrative with truly engaging gameplay.

There’s no denying that Hellblade 2 is a visual and auditory tour de force. The developers, Ninja Theory, have pushed the boundaries of current-gen consoles. Icelandic landscapes come alive in breathtaking detail, from the crashing waves against windswept coastlines to the oppressive darkness of subterranean caverns.

The interplay of light and shadow is particularly masterful, creating a world that feels both hauntingly beautiful and unsettlingly real. The use of motion capture and facial animation deserves similar praise. Melina Juergens once again delivers a powerhouse performance as Senua. The raw emotion and vulnerability in her eyes are enough to draw you into her struggle.


The audio design in Hellblade 2 is equally impressive. The binaural audio creates a truly immersive experience, placing you directly within Senua’s fractured mind. The constant stream of voices, both supportive and tormenting, creates a palpable sense of unease.

The sound of crashing waves, howling winds, and the chilling whispers of the dead further immerse you in this unforgiving world. However, for some players, the sheer volume of voices in Senua’s head can become overwhelming, especially when they drown out crucial dialogue moments. This can be particularly frustrating during pivotal story beats or tense combat encounters.

The narrative of Hellblade 2 is ambitious, aiming for a more epic scope compared to its predecessor. Senua’s journey takes on a more mythological feel, with encounters with Norse giants and whispers of forgotten gods. While the story beats can be impactful, the execution is not without its flaws.

The pacing can be uneven at times, with some sections dragging due to repetitive exposition or overreliance on cryptic symbolism. Players who enjoyed the more intimate exploration of psychosis in the first game might find the broader mythological themes less resonant.

The combat system in Hellblade 2 is a functional improvement over the first game. Encounters feel more dynamic and impactful, with a greater emphasis on parrying and countering enemy attacks.

The addition of new combat abilities adds a layer of complexity, but the overall combat loop can become repetitive over the course of the game, especially for players seeking a deeper challenge. Similarly, the puzzles, while improved with more variety, largely rely on familiar mechanics from the first game. While some puzzles are cleverly designed, they fail to deliver any significant innovation.


Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is a technically impressive game that builds upon the legacy of its predecessor. The world is stunning, the sound design is immersive, and the story, while uneven, is undeniably captivating.

However, the focus on visuals and atmosphere comes at the expense of a truly engaging gameplay loop. Those seeking a deeper narrative or more challenging combat might be left wanting. Ultimately, Hellblade 2 is a worthy successor that offers a beautiful and harrowing descent into the depths of psychosis, but it doesn’t quite reach the same groundbreaking heights of the original.

The game excels in pushing technical boundaries and creating a truly immersive world, but it stumbles slightly in its attempt to balance that with innovative gameplay that complements its powerful narrative.

Ultimately the game focuses too much on set pieces and not enough gameplay. Given Microsoft’s recent developing/publishing track record, they really needed this to be a win, and while it blows away everything they’ve ever done graphically and sound design, everything else fell flat. With the recent shuddering of some studios by them as well I fear we may see the same here as well.



Article By

blank Kevin Austin has been in gaming journalism in one way or another since the launch of the Nintendo Gamecube. Married and father of 3 children he has been gaming since the ripe age of 6 when he got his first NES system and over 30 years later he is still gaming almost daily. Kevin is also co-founder of the Play Some Video Games (PSVG) Podcast network which was founded over five years ago and is still going strong. Some of his favorite gaming series includes Fallout and Far Cry, he is a sucker for single player adventure games (hence his big reviews for Playstation), and can frequently be found getting down in one battle royale or another. If it's an oddball game, odds are he's all about it.

Follow on:
Twitter: @PSVGKevin