Senua prepares for another unnerving pilgrimage
As a part of yesterday’s Xbox Showcase Extended presentation, the publisher checked in with developer Ninja Theory, which is currently hard at work on a sequel to the dark 2019 release Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Fans were left wanting after the anticipated sequel did not receive an update in Microsoft’s main E3 show at the weekend, and it seems that Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II did not put in an appearance for the simple reason that the game remains in very early development stages.
In a new developer diary, which you can check out below, Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades notes that the British developer is currently working on creating “a good chunky slice” of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II before it sets about fleshing out the game as a whole. In what seems to be a highly ambitious and incredibly passionate project, Ninja Theory hopes to create “more than a sequel” to the dark, preceding adventure, ultimately hoping to deliver an “extra special” chapter in Senua’s story.
Ninja Theory is aiming to go above and beyond in its efforts to deliver an all-time classic. All of Senua’s Saga‘s costumes will be replicated in real life to provide authentic texture and design, the team will receive lessons in weapon-based fighting, and lead actor Melina Juergens has undergone two years of combat training in preparation for her return to the groundbreaking role of Pict warrior Senua. “We are making our lives very difficult in that respect”, notes Tameem, which I’m hoping is more a figure of speech in regards to “going big” with its ideas, and less a metaphorical commentary on the brain-breaking demands and strains of the development team’s workdays.
I’m very excited for this release, and previous videos have been nothing less than absolutely stunning. While not even the slightest release window was hinted at, it seems snug to suggest that we will not be seeing Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II hit the market within the next two years. This is fine. Ultimately, while fans are eager to return to Hellblade‘s dramatic and soul-searching mythological world, nobody wants either a rushed product or, more importantly, burned-out, unwell developers. For a franchise lauded for its commitment to mental health matters, it’s important that the developer ensures its own mental health comes first.
We will wait, take as much time as is needed. Hopefully, this is a message that Ninja Theory — and other developers — will take on board as gaming enters its most ambitious generation to date.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is in development for Xbox Series X/S and PC.