Ninja Theory have offered some details on their forthcoming third-person action-adventure game, Hellblade – most notably, that it’s aiming to explore psychosis and mental illness.
Hellblade follows Senua, a Celtic warrior left traumatised after a Viking invasion. Much of the game will “follow Senua’s journey into a vision of hell that is the manifestation of her own mental illness.”
Ninja Theory appear to taking this really rather seriously. They’ve been working with psychiatrist and Professor of Health and Neuroscience at the university of Cambridge, Paul Fletcher, as well as consulting with people with experience of mental health problems. So, yes, this sounds like it’s more than just a bullet-point on the metaphorical box. It’s even being supported by the Wellcome Trust, a charitable foundation aiming to build a greater public understanding of science and health.
Hellblade itself is being developed by a team of 15 under what Ninja Theory call an “Independent AAA” development model, with the creative freedom of an indie game but the production values of a AAA blockbuster.
Of course, it will also presumably feature quite a lot of combat and face-punching. It is a third-person action-adventure, after all, and Ninja Theory have a pretty good grasp of that genre thanks to things like Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and DmC Devil May Cry.
Hellblade is due out in 2016. You can see a new E3 2015 trailer below.