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Ninja Theory announces new name for Hellblade

UPDATE: Watch lead actress motion-capturing Senua in real-time.

UPDATE 16/03/2016 6.35pm: Ninja Theory has revealed a stunning new video of Hellblade's lead actress motion-capturing heroine Senua in real-time.

That's right, when the actress contorts her face and body the character does like-wise on the spot. Earlier today at Epic's Unreal Engine GDC keynote we saw this being presented live (skip to the 42-minute mark for more).

"As far as we know, no one has done this with a character of such fidelity before," said Ninja Theory's product development ninja Dominic Matthews on the PlayStation Blog.

To see how it looks in the final game, here's a video of the full cinematic:

ORIGINAL STORY 16/03/2016 11.40am: Hellblade will now officially be known as Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, creator Ninja Theory has announced. The new name was revealed on a pretty new poster, which shows off heroine Senua's new look.

The announcement follows a reinvention of sorts for the self-published game. We saw a prototype at Gamescom last August and were unconvinced, but Ninja Theory clarified its showing as a "testbed of ideas" that may be kept or may be thrown away when full production got under way (it is now).

Since then we've had glimpses at the game's development via developer diaries on the Hellblade website. They've shown us the great lengths Ninja Theory is going to to create a visually believable heroine, employing some space-age body scanning technology for the job. It should be a pretty game.

But we haven't seen anything significant enough to understand how greatly the Gamescom prototype, and the ideas in it, have changed. Those ideas were Senua as a sufferer of psychosis, and this manifesting in a number of different ways, both in puzzles and in combat. But those puzzles and combat were shallow, and the game world felt bland and at times contrived.

Nevertheless, Ninja Theory is a name of a repute, responsible for DmC: Devil May Cry, Enslaved and Heavenly Sword, so there's hope - although it's worth remembering that Hellblade will be a significantly cheaper project in terms of budget as a self-published experiment.

hellblade

One possibility is that Hellblade will become a virtual reality experience of some kind - a theory raised by a picture of Twitter user AVRLondon pictured playing what looks like Hellbalde in VR (thanks, commenter macksed). This would also explain Ninja Theory being named yesterday in Sony's big list of developers supporting PlayStation VR.

More information is expected at GDC this week so we'll keep an eye out.

Hellblade is pegged as a 2016 game for PC and PS4.

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