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Game of the Week: Hellblade 2 shows what games can do when given enough time

Go Ninja, go Ninja, go.

A screenshot from behind the character Senua, who's looking out at the horizon as the sun sets behind hills and a lake. The sky is turning pink.
Image credit: Ninja Theory

I've had a week of vampires. I finally managed to get my thoughts together in a V Rising review after being quite frustrated with the game, then quite smitten by it, and then I wrote about vampires for Five of the Best, and I'll be writing about vampires again for Bertie's Evil Adventures. Blimey - let's hope I still have something incisor to say after all of that! I promise you that introduction wasn't just an elaborate set-up for a terrible pun. But as much as I want to write about vampires again for Game of the Week, there's another game I simply can't ignore (even though Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is trying its best to vye for my attention) and it's Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2.

You'll be forgiven for not even noticing it's come out. Microsoft hasn't particularly advertised it, which I find strange, given the lack of high profile exclusives Xbox currently has to crow about. Perhaps you were also somewhat distracted, like we were, by the news Eurogamer has a new owner in IGN. That's a development I'm sure you're keen to understand the finer points of - I'm planning to record an episode of Inside Eurogamer in a week's time to explore it more, once we have a bit more to say there. But: back to Hellblade 2.

Hellblade 2 reminds me of an old kind of game, which isn't supposed to sound in any way shady - it's actually complimentary. What I mean by it is Hellblade 2 is not surrounded by modern business model trappings, like live service elements and microtransactions. It's a one-and-done story-led, cinematic adventure, produced in a way that screams "that's enough", but still given room to be experimental with the form. I feel strange saying it but it's unusual. It's special.

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