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Ninja Theory's Hellblade shaping up well but 2016 release iffy

When will it be devilered?

In the year since I played it, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice appears significantly improved. A steady stream of developer diary videos, the most recent published yesterday, show a game looking much more the blockbuster production British developer Ninja Theory is known for - no small feat for the studio's first self-published, smaller-team game.

The new Hellblade developer diary, 'Hearing Voices', shows the process and thinking behind main character Senua's auditory verbal hallucinations - an experience associated with schizophrenia. Mental illness is at the core of what Hellblade is about, remember, and Ninja Theory is going to great lengths to faithfully portray it.

Cover image for YouTube videoHellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Development Diary 24: Hearing Voices

Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades wrote an accompanying blog post about psychosis in Hellblade, talking about the things he's learned of the condition during the game's development.

"Our work is beginning to attract the attention of clinicians and we were recently invited to demonstrate and discuss our results at the Houses of Parliament," he wrote. "Ideas are starting to form about how gaming technology could be used to help understanding of these conditions in the future."

The biggest question now surrounding Hellblade is when the bloomin' heck is it coming out? When the last Hellblade developer diary was published in the June, word was the game would arrive later this year on PS4 and then PC. But we're almost out of year, and were Hellblade imminent, we ought to know about it. Presumably it's slipped into 2017. I've asked Ninja Theory for comment.

Incidentally, Ninja Theory recently released a virtual reality shooter called Dexed for HTC Vive.