beautiful but disappointing, impressive but repetitive… the Xbox game divides a lot

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 arrives seven years after the first part of the franchise, and the Xbox exclusivity is exciting the press (at least visually).

It is curious to note that Hellblade 2 (released this May 21) does not seem to have been entitled to a promotion worthy of the name, even though it is one of the most important Xbox exclusives This year. Apart from fans of the first part Senua’s Sacrificewho awaited it with some impatience, the title of Ninja Theory almost went unnoticed by the general public.

However, it is indeed the announcement of Hellblade 2 that Xbox had chosen to highlight after the release of its Series X in 2021. At the time the game was supposed to be a demonstration of graphics performance of Microsoft’s console – and, indeed, Hellblade 2 today appears to keep this promise by being one of the most visually beautiful games of 2024. A pure visual and sound feat, like its predecessor, which quite impressed the critics. Newspaper.

a graphic and auditory slap

Hardcore Gamer : “Whether you’re a fan of the first Hellblade or a newcomer, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 will provide you with an engaging and unforgettable experience. Its realistic graphics, its captivating narration and its stunning sound management help to make it one of the most remarkable games of this year..”

GameSpew : “Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 does even better than its predecessor in several ways. It is already an essential game for fans of adventure games and cinematic ambitions. Visually it is unprecedented, showing us photorealistic characters and environments, not to mention the audio technique is also spectacular. Too bad the fights quickly become too repetitive.

ScreenRant : “Gripping in horror and visually stunning, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is an improved version of its predecessor, serving as a springboard to perfect its narrative mechanics and themes.

No need to grit your teeth too much, the criticism is packed

IGN France: “Visceral, disturbing, empathetic… These are the words that you will keep in mind after this adventure as grandiose as it is personal.

JeuxVideo.com: “Dim the lights, turn up the volume and put out the candles. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II succeeds in its crazy challenge of being the “next-gen” visual slap in the face so much hoped for, even if the traces left by its hand bear the marks of the 100% narrative game of 2017 with simplistic gameplay and online exploration RIGHT. More condensed, more brutal too, the creation of Ninja Theory ultimately changes little from the original formula, but strengthens all its cogs to the point of making it a beautiful war machine.

Player 2: “You might find yourself disappointed if you were hoping for a completely different experience, but despite that, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II remains a game not to be missed. It’s a technical and artistic marvel for the Xbox and a must-see narrative experience.

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2: photoAn eye-popping achievement

disappointing gameplay

Carole Quintaine: “Hellblade 2 is truly magnificent, superbly produced, it offers a distressing atmosphere as possible, extremely careful and rarely has the sound design of a game been so impressive. […] The problem is that overall it’s quite boring: the fault of the repetitive puzzles and the long and completely useless fights which weigh down the whole thing. It’s a shame.

VGC: “Hellblade 2 is a mechanically dated game, saved by its superb art direction. For a game announced at the release of the Series X, Xbox fails to make it as striking a title as expected. The result is disappointing.’

Metro GameCentral : “This is a work that is barely entertaining and attempts to represent mental health in a very confusing way. And at the same time [Hellblade 2] has the best graphics ever seen on a video game console.”

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2: photoSenua's Saga: Hellblade 2: photoRepetitive and not exciting fights, according to the press

Although the results are mostly favorable, Hellblade 2 still receives certain fairly recurring criticisms (even among the laudatory feedback). We find in particular remarks on the gameplay of the game, considered too repetitive and minimalist. The narrative and immersive aspect of the experience Hellblade seems to greatly outweigh its playful nature, which could put off more than one person. But this is a real bias of the studio.

Overall, Hellblade 2 above all seems very similar to its predecessor (beyond its technical and aesthetic innovations). The two Ninja Theory titles also share the same press average of 81/100 on Metacritic, with an almost equivalent number of opinions given. It therefore seems unlikely that Xbox exclusivity will succeed in convincing those who resist the first game. On the other hand, it looks set to be quite spectacular for everyone else.

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