Hellblade 2 Review Roundup – Strong Presentation But Average Gameplay

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Not The Hit Xbox Needed?

Story Highlight
  • Hellblade 2 has finally received reviews one hour before launch.
  • Most of the reviews are positive, but the game has failed to impress critics as much as Xbox wanted.
  • Critics have praised the gorgeous visuals and strong storytelling elements, but the gameplay has become a point of contention.

Ninja Theory is returning with a new title after seven years, and there is visible excitement for the studio’s latest offering. Despite criticism around Xbox’s marketing and the concerning pre-orders, audiences remain excited to experience Senua’s latest mind-bending experience.

With just one hour to go before the official launch, the critics have spoken, confirming the excellence on display throughout the presentation. However, due to various weaknesses, Hellblade 2 has scored an average of 82/100 on Metacritic.

Why it matters: Following the announcement of the review embargo, many were concerned about Xbox’s lack of confidence in this first-party release, fearing the worst outcome possible.

Senua's Saga Hellblade 2 Metacritic Reviews
Senua’s Saga Hellblade 2 Reviews via Metacritic

A few of the review scores are listed below:

  • IGN – 8/10
  • VGC – 3/5
  • Pure Xbox – 7/10
  • Forbes – 7/10 
  • Gamespot – 6/10
  • GamesRadar – 5/5

As expected, the visuals and narrative appear to be the strongest elements featured in Hellblade 2.

Senua’s latest story is another journey of triumphs, terror, and challenges, with Ninja Theory’s meticulously detailed visuals elevating the experience. Elsewhere, the sound design is just as commendable.

Each part of the game complements the other, making for a satisfying journey that lasts about 6-8 hours. However, certain critics have found this length to be a weaker element.

The combat is also improved over the original. Each hit is more impactful than the last, the animations are more visceral, and the enemy AI forces players to think carefully before executing each move.

This system works for Ninja Theory, but it stands out as a clear weak point. The combat system does nothing wrong but fails to stand alongside the exceptional presentation.

Therefore, Hellblade 2 has been held back by its gameplay.

YouTube video

According to recent reports, Ninja Theory’s next game also appears to have been greenlit. Some have claimed that this supposed project is Hellblade 3, so the reviews can highlight everything that needs improvement moving forward.

Hellblade 2 may not be the masterpiece Xbox had wanted for its first-party catalog, but it’s certainly a great experience if the reviews are anything to go by.

With the reviews now live, everyone else can jump into the game in just one more hour. The title is already available at no additional cost for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, while Xbox Series S|X and PC users can also buy it separately.

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