The Ninja Theory Of Everything: Hellblade

While the possibility of a second dose of delicious devil tears seems unlikely, we can at least console ourselves with the knowledge that Ninja Theory’s next release, Hellblade, will be coming to PC. The studio once teased a follow-up to their first game, Heavenly Sword, but the sequel never appeared. Could a Hellblade be from the same fiction as a Heavenly Sword? Leading theologians say YES. There’s a video below but nobody runs up the side of a building that is also a demon while attacking the physical manifestation of jazz with a gun-whip so I’m not sure you should bother watching it.

Even though DMC and Enslaved (eventually) came to PC, Hellblade sounds like it’s making its natural home on computer rather than console.

“I think PC offers us a level of freedom that we haven’t had before,” Ninja Theory’s Tameem Antoniades told PC Gamer. Given that most of the studio’s small back catalogue is available on PC, that statement suggests Antoniades either doesn’t know what a PC is, or is suggesting that developing specifically for PC will provide advantages. Later words confirm that the latter is indeed the case. He talks about open betas and “usability testing”, which is of course the kind of sexy freedom the PC offers. But wait! There’s also 4k support and the possibility of modding.

“I think we want to get to the point where we can invite players and fans to add to the game, and do things that are unexpected, and suggest ideas or add-ons that can make the game richer.”

Of course, Ninja Theory might be whispering sweet nothings into the ear of Mr Sony as well but these are pleasant noises. Less pleasant are the words of another Theoretical Ninja, Dominic Matthews, who completely ignores the bestest Ninja Theory release when discussing Hellblade’s (lack of) connection to Heavenly Sword.

“If we said it was the spiritual successor, there would be an expectation there is a story link or a certain type of gameplay or level design. It’s a new IP. It’s a brand new game. It’s brand new characters. It’s a brand new world. It’s not linked at all. But if you like Heavenly Sword, like Enslaved and like what we did, then the aim is you’ll like this, too.”

And what if I liked DMC, Mr Matthews? What then?


  1. Jakkar says:

    Twing twang?

    (Everyone should play Heavenly Sword. I need to get my PS3 fixed. Bah.)

    • Wowbagger says:

      Yes, time for twing twang.

      • Mungrul says:

        <3 Twing Twang.

        Okay, the main body of game play consisted of a God of War knock off, and there were some utterly dreadful QTEs, but those bits where you either guided canon balls with Nariko or took control of Kai while she played Twing Twang were superb. To this day, the best use of motion controls I've come across in a game.

        And I loved the quality of the voice acting and animation too.
        Andy Serkis gave his usual sterling performance, and the rest of the cast were ace too. The stand-out for me was the deliciously over-the-top, utterly creepy performance by Steven Berkoff as Flying Fox.

  2. RedViv says:

    Hel yes.

  3. Herbal Space Program says:

    The protagonist remind me of the one in ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West and this is good.

  4. XhomeB says:

    Well, that’s terrific news. Not that we know what to expect from the game, but it’s Ninja Theory, so there’s a reason to be excited – their games are absolutely top-notch art-wise.

    • DanMan says:

      Technically as well, usually. I’m looking forward to this.

  5. BobbyDylan says:

    You know, it took a steam search to differentiate this game with Hellraid. Someone should make a hairdressing tycoon game and call it HellBraid.

  6. dominic_matthews says:

    If you liked DmC, you’ll love this too!

    • TheApologist says:

      I’m going to choose to believe you are Real Dominic Matthews and not Internet Imposter Dominic Matthews because that will give me the chance to say to Real Dominic Matthews: ‘I just spent a joyous Christmas playing DmC and if Hellblade is anything at all like DmC then 100% YAY!’

    • davorable says:

      I liked DmC!

  7. Orija says:

    -Edgy quote to begin trailer
    -Shitty trailer music
    -Oh, so cool face closeups
    -A dearth of content coupled with staring eyes
    Check and check!

    Even if the trailer had been alright, they are still the people who made DmC. I’m not buying shit that comes from them unless they fire Tameem first.

    • BreadBitten says:

      You are truly a pitiful individual is you feel that someone’s termination would bring you any amount of joy.

      • Orija says:

        How would you even make such a nonsensical correlation? I want him gone but he turns everything he touches into shit.

        • Philomelle says:

          He made three games, two of which were brilliant and the third had the potential to be brilliant but was wrecked to hell by constant publisher intervention. That’s hardly “turning everything to shit”.

          In the end, either you are an idiot who doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about or you’re a pitiful individual who wishes for someone to be fired over something they weren’t responsible for. It’s not an enviable choice, but it’s one you forced upon yourself with your own words.

  8. Excelle says:

    Not a fan of the Devil May Cry games (more because I suck at those sort of games than anything else), but I did rather love Heavenly Sword, and I am all for having more of that on my platform of choice.

  9. lowprices says:

    Ooh. Fingers crossed that it’s basically DMC’s combat married to Enslaved’s storytelling. That would be basically everything I want in a AAA action game (although given that it’s self published it’s unlikely to have quite the length and the polish).

    That being said, “Hellblade” is a remarkably generic name. Have “MurderKill” and “StabMans” already been taken?

    • RuySan says:

      i would buy a game called StabMans

    • RedViv says:

      Might have gone with Helsverd instead, which seems to be the actual name of the titular weapon. Generic if you know Nordic languages, but still better than English NounNoun.

    • Thirith says:

      It’s potentially more meaningful if you look at their earlier PS 3 game, Heavenly Blade. I’d bet good money that at least thematically, but perhaps also in terms of story and/or setting, the two will be connected. I also think that the character in this teaser looks a bit like an older Kai, one of the playable characters from Heavenly Blade. (It’s the eyes and nose, mainly.)

  10. Turkey says:

    “One abyss in the hand is worth two abysses gazing into you” – Mark Twang.

  11. Philomelle says:

    “And what if I liked DMC, Mr Matthews? What then?”

    Generally, my experience is that when a publisher makes a public announcement where they blame a developer for everything that went wrong with the project and claim said developer is practically Hitler, the developer doesn’t feel very inclined to speak of the project at all, let alone act as if they’re proud of it.

    Even more so when all existing information proves that all the negatively received parts of the project were enforced by the publisher in the first place.

  12. padger says:

    Is Adam funnier since the Christmas break? I think he is.

    I mean I realise there’s no way to measure funny….

  13. Buuurr says:

    Looks to be set in some ancient world… like Norse or pre-Norse… a lot of Nordic, druidic symbols in there. Which I like. It doesn’t look Japanese in style at all to me either. Which I like. Here’s to learning more.

    • welverin says:

      I seem to recall them saying it’s Celtic inspired. They’ve had a number of developer diary type posts and videos on their site so far, been a bit since the last one, but that’s probably due to the holidays.

      • Buuurr says:

        Yeah, I did check it out after. I meant from what I took from the imagery of the trailer it looked very old UK. It looks fresh to me. We’ll see.

        To add: They do have a lot of Nordic stuff in the dev reports and junk. Blood eagle sacrifices, runes, etc… the blue paint and the chick are all Irish/Scottish in look though

  14. Shadowcat says:

    Did somebody say the physical manifestation of jazz ?