XBOX REVIEW | Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2

“Senua returns in a brutal journey of survival through the myth and torment of Viking Iceland.”

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is a highly anticipated game that has been eagerly awaited since its announcement during The Game Awards 2019. Serving as a direct sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, this game is set in 9th-century Iceland, drawing inspiration from Norse mythology and culture. Players take on the role of Senua, a young woman with a troubled life exacerbated by severe psychosis and the constant voices in her head. The journey begins as Senua finds herself held prisoner on a slave ship, which is subsequently shipwrecked during a massive storm. She wakes up on a rocky beach, battered and shaken, and begins her quest inland. Throughout Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, players encounter various characters—some trustworthy, others not—while navigating this intriguing and visually stunning world.

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!

DeveloperNinja Theory
PublisherXbox Game Studios

Long dark road ahead

Things I liked!

  • Graphics | The photorealistic graphics in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 are simply stunning, easily the best seen on consoles. From the breathtaking vistas of the landscapes to the close-up facial expressions on Senua’s face, every tiny detail oozes quality. As you play from start to finish, Senua’s appearance also changes with remarkable detail. Players can even enter photo mode during gameplay or cinematic sequences to capture their favorite moments with ease. While the game runs at 30 FPS, it performs remarkably well in all areas, with no visual bugs or glitches reported during my playthrough.
  • Gameplay | The controls in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 are easy to pick up, especially if you’ve played the first game, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The layout remains largely the same, although the kick button has been replaced with an interact button. This sequel offers a spectacular and brutal cinematic experience, immersing players in its gripping narrative and stunning visuals. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 truly excels in creating an immersive atmosphere. Going deeper underground with just a torch to light your way adds to the tension, and the lurking creatures keep you on edge. As for combat, it’s indeed impressive. The set pieces evoke the grandeur of shows like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. While most fights are one-on-one, the world around you is alive with other battles. Senua has a small mirror by her waist, and as you fight, it slowly charges. When it’s ready to use, time appears to slow down for your enemies. This allows Senua to come in with a flurry of blows that will normally defeat your enemy. The attention to detail, such as the clash of swords during blocks and parries, is breathtaking.

  • Sound | The use of spatial and binaural sound in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is truly groundbreaking. I highly recommend playing with a headset for the best immersive experience. Every sound is delicately placed, from the buzz of flies orbiting a nearby corpse to the distant crashing waves. This game sets a new benchmark for future titles. Throughout your playthrough, you’ll constantly hear the voices in Senua’s head, known as Furies. They provide encouragement and guidance, while another voice challenges your decisions. It’s a thought-provoking experience, yet the voices remain comforting rather than annoying. If you ever find yourself stuck or lost, listen to them—they may help guide you through the darkness.

  • Replayability | Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 offers an engaging experience with intriguing collectibles and challenging gameplay. After completing the approximately eight-hour journey, players can access a chapter select feature that displays sub-chapters and tracks collectibles. These collectibles include Lorestangir, which are rune-marked poles triggering memories of Senua’s mentor Druth, and Hidden Faces, which conceal traces of gods and mythical creatures. Some are easy to spot, while others remain hidden. The game consists of six chapters, each contributing to the gripping narrative. During my playthrough, I opted for the default dynamic difficulty, which adjusts based on performance. However, I also experimented with hard difficulty for this review, finding it significantly more challenging but still manageable during combat.

Senua in the shadows

Neither good nor bad

  • Can feel too linear | The world in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is expansive and often beautiful, although it can feel somewhat linear at times. However, this linearity contributes to maintaining the narrative flow. As you journey through the game, your companions engage in conversations with you, adding depth to the experience.

Get out of my way

Things I disliked!

  • Lorestangir Collectables |  It’s really difficult to think of something that I dislike with Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 but if I could change one thing, then it would be, that when you trigger the Lorestangir rune-marked poles you could hear the memories of Senua’s mentor Druth as you walk away. Having to stand there for 45 seconds to listen was a little frustrating, but this is only a minor dislike and maybe something that Ninja Theory may update in the future.

How long did I play the review before publishing? 15 hours
How long to beat the story? 8 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 9/11
How long to achieve 1000G | 20 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and A Plague Tale: Requiem



Wow, what an incredible journey Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 was! I’ve never played a game quite like it before. The level of immersion is truly something else and has to be seen and heard to be believed. If you’re a fan of narrative-driven adventure games, this is simply a must-play. You really need to experience it while wearing a headset to get the full immersive experience intended by the game’s creators at Ninja Theory. While the game runs in letterbox mode with no option to change this, it actually adds to the cinematic experience. After a while, you won’t even notice the borders at the top and bottom of the screen. The use of Unreal Engine 5 showcases photomode to great effect. I’ve already taken so many photos and can’t wait to play through Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 again to find the hidden collectibles. Hopefully, I’ll beat it on hard difficulty while capturing even more photos along the way. This sequel is incredibly crafted and well worth the wait.