Game News Hellblade 2: Bird droppings as proof of the realism of the Xbox exclusive? The developers dared
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a great surprise when it was released in 2017. Inspired by Norse and Celtic mythology, the title had skillfully treated psychoses by developing a pleasant controller-in-hand game designed in collaboration with mental health specialists. The sequel, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, is one of Microsoft’s most anticipated exclusives.
When launching Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, we do not immediately perceive that the real subject of the game is psychosis in the medical sense of the term. We are in a fantastic world, with apparitions, spirits of the elements that are unleashed, or divine voices that indirectly guide the player. The purpose of the game appears little by little, and this very well balanced experience was able to please, in particular thanks to the performance of Melina Juergenswho embodies Senua.
A long-awaited and very ambitious sequel
Announced in 2019, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was then very discreet, only to reappear in 2020, with the announcement that the title will be developed on Unreal Engine 5. At the end of 2021, during the Game Awards, Hellblade 2 showed up with a sequence of 6 minutes of playvisibly located at the start of the game. The realism of the effects, animations and lighting made a strong impressionto the point of sowing doubt among observers. In addition to its narration, which we hope is still as strong, Hellblade 2 promises to be a real technical showcase for the new generation.
The Ninja Theory studio has also announced the color by announcing an experience “more believable and more refined. Its ambition, in terms of scale, is greater” which “will make Hellblade pass for an independent game.” Juan Fernández, combat designer, even added that the quality “break the ceiling”. And this ambition also involves a desire for realism, which takes advantage of the capabilities of the Epic Games engine. The first images of the game were also dedicated to the clouds and the way they evolve, but this time it’s with a bit of humor that the developers have put forward their science of detail.
When droppings become the symbol of great attention to detail
Taking place, at least at one point, on the coast, Hellblade 2 will contain seagulls, gulls and other sea birds. And ‘these birds, like other living beings, eat… and defecate. As you will have understood, the developers have recently highlighted the attention to detail by presenting the way in which bird droppings are integrated.
Achieving a high level of realism from reference material is extremely important to us. This even includes location-accurate bird poo. pic.twitter.com/L2pOqMmp9u
— Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory) July 29, 2022
Achieving a high level of realism from reference material is extremely important to us. This even includes the precise position of bird droppings.
The video may make you laugh, but it’s often this kind of detail that gives a realistic aspect to environments. The east coast is unforested, the rocks are dark, and the cliffs are steep. A perfect environment for seagulls and gulls, but integrate them leaving the rock immaculate would have jumped out at the players.
In this case, the idea is obviously not to make it a gameplay element, but to avoid anything that could break the immersion. Most players won’t pay attention to bird droppings, but many would have noticed their absence. We remember in particular the horses of Red Dead Redemption II, whose behavior was observed from all angles, and which underlined the almost sickly attention to detail of the developers at Rockstar Games. As a reminder, Senua’s Saga Hellblade 2 is expected at an unknown date on PC and Xbox Series.