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gamescom 2014: Ninja Theory Reveals Hellblade for PS4 (Update)

August 12, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West developer Ninja Theory has announced they’re new next-gen title is called Hellblade and will be coming to the PlayStation 4.

Ninja Theory Communications Manager Dom Matthews went on the PlayStation Blog today to talk about Hellblade, revealing that it will be a digital title focused on “delivering a deep character in a twisted world, with brutal uncompromising combat:”

Over the course of the last 14 years we’ve developed three key strengths that define our games: ninja-class combat, strong character stories, and a unique art vision. In our new digital game, Hellblade, we want to take these three key strengths to the next level. Hellblade will be an experience focused on delivering a deep character in a twisted world, with brutal uncompromising combat.

We’re calling Hellblade an “Independent AAA” game, by which we mean that it will be developed and published independently but with all the quality and production values of any AAA game on the market.

Why have we chosen to self-publish this game? Certain types of game are very difficult to make for AAA retail without being watered down or otherwise compromised for a mass audience. This is especially true of sword-based combat games or games of a distinctive style or unusual subject matter. We want to make a smaller, more focused game experience that is uncompromising in its combat, art and story, and deliver this digitally at a lower price.

The announcement trailer that we’ve just released is intended to give you a taste of the AAA quality that we’re planning on delivering, and to also introduce you to the Hellblade world, which is based on Celtic myth. The trailer is focused on Senua, Hellblade’s protagonist as she embarks on a very personal journey through a hellish underworld.

Matthews then revealed that Hellblade is still early on in development:

We have announced the game unusually early. This is a deliberate move: we want to share our development journey with you, the fans; to develop Hellblade right in front of your eyes so you can see just how we go about making games.

At the heart of this is hellblade.com, where you can find the latest from development. Throughout the project we’ll be sharing developer diaries, concept art, design documents, tutorials and work-in-progress of the game being put together. If you hop over to Hellblade.com now you’ll see some concept art from Hellblade as well as an introduction video to the project. You’ll also see a lot more information about “Independent AAA”, and in the spirit of openness, we’ve posted a lot of documentation on a couple of Ninja Theory games that were planned, but never made it into production.

He finished up by saying, “I want to say that it is incredibly exciting for me and the team at Ninja Theory to be creating Hellblade. Hellblade is being made for our fans. Fans of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved and DmC: Devil May Cry. If any of our games have found a special place in your heart, then our aim is that Hellblade will too.”