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Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 Video Showcases Realtime Facial Animation

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 Video Showcases Realtime Facial Animation - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 22 March 2023 / 3,194 Views

Publisher Microsoft and developer Ninja Theory during the State of Unreal presentation at GDC released a new short clip of Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 running on Unreal Engine 5. The video showcases realtime facial animation of protagonist Senua.

"We're pushing the boundaries of realtime facial animation in Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, as showcased at GDC 2023 with Unreal Engine," wrote Ninja Theory in the description to the video.

View the video below:

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is in development for the Xbox Series X|S and PC.

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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method114 (on 22 March 2023)

I had no doubt it would look great. My main concern is with the game play. Hopefully it's vastly improved in this next game.

  • +3
Libara (on 22 March 2023)

The talent that studio has is insane.

  • +3
Shinobi-san (on 23 March 2023)

wow could barely tell what was read and not!! Edit: Oh shit its all animated...I legit though the opening seconds was real lol

  • +1
Manlytears (on 22 March 2023)

Looking foward to gameplay demo. Game looks stunning, but will It have good gameplay?

  • +1
Machiavellian (on 22 March 2023)

I do believe this game will be a visual delight as Ninja Theory ability along those lines have always been top. What I am really concerned about is the gameplay. Really did not get into the first game and I am hoping they put in the work to make the second to my liking.

  • +1
Imaginedvl Machiavellian (on 23 March 2023)

Same here. Graphically I have no doubt this will be a masterpiece but I could not bring myself to play more than an hour or so of the first one. I really did not like the gameplay at all.

  • +1
shikamaru317 (on 22 March 2023)

Hot damn this looks good. Ninja Theory and The Coalition are the cream of the crop when it comes to Unreal Engine graphics, and Xbox has both of them in their 1st party stable. Xbox badly needs to create some satellite support studios for NT and TC which exist to help the rest of their 1st party teams with Unreal development, since nearly every Xbox 1st party studio is either using or switching to Unreal 5 now. If Xbox can get a good internal Unreal engine technology pipeline going, Xbox 1st party overall should be able to achieve some amazing things graphically.

  • +1
TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 22 March 2023)

Looks great, but first announced in 2019. Taking so long!

  • +1

Well yeah. Ninja Theory was a AA studio transitioning to AAA during a pandemic and in an age where AAA games take 5-6 years to make.

  • +4

But hellblade 1 was a AAA game...

  • +1

It was self-described as an "indie AAA game" because of the graphics, but the game had a AA budget with only 20 developers in total that worked on it. That's why it was only a 5 hour long game.

  • +5

Fair point, hellblade 2 must be way larger in scope

  • +1

That definitely does seem to be the case. Ninja Theory has ballooned to over 130 developers since being acquired, so here's to hoping!

  • +1

Initially they said they were doubling the dev team size from 20 devs on the first game to 40 on the second game, that was back in 2020. But as I recall, at some point in 2021 they decided to expand the scope of the game even further, they reportedly now have over 100 devs on Hellblade 2 (with the rest of the studio on their insight project games such as Project Mara), and seeing as the game began development in late 2018 or early 2019, and will seemingly be releasing in Q1 2024 or later, it's looking like 5 or more years of development time.

So, Hellblade 1 was 20 devs over 3.5 years as I recall, vs Hellblade 2 with 100+ devs over 5+ years. The scope will definitely be bigger. I'm guessing they plan to increase from 5 hours or so of content on the first game to 20+.

  • +2
Zippy6 TheLegendaryBigBoss (on 22 March 2023)

How on earth are you at -7 downvotes in 11 minutes for saying the game is taking a long time to make lmao. And you're right this was announced far too early.

  • +11
KratosLives (on 24 March 2023)

Great. If that's all they can show , it's going to be another 2 or 3 years before this releases. Fk..

  • 0
gtotheunit91 KratosLives (on 24 March 2023)

Idk why some keep thinking this was the devs showing off the game. This was simply a tech demo from the Unreal Engine presentation that Epic Games hosted. Epic flexing their muscles going "look how cool our facial animations can get" and nothing more than that.

Ninja Theory has been ramping up their marketing since January along with dev diaries again. So I wouldn't be surprised if the game turns into a Holiday 2023 title at the earliest.

  • 0
KratosLives gtotheunit91 (on 27 March 2023)


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CloudxTifa (on 22 March 2023)

Did the first one on PC, it was an okay game. 6 hours to finish it. The fact that we only see faces on trailer seems to confirm it will only be a dope visual game and that's it.

  • -2
gtotheunit91 CloudxTifa (on 23 March 2023)

It's not a trailer. It's just a tech preview from an Unreal Engine event hosted by Epic Games rather than the developers trying to show off the game. That's why they just showed off the facial animation.

It'll be a wait and see for me though. The first game had a AA budget with only 20 developers, and the sequel is now AAA with over 100 developers. So I'm the hoping the scope and combat is drastically improved.

  • +2
tslog (on 22 March 2023)

Imagine getting more exited for this tech, than the desperately needed improved combat & puzzles which were so weak in Senua 1.
I have 0 excitement for this game till I see good gameplay.
Gamers proving once again that they don't know what's good for them.

  • -10
dane007 tslog (on 23 March 2023)

Would take hellblade over elden ring imp but that's my preference.

  • 0
KratosLives tslog (on 27 March 2023)

Excuse me??

  • 0