Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is the journey of a broken Celtic warrior on a vision quest to save the soul of her dead lover from Viking Hell. Hellblade was developed and published independently by a small team with a limited budget. As such, our developers had to adopt a more creative approach to problem-solving and making Hellblade how the way we envisioned it.
- The award-winning actor who plays Senua in Hellblade wasn’t originally an actor at all. She was Ninja Theory’s Video Editor who was used as a stand-in for technical tests. In her first ever acting role, Melina Juergens went on to win a BAFTA for Best Performance!
- Senua’s guide in Hellblade is an old scholar called Druth. The skull he wears on his head was a real animal skull found by Creative Director Tameem Antoniades when walking his dog.
- When Senua hears a chorus of voices in the Sea of Corpses area, these are actually the voices of the entire Ninja Theory team – recorded during a company meeting.
- A couple of team members created a Hellblade kart racing mode. It never made it into the game (for obvious reasons) and the only remaining trace of it is this .gif:
- To make Senua’s costume look battle worn, one of our artists let his dog rough up our material samples before they were scanned and turned into in-game textures.
- Melina Juergens played the role of Senua, but her combat was performed in mo-cap by Chloe Bruce, Daisy Ridley’s stunt double from “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”
- Ninja Theory has a development team of around 100 people, but Hellblade was created by a small team of just 20 people.
- With a small budget, Ninja Theory couldn’t afford to go and shoot performance capture for Hellblade’s cinematic scenes. Instead, they converted their boardroom into a makeshift performance capture space using a variety of materials including wardrobe poles.
- After the release of Hellblade, the team created an Accolades Trailer. Rather than including impressive quotes from press reviews in the trailer like most games do, the Hellblade trailer was created from fan screenshots and touching messages received from fans.
- Senua’s blue war paint was actually a cheap supermarket face pack applied to Melina before being scanned and transformed onto a digital character.
Thank you for reading, and remember that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is available now on Xbox One and with Xbox Game Pass. For more development stories, news, and updates you can follow us on Twitter @NinjaTheory, Instagram @OfficialNinjaTheory, and Facebook @NinjaTheory.