Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011


How long is this game? I played up to the first boss and the audiolog tracker says I'm 25% done.

As for the boss, it took me about three tries to figure out that the white glow = parry and yellow glow = dodge didn't necessarily apply to him and that I could parry pretty much everything he did except for the jump+ground stab. Parrying the bison spin in particular would knock him on his rear end long enough for me to basically force him into the next phase before he recovered.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




^^ 6-8 hours.

Perestroika posted:

Yeah, even on my old as gently caress machine the game looked amazing with a really manageable performance impact. The art direction in this is stellar.


Anyway, it's a bit of an odd comparison, but somehow this game reminded me of Spec Ops: The Line quite a bit.

Both games essentially feature a journey into hell, one of them figuratively and the other quite literally. Both of them show a protagonist who is obsessed with their quest to save somebody or something, to the point of utter exhaustion and desperation. But they go at the same concept from different perspectives, to the point of essentially being mirrors of each other. In Hellblade, Senua's journey is transformative and healing. She begins as a deeply troubled and damaged person with only one single thing left to keep her going, but by facing her fears and confronting her memories she is able to claw her way back towards a semblance of peace. Her journey towards her obsession brings her very near to her breaking point, but in the end she is able to finally let go and move on, finally finding peace.

Meanwhile in Spec Ops, Walker begins as a reasonably healthy individual, but his journey is wholly destructive. At first he doesn't even care all that much about his goal, but as he goes in deeper and deeper he becomes ever more obsessed with finding some kind of resolution. And in doing so he becomes unhinged and damaged, and when he finally reaches his goal it turns out to be utterly hollow. The key difference, I would say, is that while both Walker and Senua start out with altruistic goals in mind, only Senua manages to hold on to her selflessness. Walker, on the other hand, becomes gradually more dismissive of the outside world and focused on himself, searching for a way to find a resolution for himself, revenge for the people he lost, searching for a way so that he could be the hero that saves Dubai.

Apart from that, there are also a handful of other more incidental similarities. Both games play a bit with the concept of the fourth wall, Spec Ops through its loading screen hints and Hellblade by literally looking the player in the eye. Both have a certain surreality with how the protagonists perceive their environments, though it's a bit more subtle in Spec Ops (e.g. the way your are always somehow moving downwards through the levels, deeper than what normal architecture should allow for). They also put a heavy emphasis on conveying a sense of attrition and fatigue suffered by their protagonists. Finally there's also a certain element of mental illness in Spec Ops, in the sense of shell shock and PTSD, though it doesn't really explore that part in nearly as much detail as Hellblade does.


I dunno where I'm going with this, I just found it neat that two so completely different games end up looking at quite similar themes, just from different angles. And they're kind of connected by default just by virtue of being fairly major titles that put a huge emphasis on their story, themes, and presentation.


While Hellblade shares a lot of similarities to SpecOps: The Line with its psychological perspective, the game it most resembled to me while playing it was Shadow of the Colossus. "A warrior enters a forbidden land to slay gods and bargain for the soul of their dead lover, gradually shedding their own humanity in the process." The dreamlike, almost storybook presentation and single-minded obsession of the main character were also thematically similar, although both are very unique games in their own right.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


Mr. Flunchy posted:

Can you help me out? I'm really hosed off with this game right now.

I'm in Helheim where I just got an 'R' rune and passed through a waterfall, which put my torch out. I ran forward to a pool of light, but it's autosaved and I can't get any further before the beast kills me (just before a balance beam). The walkthrough says to relight your torch, but I now don't have one.

Have died maybe 30-40 times here.

edit: Welp looks like I'm hosed. The game clearly thinks I'm holding a torch and is animating my character as if she is, but I can't light anything:



Was definitely in my top 5 of the year until now. gently caress.

Look behind you. There should be a torch sitting in the brazier about 20 feet back.

Mindblast posted:

As someone who played through this game on normal and never died in any combat sequence, here is what I noticed while playing:

- The parry window is massive and lets you get away with blocking even the biggest weapons. Hit block right before the attack lands.


Yeah. I was having trouble with it because I found R1 annoying to use for block and was trying to dodge everything, making the game 5 times harder. The parry system breaks the game. I started actually using it about 3/4 of the way through and it's basically impossible to die once you do.

veni veni veni fucked around with this message at 17:00 on Aug 12, 2017

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011


Did I do the first two trials in the right order? I went birdo -> fire town and the second boss felt like a total pushover compared to the first, dodged to his side and mashed r1 because it seemed like all his attacks were either forward kicks or overhead slams, I think I saw him do a horizontal swing like twice the whole fight.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I think Surt is an easier fight than Valravn but neither of them are particularly difficult.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




Yeah Surt is way easier but Valravn isn't hard, he just takes a while. His attacks don't do much damage so as long as you button mash to get up he shouldn't be able to kill you. Definitely remember to block his thrown dagger attack.

Also, Parry seems to block ALL damage from ALL attacks even if you don't time it right - lots of times I would just hold Block when I saw a big attack coming and I'd get knocked back but take no damage.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I was thinking earlier about the necessity for combat at all in Hellblade and concluded it was probably a purposeful decision to show how Senua's psychosis also makes her a skilled warrior. If she was just completely outmatched and beat down the entire game then her journey would be an even more dreadful experience than it already was. Instead it reinforces the theme that not all aspects of her darkness are weaknesses, and in fact her enhanced senses and ability to see patterns can work to her advantage even when squaring up against 10-foot tall demonic northmen.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


it also doesn't hurt that they aren't real

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




One thing I really liked is that Dillian wasn't some Manic Pixie Dream Boy, his stories about his dad perfectly explained why he was nice to Senua, to the point where I feel like it might have been a better choice if they had been "just friends".

A note on doing the two areas in the beginning: The Red Door has combat encounters in it, the Blue Door does not. If you do the Blue Door first, the combat behind the Red Door will have stronger enemies and more of them, so if you don't really like the combat much it's to your advantage to do Red Door first.

Zerilan
Jan 11, 2008

I have to believe I can do this.





Just binged through the game in one sitting. It was... an experience. I'll probably have a lot of words to say about it later, but for now will just mentioned that I love the sound track and that it probably beats out RE7 for me for best ambient audio design in a game.

Mechanical Ape
Aug 7, 2007

But yes, occasionally I am known to smash.


So I'm at about the halfway point (as measured in runestones), and I'm loving it all, but I did have to check a walkthrough at one point where I'd bumbled around on my own long enough.

It's the area right after the first two trials, on the bridge to Helheim and you're looking for three runes. And you have to focus on a broken staircase to make it whole, and is it just me or is that a puzzle that kinda comes out of nowhere? It's not well established by sound or visual cues -- the voices do say "focus" if you're standing and looking right there, but there's not much to lead you to that point, or to previously suggest this is even a thing Senua can do. I would have liked a little more direction since this would be the first (only?) puzzle of its type. Is it just me who got stumped at that point? If so, what clues did I miss that others picked up on?

On a side note, can I say how cool it is that Senua is not a glamorous hottie, but a scared and suffering regular person dressed (I assume) historically accurately?

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




There are other puzzles of that type later, but not many. Yeah, it kinda comes out of nowhere.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Mechanical Ape posted:

So I'm at about the halfway point (as measured in runestones), and I'm loving it all, but I did have to check a walkthrough at one point where I'd bumbled around on my own long enough.

It's the area right after the first two trials, on the bridge to Helheim and you're looking for three runes. And you have to focus on a broken staircase to make it whole, and is it just me or is that a puzzle that kinda comes out of nowhere? It's not well established by sound or visual cues -- the voices do say "focus" if you're standing and looking right there, but there's not much to lead you to that point, or to previously suggest this is even a thing Senua can do. I would have liked a little more direction since this would be the first (only?) puzzle of its type. Is it just me who got stumped at that point? If so, what clues did I miss that others picked up on?

On a side note, can I say how cool it is that Senua is not a glamorous hottie, but a scared and suffering regular person dressed (I assume) historically accurately?

I think that mechanic is used one time in the Vagraven section, but it's easy to do it more or less on accident without realising it's an actual thing. I also had to run in circles for a good while until I noticed it.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




This is kind of an odd request but would someone happen to have a 100% lorestone savefile on Steam? I've been playing through the game again and I think I permanently missed one. Would that even work?

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




Weird thing about the lorestones, I missed one but I still got the scene with Druth that you're only supposed to get if you find all the lorestones.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


So do you guys think Senoa is actually up in the North, fighting dudes she perceives as demons, or is she just sitting in a chair in a hut somewhere tripping balls?

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




veni veni veni posted:

So do you guys think Senoa is actually up in the North, fighting dudes she perceives as demons, or is she just sitting in a chair in a hut somewhere tripping balls?

Ultimately I think what the game wants us to conclude is that everything Senua experiences on her journey is real, because from her own perspective there's no difference between perception and reality.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


Yeah. And that's why there is probably no good objective answer to that. I'm just curious what your take on it is.

I kind of felt like she actually went to this place and fought the men who killed dillian and we saw a heavily altered version of what actually went on, but after finishing I dunno. I think she could just be in the local looney bin. I guess us not knowing for sure is kind of the point though.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




My personal take on it is following the massacre of her village, a Celtic warrior reforged the great Hellblade Gramr, fought to the gates of Helheim, and bargained for the soul of her dead lover Dillion in exchange for joining Hela's army at Ragnarok.

Zerilan
Jan 11, 2008

I have to believe I can do this.





veni veni veni posted:

So do you guys think Senoa is actually up in the North, fighting dudes she perceives as demons, or is she just sitting in a chair in a hut somewhere tripping balls?

I think closer to the former just because thinking of it as the latter would take away from how physically draining the ordeal is for her.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Why can't it be both? She's tripping balls while fighting maybe-demons up in the north.

Octatonic
Sep 7, 2010



exquisite tea posted:

My personal take on it is following the massacre of her village, a Celtic warrior reforged the great Hellblade Gramr, fought to the gates of Helheim, and bargained for the soul of her dead lover Dillion in exchange for joining Hela's army at Ragnarok.

I agree with this. she was already half in the world of the dead, and while she has forsaken her gods, and bargained away her afterlife, she has also found something resembling peace on earth until then.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Zerilan posted:

I think closer to the former just because thinking of it as the latter would take away from how physically draining the ordeal is for her.

I guess you could say she was







































































































































Hela tired.

PantsBandit
Oct 26, 2007

it is both a monkey and a boombox


Just beat Surtr. That whole sequence was great. I feel like the shape-puzzles are pretty pointless though and don't really add anything to the game.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




PantsBandit posted:

Just beat Surtr. That whole sequence was great. I feel like the shape-puzzles are pretty pointless though and don't really add anything to the game.

They felt pointless because the game shows you exactly where to go. It would have been more fun if you could Focus to get a hint but otherwise had to actually find the shapes on your own, because some of the later ones required pretty clever thinking.

Bubbacub
Apr 17, 2001



Just finished the game. Some of the shape puzzles felt a little annoying, but overall they do a good job of pacing out the game between the combat and horror sequences.

The sound design alone made the 30 bucks worth it for me. That poo poo was intense.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




I definitely meant it when I said I'd have been happy to spend $60 on this, lord knows plenty of 8 hour $60 games are much worse, but pricing it at $30 hopefully means it'll sell better and we'll get HELLBLADE 2: SENUA'S GENOCIDE

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


Yeah I don't think it would have been a bad deal at $60, but for the type of game it is I think $30 is a much easier pill to swallow. I'm glad it was released at that or I probably would have waited or rented.

Mindblast
Jun 28, 2006

Moving at the speed of death.




Hellblade doesn't feel like the kind of title that needs a sequel. If they do it and pull it off then to them of course.

veni veni veni
Jun 5, 2005

We've never been into punk. It was too traditional.


I'm usually the guy arguing that a good game deserves a sequel, even if it doesn't need one (see:TLOU) but I think Hellblade only works as a one time thing.

That said, I'm super on board for any future Ninja theory passion projects.

veni veni veni fucked around with this message at 06:13 on Aug 14, 2017

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

Yeah, I would much rather see a different story in the same medium than a sequel. Senua's journey is so personal and complete it would be hard to extend it in a way that felt good and not cheap. A good idea for a sequel would be one where the protagonist is Senua's Daughter. A character who has her own issues, different problems, and is trying to find her own place in the world. It would both give us an implied happy ending for Senua, that she was able to get her life together and have a family, and be a good setup for a slightly different feel.

A sequel that's just "your character hears voices and you're on a quest" would feel really cheap. Senua's quest was such tragic and personal one, it's not the sort of thing that a human one-ups in their life. Turning her in to a video-game protagonist who has a bigger adventure every sequel would cheapen it.

A lot of Senua's emotional trauma is related to the lost of her mother. Misplaced blame, suppressed memory, guilt. A game where you played as Senua's daughter could explore an opposite dynamic. One where Senua's daughter feels like she is living in the shadow of her mother's legend. Senua's father made her believe she was cursed, and that she had inherited the curse the from her mother. Senua's daughter might feel that no matter what she does, she can never live up to the image of her mother.

In terms of Hellblade's story, I think that Senua absolutely went to the Norse land of the dead and slew several gods in combat. I think that, due to the nature of supernatural journeys, hell was a reflection of her personal torments, and so even though her quest to enter Helheim and confront Hela was deeply reflective of her own personal trauma, it was no delusion. I like to think that the underworld manifesting her insecurities allowed her to conquer them, rather than "her journey is a manifestation of her conquering her fears"

But in terms of this hypothetical sequel, Senua's story would be a legend, even in her lifetime. Senua is this larger than life hero who slew gods to avenge the Northmen's raids.

I haven't really though much farther than that. In general, I don't want a sequel. I want other experiences this good. I just said all that stuff because that's the only kind of sequel I could imagine. "Senua kills more poo poo" just doesn't hold any appeal for me.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I think any potential sequel would risk gamifying the various elements that all come together in Hellblade for the sake of pointless feature creep. People would expect a longer play time, more varied combat, more challenging puzzles, and at that point are you really trying to tell a story or turn Senua's psychosis into Detective Vision with voices? I think Ninja Theory for their part were very thoughtful in beating down any shred of video gameyness where it would normally arise. Even limiting the number and frequency of combat encounters was a purposeful decision. Senua has already lived a deeply tragic life, so setting her off on another psychotic episode so that we get to play Hellblade 2 seems petty and cruel. There will be no more stories after this one.

Snak
Oct 10, 2005

I myself will carry you to the Gates of Valhalla...
You will ride eternal,
shiny and chrome.


Grimey Drawer

I agree.

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011


It seems all bosses have an attack that if parried, knocks them out for long enough to hit them with 3-4 full combos. At least the bird and the dog, didn't try with the fire dude since nothing he did was even remotely threatening if not right in front of him.
valravn: anime flying spin
surtr: ???
fenrir: rear up and overhead slam with forelimbs
I did the rematch against the three of them at the same time by having the other two basically permanently on the ground while I circlestrafed surtr

Unrelated weird thing:
getting killed in the torch section reduced my permadeath meter to 25% or so, apparently getting eaten by an invisible dog is therapeutic I guess?

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




To me it seemed like the ending was directly setting up a sequel, though I do share the concerns that it might not be as good.

Torpor
Oct 20, 2008

lmao look at that dead muslim

love da' troops!

I like how I ended up running around the dog level obsessively lighting every torch I could find so the invisible dog wouldn't get me. I am fairly sure you don't need to do that.

I think the Rune finding game would have been improved if you could find anything closely resembling the rune in the environment to count. Although that would probably be a god tier level of programming.

Torpor fucked around with this message at 20:16 on Aug 14, 2017

haveblue
Aug 15, 2005





Toilet Rascal

I don' think it's setting up a sequel. Her singular motivation, around which the whole story and character were built, has been resolved. The darkness is still there but she's reached a sort of detente with it so it's not an interesting conflict any more.

Torpor posted:

I like how I ended up running around the dog level obsessively lighting every torch I could find so the invisible dog wouldn't get me. I am fairly sure you don't need to do that.

After an hour of running around the maze slowly convincing myself that the monster didn't actually exist and that Senua was "dying" by succumbing to fear of darkness and myths amplified by her issues, the moment where you suddenly see that it *is* real and coming after her was legit terrifying.

Torpor
Oct 20, 2008

lmao look at that dead muslim

love da' troops!

haveblue posted:

After an hour of running around the maze slowly convincing myself that the monster didn't actually exist and that Senua was "dying" by succumbing to fear of darkness and myths amplified by her issues, the moment where you suddenly see that it *is* real and coming after her was legit terrifying.

I don't think we are disagreeing or anything, but for clarity's sake, you need the light and the hand held torch, but there are stationary torches that you can choose to light up. I think the vast majority of them are red herrings and only a few times does lighting braziers/torches factor into the puzzle solving. The torch you have is plenty of light to keep the dog away, but for some reason I felt the need/requirement to light the braziers just because. I am fairly sure that is the psychological pressure the designers were hoping for. I think a few parts of the depictions of mental illness only seem to be obvious upon later reflection or if you think about how you would describe the scene to someone else. Partly I think this is because the mechanics are not so far off of other video game mechanics.

I think the game designers screwed up by including the description of the rot mechanic using authoritative letters on the screen rather than your inner voices describing that the rot is spreading and if it gets to your head you will die, although that is a hard idea to communicate without breaking the 4th wall in the way they did. The fact that the thing doesn't apparently actually delete your save game is not entirely internally inconsistent with Senua's other mental issues. I wouldn't be surprised if there were people out there with a delusion where they think there is a type of corruption spreading in their bodies that will kill them. Itll be interesting to see if the apparent brokenness of that is a bug or not


Choosing to not have a HUD but then have your loving achievements pop up on screen with stupid names attached to them is goofy as gently caress.

precision
May 7, 2006

Gonna have me some good friends around
Gonna have me some good times in town




Torpor posted:

Choosing to not have a HUD but then have your loving achievements pop up on screen with stupid names attached to them is goofy as gently caress.

I don't think developers have a choice in that matter, at least not on PS4. It's why I've had the "Trophy Alert" turned off forever.

Has anyone figured out if anything happens if you just keep fighting infinitely at the end?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I played through the game again to get all the lorestones. Here are some little touches I noticed the second time around:


- When Senua lights the sacrificial altars in Surt's area, you can see brief flashes of Galena burning at the stake.
- The ground in Surt's area pulses with Senua's breathing, slowing up or down with her heartrate.
- It's suggested that Senua was able to sense the plague in the water before all the other townspeople were infected.
- The Shadow is the element of Senua's psyche that represents her hatred and rage. She silences it during her self-exile in the woods but it returns upon seeing Dillion's corpse.
- Druth's secret monologue about a "man in black" betraying Senua's tribe to the Northmen might implicate Zynbel, her father.
- Every input after a perfect parry leads to a different attack from the normal animation. Light gives Senua a spinning attack that combos into any normal string, Heavy is an uppercut with a knockdown, and Melee leads into a cool-looking shoulder bash.
- In addition to breaking an opponent's guard, Senua's left hook melee is a good way to extend combos. An easy one for example is LL M HH.

  • Locked thread