Suffering From Secondhand Psychosis

Caution – This post contains spoilers for the beginnings of Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice. Some people like going into games knowing as little as possible (like me) so just thought I’d give you fair warning!

Wannabe Writer’s Note: This first impressions article was originally posted on my old website on October 2, 2017. Enjoy my past self’s unedited ramblings!

Hellblade First Impressions 1

Tis the season for spooky things so why not try out this creepy looking game everyone’s talking about, eh? Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice has been on my radar for a while now. It’s cheap and I’ve heard great things… I’ll likely be playing Dragon Age Origins until the end of time, but I decided what the Hel, and started this much shorter game anyway.

The Road to Helheim

I’ve spent about 2 hours with Senua before the voices in my own head decided it was time to stop playing. Ninja Theory has created something quite fascinating here. I’ve always had an armchair interest in psychology so I love all the research the developers did to make sure they portrayed psychosis in a believable way. It’s traumatizing and it has made me “what the hell is going on here??” more than any JRPG ever could. From what I gather, Senua is on an important quest in Norse mythology land, that may or may not all be in her head… probably? Disturbing things happen a lot, erratic voices constantly doubt her, her body seems to be rotting slowly… I can’t really explain it, but I’m enjoying it. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever played before.

Hellblade First Impressions 2
“Bravery only means something to those afraid of death.”

From my brief time in poor Senua’s shoes, I can only imagine how awful it must be to suffer from psychosis in real life. Mental disorders are devastating, but very hard for other people to see and understand. People who suffer with the more obvious ones are often just slapped with the demeaning “crazy” label and shunned by most of society. By creating an interactive video game experience based on actual medical data, it gives everyone a glimpse into the hell people with psychosis are living in every day. A little understanding goes a long way in helping people cope with tough issues.

Here’s a few screenshots of my journey thus far. Words alone aren’t really capable of describing this experience:

Hellblade First Impressions 3
This is all I’ll say about the plot – You start off on a boat to the creepy land of fog, and there’s mental health & historical professionals in the opening credits.
Hellblade First Impressions 4
Voices… always voices. They doubt you, argue, tell stories. Some could be her… some are other people. It’s unnerving and interesting all at the same time.
Hellblade First Impressions 5
Definitely heavy on the Norse mythology! I must find all of these… I also wish I could summon Odin.
Hellblade First Impressions 6
The facial animations are as spectacular as everyone says! No, I’m not making fun of Mass Effect Andromeda by saying that.
Hellblade First Impressions 7
Not very much combat so far, but when it happens – wow! It’s very tense, simple, and fun slashing monsters(?) with her sword, while the voices call her a failure or tell her when to dodge.

Overall Goals

If I’m brave enough, my plan is to try and get the Platinum Trophy for this. There are only 15 trophies so it seems doable! Wish me luck… the voices in my head sure aren’t.

⚡Thanks for reading!⚡

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!


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I'm a wannabe writer and an avid video gamer with a slight (okay, maybe extreme) Amiibo addiction. I'm from the coastal province of Nova Scotia in Canada, eh. When I'm not gaming, I have a steady job thing I have to go to. It pays for the gaming thing though. :)

7 thoughts on “Suffering From Secondhand Psychosis”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed this post. With video games I love how the boundaries are being pushed and more representation is being shown. Most of the heroes in video games are either all good or have a few flaws. Introducing a game with medical conditions that people do suffer with gives an outlet and form of representation to those who would not speak up. Great post!

    -Luna 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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