One of the best VR games I’ve played is on sale this weekend for under $5! Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an action adventure with stunning graphics, excellent acting and a compelling story. I originally got this game for $29.99 and this week it’s on sale for just $4.49 (85% discount — Update: on sale again until December 11)! Better yet, for that price you get both the VR and non-VR versions of the game. The catch is that you’ll need PC VR to play the VR version. Fortunately, getting into PC VR has never been easier. Here’s a PCVR beginner’s guide for Quest.
More about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice:
Originally released by Ninja Theory (makers of Devil May Cry) in 2017, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is about a Celtic warrior who is on a quest to rescue her dead lover’s soul from the underworld. To do so, she will have to defeat three gods. She will need to use her swordsmanship to battle ogres, as well as her gift of psychic vision to find secrets and solve puzzles.
But she’s also suffering from psychosis, so her mind also plays tricks on her. She hears voices and imagines things. The game is best played with headphones, which let you hear the many voices taunting her, sowing doubt, fear, despair, but occasionally, also hope.
The game is not an adrenaline-filled hack and slash action game, but more of a psychological drama adventure that has action elements. Much of the game consists of solving visual puzzles where you search for patterns of runes in her environment. They often require you to get a different perspective, which parallels how the game invites you to step into the shoes of someone struggling with psychosis. As she battles monsters, you understand that she is also battling her inner demons.
Here’s a 3D 360 screenshot from the game. To view this in 3D 360, view this webpage from the Quest browser then click on the Google Cardboard icon.
VR version and non-VR version
As I mentioned, you get both the non-VR and VR version of the game. Both versions are in third person view. I really like how it differs from other VR games which are almost always in first-person view. In Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, this perspective lets you follow the action like an invisible companion. There are even options to adjust the height and scale of the perspective, such as a giant’s perspective where you see the action like a diorama. I found that the default perspective places the camera a bit too low, making Senua appear too tall in VR. I recommend adjusting the height so that the camera is at her eye level.
In the VR version, the game can be controlled with Quest controllers, but it is best played with a gamepad such as the Xbox controller or Playstation Dualshock controller.
Note: at the beginning, when you get the message about centering the headset, you need to press the End key on your keyboard.
RATING: 5/5 STARS.