The upcoming adventure game, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, delves deep into the life of Senua, a warrior grappling with the effects of psychosis in her daily struggles. This unique storyline aims to portray the complexities of living with psychosis and how it distorts one’s perception of reality. Ninja Theory, the game developer behind the project, has been dedicated to representing this condition with utmost accuracy and sensitivity.

Ninja Theory has collaborated closely with Neuroscience specialist Paul Fletcher from the University of Cambridge for nearly a decade. This long-term partnership has allowed the team to gain valuable insights and knowledge about psychosis, its manifestations, and the challenges faced by individuals affected by it. Additionally, the studio has worked in direct collaboration with the RCE Wellbeing Hub to deepen their understanding of psychosis and address the surrounding stigma.

Avoiding Simplification and Embracing Education

Unlike many other portrayals in media, Ninja Theory is committed to avoiding a simplistic depiction of psychosis in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. The studio aims to steer clear of presenting psychosis as a mere “mechanic” within the game’s narrative. Instead, they hope that their portrayal of the condition and its impact on Senua’s journey will serve as a thought-provoking and educational experience for players. By shedding light on the complexities of psychosis, the game seeks to challenge stereotypes and promote empathy.

To further support their objective of raising awareness and understanding, Ninja Theory has announced a special live event centered around the research and development of the game. In collaboration with Cambridge Neuroscience, the studio will host “Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind,” a livestream event scheduled for April 9, 2024, PT/ET. This event will provide audiences with an in-depth look at the meticulous research and thought processes that have shaped the depiction of psychosis in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2.

Through its intricate storytelling and immersive gameplay, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 has the potential to offer a profound and enlightening experience for players. By tackling a complex and often misunderstood subject like psychosis, Ninja Theory is paving the way for a more empathetic and inclusive gaming landscape. As the game industry continues to evolve, projects like this demonstrate the power of storytelling in fostering greater understanding and compassion for individuals facing mental health challenges.

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