The Pile Of Shame – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Ash has some explaining to do.
Welcome back, once again, to Ash’s Pile of Shame series, where he sticks his hand into his mountain of unplayed games and finds some forgotten gems. Well, gems he’s forgotten about at least, despite protests from literally everyone.
If you read last week’s article, he spoke about Resident Evil 7 and how he was going to play that this week. You might have already noticed that this isn’t a RE7 article, and there’s a good reason for that. We’ll let him explain.
So this past week has been a learning experience for me, the lesson being “don’t promise something you can’t actually deliver upon”. I promised that I’d face up to my fears, play Resident Evil 7 and report back on how much of a massive coward I am, and I had every intention of doing that. The Xbox, however, had every intention of fucking it up.
As it turns out, the disc drive on my Xbox One decided to only read the games it wanted to read. ONRUSH, RE7, Devil May Cry HD Collection and Deadpool, to name but a few games, are now unreadable to my Xbox, but Fallout 4 and Tekken 7 worked with no issues. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why that’s the case, but there you go.
With the large majority of my Pile of Shame games being disc titles on the Xbox, the decision was made to send the old girl off for a repair at my local CEX shop. Figured I may as well try and fix the issue instead of just splurging for a new Xbox, but if they can’t sort my Xbox out, I won’t have much of a choice.
And I know what you’re thinking. “Ash, last week you said you were absolutely shit scared of playing Resident Evil 7, but now you expect us to believe that as soon as you start trying to play it, you find out your Xbox is broke? A likely story. You’re just another gaming writer who’s a massive liar. Go write for IGN, you bellend.” So look. Here’s the bloody receipt.
Still, this left me in a little bit of a predicament. Aside from heading to a friend’s house and stealing their Xbox, I’d be unable to play RE7 and, as such, would be unable to produce an article for this week. It was suggested that I could put the series on hold, but we need that precious content.
A friend also suggested buying the game on PS4, which wasn’t a bad idea, but again, the Xbox needed fixing eventually. Better to get the repairs of the way now, especially with the gaming blitzkrieg known as the last four months of the year looming large on the horizon.
So, here’s the deal: we’ll return to RE7 as soon as my Xbox returns, or I have to buy a new one, and until then, we’ll talk about other games. Sounds good? Alright, let’s start by talking a little bit about Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Releasing a year ago to the day this past Wednesday, Hellblade came out when I had more money than time, as opposed to now where I have no money or time. In fact, it released on the same day as Lawbreakers of all games, both of which got positive reviews from us. Naturally, I purchased them both, but only ended up playing Lawbreakers, proving to the world I know how to back the right horse.
On paper, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is everything I would want. Developed by Ninja Theory, who created the underrated Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, along with the unfairly lambasted DmC, I knew that the gameplay would be in good hands. Their mantra of delivering a triple-A experience for an affordable price also meant I had to support them on principle.
Even more promising was how main character Senua would be portrayed, as she struggles with mental health issues. Due to the fantasy setting of the game, she believes her battle with psychosis to be a curse, as she deals with both the “Darkness” and the voices in her head known as “Furies”. Games don’t often approach the subject of mental health, but to do so in this unique way is remarkable.
Unfortunately, as this series is proving time and time again, your boy is a piece of shit and just forgot about the game entirely. In that same month alone, you also had Absolver, Yakuza Kiwami and Everybody’s Golf, all 3 of which were covered by me right here. I hate to play the old time excuse, but it does seem like life and a hectic game release schedule got in my way in this instance.
Now that Hellblade is over a year old, and my four year old Xbox decided to break on me, now seems like a perfect time see what Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has to offer. At the very least, I own this game digitally, so we shouldn’t have any problems in playing.