Suffering From Secondhand Psychosis

boxartTis 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 4
“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 1
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 2
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 3
Definitely heavy on the Norse mythology! I must find all of these… I also wish I could summon Odin.
hellblade 5
The facial animations are as spectacular as everyone says! No, I’m not making fun of Mass Effect Andromeda by saying that.
hellblade 6
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.


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.

Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
-Check out Power Bomb Attack’s awesome review of this game! This is what sold me on it.
-I really hope a certain WordPress Goddess of Wisdom does an article on this game and/or psychosis so I can learn more. *cough* AmbiGaming *cough*

Thanks for reading!


42 thoughts on “Suffering From Secondhand Psychosis

  1. This game is interesting. Mental illness is a big thing, but people don’t talk about it. Where I am from, I see it all the time. It must be the gloomy weather. Good luck on platinum trophy. I used to be a trophy hunter too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fifteen trophies doesn’t seem like a lot. Usually when a title has few trophies they don’t include a platinum. Good luck on getting them all. Just be aware that few trophies doesn’t mean that are necessarily easy to earn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for the shout out! Glad you enjoyed my review that much to try this out. It really is a stand out experience isn’t it?

    I also thought the same, when will AmbiGaming write about this one? Seems right up her alley 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It was interesting to read your thoughts on this game. I don’t know if it is one I’ll ever have the time or desire to play but I look forward to hearing how you feel about it once you beat it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This seems like the kind of game I would have played before I got my current job. My free time is limited now to where I can only play games I’m sure I’ll really like or else I regret spending the time on it and so taking a chance on a game that is kind of out there or a little different has become really hard. With that said, I’m very glad you are taking a chance on it and that is why I look forward to your review 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve had this one on the list since I heard about it. Not sure if I entirely agree with the way it’s portraying psychosis, but I’m not an expert in it either and it is really interesting to run into a game that actually seriously explores it and doesn’t just use it as a shallow character tic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honestly not sure how to describe it. It’s very slow and methodical with puzzles to solve in the environment. Combat is rare but in real time, and very hard for me. The first boss killed me so many times, haha. I’m terrible…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Norse mythology? Strong female protagonist troubled by her own inner voice?? Using psychosis as the driving force behind the game’s narrative???

    Sign me the hell up!

    First Horizon: Zero Dawn and now this game… Damnit Light, I’m gonna be broke by the end of this year thanks to your awesome suggestions 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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