Hellblade announced for PS4, from Heavenly Sword studio Ninja Theory

The team behind DmC and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West unveils its new title

Hi, my name is Dom Matthews and I’m the Product Development Ninja at Ninja Theory. It’s a great pleasure to be posting on PlayStation Blog to tell you about our new game Hellblade, which has just been announced at the PlayStation Gamescom press conference.

For those who aren’t aware of Ninja Theory, we are the UK based developer that created DmC: Devil May Cry, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavenly Sword.


Over the course of the last 14 years we’ve developed three key strengths that define our games: ninja-class combat, strong character stories and a unique art vision. In our new digital game, Hellblade, we want to take these three key strengths to the next level. Hellblade will be an experience focused on delivering a deep character in a twisted world, with brutal uncompromising combat.

We’re calling Hellblade an “Independent AAA” game, by which we mean that it will be developed and published independently but with all the quality and production values of any AAA game on the market.


Why have we chosen to self-publish this game? Certain types of game are very difficult to make for AAA retail without being watered down or otherwise compromised for a mass audience. This is especially true of sword-based combat games or games of a distinctive style or unusual subject matter. We want to make a smaller, more focused game experience that is uncompromising in its combat, art and story, and deliver this digitally at a lower price.

The announcement trailer that we’ve just released is intended to give you a taste of the AAA quality that we’re planning on delivering and to also introduce you to the Hellblade world, which is based on Celtic myth. The trailer is focused on Senua, Hellblade’s protagonist as she embarks on a very personal journey through a hellish underworld.


We have announced the game unusually early. This is a deliberate move: we want to share our development journey with you, the fans; to develop Hellblade right in front of your eyes so you can see just how we go about making games.

At the heart of this is, where you can find the latest from development. Throughout the project we’ll be sharing developer diaries, concept art, design documents, tutorials and work-in-progress of the game being put together. If you hop over to now you’ll see some concept art from Hellblade as well as an introduction video to the project. You’ll also see a lot more information about “Independent AAA”, and in the spirit of openness, we’ve posted a lot of documentation on a couple of Ninja Theory games that were planned, but never made it into production.


To finish my post, I want to say that it is incredibly exciting for me and the team at Ninja Theory to be creating Hellblade. Hellblade is being made for our fans. Fans of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved and DmC: Devil May Cry. If any of our games have found a special place in your heart, then our aim is that Hellblade will too.

You can follow the Hellblade journey at, @ninjatheory on twitter and at


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21 Comments 0 Author replies
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orbital3000 12 August, 2014 @ 7:19 pm   1

WOW. I’ve been with you since Heavenly Sword and I’ve loved all of your games – the amount of heart and passion in them always shines through and this looks no different. I’m excited by the fact that you won’t have anyone to answer to, with no “watering down”.

I can’t wait to play this and will be following it eagerly 🙂


That has to be Kai from Heavenly Sword. . . Hell Blade would be the opposite so I am assuming we are really dealing with Heavenly Sword II:HellBlade. If that’s the case when can I pre-order?

    extermin8or_ 12 August, 2014 @ 7:52 pm    

    It looks that way doesn’t it but sony published heavenly sword and own the ip so clearly it’s meant to look that way and likely feel that way when played but for copyright reasons etc they’ve called it something else and likely the characters will be ‘new’


When will first gameplay or screenshots be shown?


I imagine the real reason why this game is self-published and “Independent AAA” is because no publisher was willing to take a chance on a new IP from you guys, given your last 3 releases didn’t exactly sell like hot cakes.

I do hope you can find success with Hellblade though, Ninja Theory is a very talented outfit that will undoubtedly strike gold if you keep making the great experiences you have been.

    No necessarily. As they mentioned on Twitter, this simply could be a new idea how to create cheaper AAA titles. And if you don’t need someone to finance you a small budget game, why should you share your revenue , leave the IP in foreign hands and add the burden that the publisher will express his own expectations?

    shamin83 13 August, 2014 @ 4:44 pm    

    And just to chime in independent games have a lot less development restrictions example their not forced into deadlines for release or their not forced to tone the game down for the majority

    in fact independently developed games have become very popular on pc , so would love more games on consoles to be made like this .

    and those games usually have a lot more love and passion poured into them.

    shamin83 13 August, 2014 @ 4:50 pm    

    Really hope this have strong attribute / skill development and of course decent combat .

    especially as they don’t need to appease to some guy in a black suit.


so hack en slash ?
heavenly sword was good buth to short live span
enslaved = not a+++ game
dmc = dificult ting to do when 1 st games where icone to gamers

dark_angel69 12 August, 2014 @ 8:33 pm   6

This game is looking great! You’ve caught my eye. Loved Enslaved: Odyssey to the West sooo much!! Played it so many times and never got sick of it. Shamely I never got Heavenly Sword even tho I played the demo and loved it. Kept meaning to get round to it but over time something else always came along, until it came to the point trophies got released. But will certainly be watching this game closely!

Crazy_Vantage 12 August, 2014 @ 9:59 pm   7

Looked very, very interesting – I was doubly interested after finding out you guys were behind Heavenly Sword! I’m not sure if you’re replying to comments on this post but if you are – is this going to be a third person action game? I sort of understand the concept you’re going for but you haven’t given us anything to really go on about what kind of a *game* this is going to be.

Stonesthrow 12 August, 2014 @ 11:04 pm   8

Could almost instantly tell this was a new Ninja theory game. They have a distinct character art, there’s something about the eyes (which always seem a bit “big” to me in their games, for some reason) and overall facial animations that instantly reminds me of them. Not a major fan of this studio, but I keep their projects in mind.
Nice music for this trailer.

Please tell me Andy Serkis is in this game! btw, it looks like Nariko and Kai had a baby!

Royston99 13 August, 2014 @ 8:20 am   10

As soon as the trailer started, I knew it was the new Ninja Theory game. Loved Heavenly Sword, shame the rumoured trilogy that was set out hasn’t seen the light of day.

Cant help but notice the character style looks remarkably like an older Kai (I know its not Kai), and the fact that this too is based on another divine sword, that this is spiritually Heavenly Sword. Heck, even the title follows that sort of pattern: HellBlade… Heavenly Sword… One can dream I guess lol 🙂

Looking forward to this though either way!


I hope that will be four great games in a row!


Have to say one of the only games I saw last night that actually caught my attention. Enslaved was a superb game, as was Heavenly Sword (although a little short). Please don’t make this too “dark” though I’m sick to death of all the dark gore that seems to be all the rage at the moment. Sure make it gothic, but give it some flare and colour, do that and you’ve got a definite purchase from me.


woohoo! So glad DmC wasn’t the last we’ve seen of NT’s epic class of games. 🙂

Kinda seems like Heavenly Sword, DmC, and Hellblade are a trilogy.. Heaven, Limbo, and Hell

geddesmond2 13 August, 2014 @ 7:57 pm   14

They had me at Celtic myth. Huge fan of Celtic mythology and always wondered why not many people explore these stories in film and gaming. About time.

silversham 15 August, 2014 @ 11:13 am   15

this looks really good. hi 5!!

xEU_EXTREMZz_99x 15 August, 2014 @ 6:24 pm   16

Looks like the story is going to be epic

qRocksteadyq 19 August, 2014 @ 7:32 pm   17

important to be able to choose what to do and had a lot of ways to develop the story