New Hellblade video shows off a unique approach to performance capture

Ninja Theory offers an update on its forthcoming PS4 fantasy adventure

Hello, Dominic Matthews here from Ninja Theory (@ninjatheory). As a studio we strive to create believable characters that you as a player care about. A week doesn’t go by without us receiving a letter or email from someone telling us that they’ve been moved by our characters. This fills us with a great sense of pride. In Hellblade, our upcoming PlayStation 4 title, we will take you on the harrowing journey Senua; a Celtic warrior plunged into hell. It is important to us that we represent Senua and her story honestly and believably.

Fundamental to our approach is using performance capture to bring our characters to life. Performance capture is a technology that we pioneered in the development of our 2007 PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavenly Sword and one that we are continuing to use, and evolve, in Hellblade.

Today we are sharing a new development diary video focused on Hellblade’s unique performance capture approach. This is the 10th episode in our development diary series, through which we are we are documenting Hellblade’s creation as it happens.

The small glimpse of the cinematic scene that you saw at the end of the development diary is from our Vertical Slice that we are currently busy finalising. Our Vertical Slice is a small section of the game that we are taking to a finished, polished state. It is in the Vertical Slice development phase that we have discovered exactly what the Hellblade experience is, bringing together the results of our prototyping and realising the creative vision in-game for the first time.

We’ll be sharing much more of the Vertical Slice in the next few months, showing Hellblade gameplay for the first time and revealing more about Senua’s story.

You can follow Hellblade and our open development at, follow on twitter @ninjatheory and through our Facebook page at We may even see some of you in the Los Angeles sunshine in the not so distant future!

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This is looking incredible. I always feel like big AAA projects with hundreds of people working on it lose a bit of the magic of, say, a small indie title. So I’m extremely excited for Hellblade… AAA scale and small development team? I’m sold.

Good Luck, Ninja Theory!

I hobble stuff together A Team style all the time!

Kinda makes me wanna play banjo kazooie Nut n Bolts :)

residentSteve 29 April, 2015 @ 10:08

What nuts and bolts is an awful game compared to the 1st two.

Shankelstoff 27 April, 2015 @ 19:45

As a small group of friends just starting up our own “studio”, this is very inspirational :)
Can’t wait for the game!


Very cool video. Smart usage of resources is smart.

Very fascinating and innovative insight into problem solving and resource management for HellBlade. I really hope this works out for Ninja Theory.

This is really interesting. Keep them coming please.

Also, man i still can’t get past the reality that you are so few but are still managing to show us such luscious material.

I like how @ninjatheory are taking this whole open approach about creating this game to the public, reading the OPM feature on the making of hellblade gives me a lot of confidence about hellblade.


I appreciate any information I can get about this game!

I love how they evolved and created their own equipment. Impressive

CluckNuggets 28 April, 2015 @ 11:41

The Hellblade video woke me up a bit. I really take motion capture, animation and cutscenes for granted. Seeing how difficult it is and how hard everyone has to work gives me more respect for games studios. Great video.

It sounds kind of crazy what you do, but I love it.

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