‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’ Studio Has No Plans to Support VR for Upcoming Sequel

Ninja Theory, the studio behind award-winning VR-supported game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017), says there are currently no plans to bring its upcoming sequel to VR.

Unlike the first game, which brought PC VR support in a free update in 2018, it doesn’t appear we should hold out hope for a similar release for the upcoming sequel Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.

According to a PCGamesN interview with Ninja Theory, studio head Dom Matthews was asked directly if such a VR update was in the cards, which was met with an unambiguous “no.”

Coming to PC and Xbox consoles on May 21st, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II promises a fateful return of protagonist Senua as she continues her brutal journey of survival, this time taking her to Viking-era Iceland where she battles demons from both within and without.

Hearing we shouldn’t expect official VR support anytime soon (or at all) is a shame, since the first was such an amazing way to experience the game. But all is not lost.

Notably, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is built in Unreal Engine 5, which will likely allow would-be modders to inject UEVR, which brings retroactive VR support to games like Palworld among many other UE4 and UE5-based titles not initially built for VR.

There’s also the more remote possibility the studio decides to follow suit and release VR support sometime later like it did with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, releasing it as a free update one year after the game’s initial launch—although that seems somewhat doubtful.

Much has changed since 2018—back when PC VR was essentially the only way to experience high-quality VR. Generally speaking, development on PC VR titles has taken a back seat as the glut of consumers has since moved on to standalone platforms such as Quest 2 and 3. Those platforms typically require developers to rebuild games entirely to fit mobile chipsets, which is a time (and money) consuming process.

Justifying those billing hours to bring its new and shiny sequel even to PC VR may simply not be in the budget for now, as the studio is undoubtedly focused on making sure its sequel makes a bigger splash with its core audience than the BAFTA award-winning original.

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The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 29/07/18

The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 29/07/18

It’s a great week to be a PC VR owner. We’ve finally got a bunch of releases here that aren’t just shooters and puzzle games but instead genuinely deep and meaningful experiences.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition, from Ninja Theory
Price: $29.99 (Rift, Vive)

The VR port of one of last year’s best games, announced as a surprise release last week, is now available. In this engrossing exploration of mental health, you follow Senua on her journey to save her lover from death. Hellblade is dark and uncompromising but also an incredible display of high-end VR gaming that shouldn’t be missed.

Pixel Ripped 1989, from Arvore Immersive Experiences
Price: $24.99 (Rift, Vive, Windows)

A long-awaited VR nostalgia trip is finally here. In Pixel Ripped, you visit different scenes in the life of a young gamer playing through their favorite fictional gaming series. You play through various levels of these games on a virtual handheld console whilst also interacting with the real world. It’s an amazing idea and Pixel Ripped has plenty of charm.

Anamorphine, from Artifact 5
Price: $19.99 (Rift, Vive)

Another game focusing on mental health, Anamorphine follows a couple’s battle with depression after a tragic accident leaves one of them unable to play their beloved instrument. The game’s completely narrative-driven and has some interesting ideas, but poor VR optimization and some misjudged story-beats leave it feeling cold.

Moon Strike, from Big Dork Entertainment
Price: $19.99 (Rift, Vive)

A new take on the real-time strategy genre for VR. Moon Strike sees you commanding space-based battles with motion controllers and a fleet of ships at your finger-tips. Seize control of planets and blow up the enemy in fast-fire battles.

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Get 40% Off Hellblade As VR Version Launches Today

Get 40% Off Hellblade As VR Version Launches Today

The verdict is in: Hellblade VR is a triumph. Ninja Theory’s BAFTA-winning adventure was already worth your time on a flat screen, but it soars in VR and is simply unmissable if you own an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Good news, then: you can currently pick it up for almost half the price.

The original version of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is on sale on the Humble Store for the next week priced at $17.99/£14.99. That’s 40% off of the original price of $29.99/£24.99. Crucially, you can claim the game on Steam, meaning you’ll still get the free VR update when it goes live later today.

We loved what Ninja Theory did with Hellblade VR, calling it a “remarkable achievement in visual and sound design.”

“It’s a great example of how to port a non-VR third-person action game to the immersive realm of HMDs that not only stays true to the source material, but enhances the experience in meaningful ways,” Games Editor David Jagneaux wrote. “If you haven’t played Hellblade before, there is no better time than now and if you have, then this is an engrossing way to re-experience Senua’s journey from a new perspective.”

Elsewhere, Ninja Theory also confirmed that anyone that picked the game up on GOG instead of Steam will also be getting the VR version free. Yay!

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Hellblade VR Livestream: Venturing Deep Into The Human Mind

Hellblade VR Livestream: Venturing Deep Into The Human Mind

Tomorrow, Hellblade’s official VR support releases (for free to all current and future owners of the base game) on Steam for Rift and Vive. It requires a beefy PC to run and we’re checking it out live right here pre-release today on our livestream. Having played the non-VR game a year ago when it first released, I’m extremely excited to see this support revealed.

In Hellblade you take on the role of Senua on a harrowing Celtic journey into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of a lost lover. Through the adventure you battle demons of the physical, mental, and illusory variety as voices, hallucinations, and more see you stumble deep into madness. Hellblade was already one of the most immersive and atmospheric games ever made and VR really amps that up even more.

We’ll be livestreaming Hellblade VR on PC today using an Oculus Rift with a PS4 controller plugged into the PC starting very soon as of the time this is being published (which means we’ll start at approximately 12:00 PM PT) and aim to last for about an hour or so. We’ll be livestreaming directly to the UploadVR Facebook page. You can see the full stream embedded right here down below once it’s up:

Hellblade VR Livestream

Hellblade gets full VR support tomorrow and we're playing it a day early! This is a full VR version of Ninja Theory's award-winning psychological thriller action game.Read our full review at UploadVR.com soon!

Posted by UploadVR on Monday, July 30, 2018

You can see our archived streams all in this one handy Livestream playlist over on the official UploadVR YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to by the way). All future and current streams will be on Facebook, which you can see a list of here.

Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and what you want to see us do, specifically, in Hellblade VR or other VR games. Comment with feedback down below!

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Ninja Theory Confirms No PlayStation VR Version of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice gained masses of critical praise when it was launched last year, gathering up a loyal fanbase as it did so. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice won acclaim due to its beautiful visuals and compelling storytelling. So excitement was high when a virtual reality (VR) version was announced just yesterday.

However, as always, not everyone is going to be happy. Those amazing visuals are deeply impressive to come from such a small studio, but they do come with a cost. In this case, users will need a high-end PC rig to run the title in VR, which sadly means it isn’t possible for it to run in VR mode on the PlayStation VR.

The developers at Ninja Theory confirmed the worst fears of PlayStation VR owners on Twitter, where a developer diary was posted, which explained that the demands of the graphics engine and the additional requirements of VR means that the PlayStation 4, even the PlayStation 4 Pro, just lacks the grunt to deliver what Ninja Theory would consider a satisfying experience.

Many people took to Twitter to express disappointment, which quite a few questioning why it was possible for a title as massive as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR to be on PlayStation VR, while Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice couldn’t. Other commenters were quick to point out the age of the graphical engine involved, and to remind people of just how small Ninja Theory was as a studio.

As has already been stated, the hardware requirements for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are quite hefty, where most VR PC titles can quite happily run on an NVIDIA 1060, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice requires a minimum of a NVIDIA 1080 or AMD Radeon 580 in order to run.

Regardless, the VR version of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is still a great achievement, and users of the HTC Vive and Oculus rift will get the chance to follow Senua’s journey in VR from 31st July, 2018.

Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice

For future coverage of new and upcoming VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition Coming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

Having wowed audiences at events like SIGGRAPH in 2016 Ninja Theory launched its critically acclaimed adventure  Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for PC in the summer of 2017. Today, in a surprise announcement the studio has confirmed a virtual reality (VR) version will be released this month.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice VRMaking the announcement via Twitter, Ninja Theory said that a Oculus Rift and HTC Vive versions would be released on 31st July, 2018. For owners of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice the VR edition will be free – it’s currently retailing for £24.99 GBP on Steam.

In addition to the announcement the studio also released a developer diary (seen below) giving further details about the VR edition and how it came to be. Some of the more interesting information contained in the video concerns the actual specifications of the PC to run the experience. While most VR titles usually recommend an NVIDIA GTX 970 or above, for  Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition you’ll need a minimum of a NVIDIA GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon RX 580.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition features Senua’s full journey from the original videogame plus additional experimental game modes and fully customisable comfort options notes the studio.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice VR

In the video Dominic Matthews, Commercial Director at Ninja Theory, notes: “Why did we do this? Well there was never really a good business case for Hellblade VR. We did it out of curiosity and out of the desire to find out more about VR, and because we thought the final experience would be something cool for our fans.”

The story in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition is set in the Viking age following a warrior’s brutal journey into myth and madness. Players are cast in the role of Senua, a broken Celtic warrior, embarking on a haunting vision quest into Viking Hell to fight for the soul of her dead lover.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition will be a free update to the original videogame on Tuesday, 31st July. For any further updates keep reading VRFocus.