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Hellblade 2 Will "Push The Boundaries" Of Facial Animation, Ninja Theory Says




Ninja Theory at GDC 2023 has shown a brief facial animation demo of Hellblade 2, running in real-time in Unreal Engine 5. The studio says the sequel will "push the boundaries" in this area, and this illustrative footage of Melina Juergens' performance as Senua serves well to back up this statement.

For the past year, the team at Ninja Theory has been rather secretive about the upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, currently expected to launch across PC and Xbox Series X/S. Following its earlier promise to reveal more about the anticipated sequel this year, the studio introduced a short real-time in-engine demo, designed to demonstrate just how far since the original the devs have come in terms of bringing the Game's characters to life.


Related: Hellblade 2 Is The Most Exciting And Most Worrying Game Of 2023

As seen in the footage below, Melina Juergens returns to her iconic character Senua, who suffers from the condition of psychosis. The demo features a seamless transition between real-life capture and an in-Game character model, with Unreal Engine 5 and the MetaHuman framework providing an astonishing level of animation details and facial expressions. Since the initial announcement, the devs aimed to place special emphasis on their lead character's performance, raising the bar each time when the Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice follow-up was shown to the public, and this new demo doesn't disappoint as well.

Unfortunately, this is as far as Ninja Theory will go in terms of sharing more Hellblade 2 details with eager fans for now. We still haven't got an approximate release window for the highly-anticipated Game, which could possibly slip into 2024. On the bright side, just recently, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed he took a visit to the studio to "review" the sequel and was rather "inspired" by what he saw there, so that sounds encouraging. Crafting the sequel that will make the original look like an indie Game will take some time, although there are some concerns regarding the project's scope and ambition. Hopefully, we'll be hearing more about Hellblade 2 in coming months.

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