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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II launches tomorrow and looks like my Game of the Year

Published May 20th, 2024 8:06PM EDT

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I haven’t touched my Xbox in a few months. That’s not really Xbox’s fault, though. Like a lot of people, my gaming life has been consumed by Helldivers 2 ever since I bought it for my PlayStation 5 and me and my friends starting playing. That’s what happens when games are exclusive!

Despite being all-consumed by Helldivers 2 for the last few months, I think I’m going to have to actually set that aside and turn on the Xbox again for one game in particular. After literal years of hype, tomorrow finally marks the day when Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II launches, and I think this game has a real shot at being Game of the Year.

When I say years, I really mean years. The game got its first trailer all of the way back in 2019 at The Game Awards. If you’re feeling nostalgic, feel free to check that out here:

Intent on saving those who have fallen victim to the horrors of tyranny, Senua faces a battle of overcoming the darkness within and without. Sink deep into the next chapter of Senua’s story, a crafted experience told through cinematic immersion, beautifully realised visuals and encapsulating sound.

Almost four and a half years later to the day, Xbox released the launch trailer for the game, showcasing the incredible visuals it will have when it launches on May 21st:

I’ve been hyped for this game since I saw the first trailer, and the hype has only grown since then. The technical leaps in this title are truly next-gen, from the animation capture technologies used to the auditorial experience that gamers will go through when playing as Senua.

If you haven’t seen the Unreal Engine 5 Metahuman motion capture demo highlighted by this game, that’s also worth a watch to see just how crazy good this is:

Not only is Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II launching on Xbox tomorrow, but the game will be coming on day one to Game Pass, a huge deal for the company. It’s one of the biggest games that will launch on day one for the company’s game subscription service, so it’ll be a real test to see if Xbox can boost subscriber numbers for Game Pass with big titles.

While Hellblade will certainly be one of the biggest titles to launch day one on Game Pass, Xbox is rumored to be betting even bigger. The latest reports suggest that the company plans to release the next installment of Call of Duty on the subscription service — likely the biggest test to see if Game Pass can support huge titles.

If that doesn’t work out, I doubt the company will continue releasing big titles day one on the service and match what PlayStation is doing with PlayStation Plus (big games are available there, but after their initial run). I really hope it works out, though. Game Pass, especially with titles like Hellblade II and potentially Call of Duty, is such a fantastic value for gamers.

Regardless of what happens on Game Pass, I think Hellblade II has a real shot at being the Game of the Year in 2024. The first installment was also really impressive, and with the visual and technical advancements made this time — especially paired with what appears to be an incredibly immersive story — I think it’s poised to take on other big hits like Helldivers 2, Hades 2, Animal Well, and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II releases on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, and Cloud on May 21st, so you’ll have some options on how you want to play it. I’m certainly making sure it’s pre-installed.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.