“Looks better than every $70 game in the market”: One Aspect of Hellblade 2 Can Win Ninja Theory Game of the Year 2025

And the Game of the Year for Best Graphics goes to...

Hellblade 2


  • Hellblade 2 boasts significant graphical upgrades from its predecessor, with further improvements possible before release.
  • The game utilizes Unreal Engine 5 for stunning visuals but may have softer image quality on Xbox consoles due to post-processing effects.
  • Hellblade 2 prioritizes a cinematic experience with a 30fps target and a smaller, more focused world compared to open-world games.
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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 improves over its 2017 predecessor in many ways, but the sheer graphical leap between the two has been one of the biggest talking points about the game, since it was revealed back in 2019.


With its release just around the corner, the sequel’s graphics have somehow been significantly upgraded further over its first gameplay trailer, and they might continue to improve in the final version. The visual eye candy on offer for $50 is immense, and fans have started to notice.

Unreal Engine 5 Helps Push Hellblade 2‘s Visuals To The Max

Hellblade 2 offers beyond-AAA graphics at a AA price | Ninja Theory
Hellblade 2 offers beyond-AAA graphics at a AA price | Ninja Theory

Developed by Ninja Theory and pushing console and PC hardware to the limit, Hellblade 2 promises to be a cinematic, astonishingly realistic experience unlike any other. A recent tweet from a fan shows a snippet of this experience, with protagonist Senua looking over a sunset-soaked vista that can only be described as breathtaking.


Part of the reason the game looks this good is its utilization of Unreal Engine 5’s suite of features. Nanite technology allows for incredibly detailed environments with intricate geometry, while Lumen’s dynamic lighting system produces realistic illumination and shadows.


Character animation is another highlight, with exactingly detailed mocap performances seamlessly translated in-game. Senua is also rendered with exceptional detail, particularly in her facial expressions, thanks to UE5’s MetaHuman technology.

Despite the impressive technological foundation, the game’s image quality, especially on Xbox consoles, appears somewhat soft. This seems to be a result of the developers’ liberal use of post-processing effects like motion blur and depth of field, which great for cinematic feel, can introduce some blurriness.

All That Eye Candy Comes At A Price, Especially On Console

Those who feel nauseated at 30fps should definitely avoid playing this game on console | Ninja Theory
Those who feel nauseated at 30fps should definitely avoid playing this game on console | Ninja Theory

The extremely high visual fidelity also takes its toll on the game’s resolution on consoles. All the in-game footage shown so far appears to hover somewhere between 1296p and 1440p on Series X. However, the launch build may exhibit a variance in pixel counts, with further optimizations possibly resulting in a more stable 1440p output.


Performance is another aspect that’s been hotly debated, because Hellblade 2 will be locked at 30fps on Xbox consoles, a decision that might disappoint players who prioritize high framerates. Ninja Theory also says that the 30fps target makes the experience feel more cinematic, so it aligns with the studio’s creative goals.

Hellblade 2 will also to be a smaller-scale experience compared to its peers. The game’s structure resembles its predecessor, focusing on linear paths, narrow environments, and one-on-one combat encounters. While this design choice might not resonate with players seeking vast open worlds, it shows focus on the part of the developer.

A still from Hellblade 2
A still from Hellblade 2 | Ninja Theory

Hellblade 2 is not only shaping up to be a visually stunning title, pushing the boundaries of what Unreal Engine 5 can achieve, but also a highly artistically-driven experience that aims to immerse the player first and foremost. With its tight, focussed narrative, painstaking attention to detail, and outright mesmerizing graphics, we might be looking at a potential Game of the Year contender.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is set to release on 21 May 2024 across Xbox Series X/S and PC. Game Pass subscribers can play the title on day one at no additional cost.


Written by Viraaj Bhatnagar

Articles Published: 247

A lifelong gamer, lover of cars, and Master's student of Automotive Journalism, Viraaj Bhatnagar is a gaming writer at FandomWire who aims to be one of the greats. When he's not hunched over on his laptop typing out copy, he can be found lapping circuits in Gran Turismo or slaying draugr in God of War.