“We’ve been working on it for less time than that”: The Revolutionary Tech That May Have Helped Ninja Theory Take a Ridiculously Less Amount of Time for Hellblade 2 Despite Godlike Graphics

Hellblade 2 had a 4 Year Development Time and Looks Amazing? This Could be Why

Hellblade 2


  • Hellblade 2 had a remarkable four-year development cycle, significantly shorter than the seven years spent on its predecessor, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.
  • The game's development showcases the remarkable capabilities of Unreal Engine 5 and the talent at Ninja Theory.
  • The much awaited and desired sequel is now poised to be one of the most visually ambitious titles of the year, potentially setting a new standard for future game development.
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Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 has impressed fans with its stunning visuals and rapid development timeline. While its predecessor, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, took seven years to complete, Hellblade 2‘s development began in 2020 and was completed in just four years. This short timeline is particularly impressive given the game’s stunning graphics, which many attribute to the use of Unreal Engine 5.


Hellblade 2’s Speedy Development Time Could be Credited to Unreal Engine 5

Hellblade 2 had a pretty fast development period.
Hellblade 2’s quick development can be attributed to Unreal Engine 5

Hellblade 2‘s development spanned four years, a sharp contrast to the seven years taken for its predecessor. This accelerated timeline can be attributed to the use of Unreal Engine 5. The use of Unreal Engine 5 has also brought some new tech in the use of nanites in the game’s graphic development making it one of the first games to make use of it.

Ninja Theory’s development of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 began in 2020, a year after its announcement at the 2019 Game Awards. This revelation surprised fans, who believed the game had been in development for much longer.


The impressive graphics shown in the initial trailer were not indicative of extensive progress but rather the potential of Unreal Engine 5. This engine’s capabilities have allowed the team to deliver high-quality visuals efficiently.

The first game’s release in 2017 and the sequel’s announcement in 2019 led many to believe that the sequel had been in the works for years. However, Ninja Theory’s focus on other projects delayed the full-scale development of Hellblade 2 until later.

What Unreal Engine 5 Has Brought to the Game’s Graphics

Hellblade 2's use of Unreal Engine 5 has made the game's graphics exceptional.
Unreal Engine 5 has made Hellblade 2 look amazing.

The graphical prowess of Hellblade 2 is evident in its use of advanced features like Nanite and Virtual Shadow Maps. Nanite technology enables the creation of ultra-dense, detailed environments, while Virtual Shadow Maps provide sharp, realistic shadows even on the smallest geometric elements. These technologies allow for high levels of detail without the performance costs typically associated with traditional rendering techniques.


The development of Hellblade 2 has not been without its challenges. Early trailers exhibited some compression artifacts, and there were concerns about image quality. But recent high-quality footage reveals a game that balances post-processing effects like motion blur, depth of field, and film grain to maintain a cohesive visual style.

The game has been well-received by reviewers who have praised its visual and technical accomplishments. Fans online have even compared it to the Uncharted series. Despite its constraints, Hellblade 2 is poised to be one of the most visually ambitious Unreal Engine 5 games, potentially securing its place as a Game of the Year contender. Ninja Theory’s innovative use of technology demonstrates how modern tools can significantly reduce development time while delivering stunning graphical fidelity.


Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 140

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.