Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a helluva game. It is about Senua’s journey into hell to recover her beloved Dillion. And yet the entire game is a metaphor for a person’s descent into madness.

Senua is a Celtic warrior who struggles with inner demons. Her story begins in the middle of things, after her beloved has been slain. She is haunted by voices in her head, and they are always second-guessing or scaring her.

The opening cinematic begins calmly, with Senua paddling a canoe through a river. But it turns ominous as bodies on stakes begin to line the shore. She moves onto a beautiful landscape and heads to a bridge that only the dead are allowed to cross into the Norse underworld.

This is as fine a beginning as you’ll see in a video game, and there is almost nothing interactive about it. Senua’s Sacrifice might be too disturbing for many to play, but it is an important game that points out the similarities between a hero’s journey and the road to perdition. Hellblade debuts today on the PlayStation 4 and the PC. Please enjoy the video.

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