We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Hellblade 2 reviews are all over the place for the Xbox exclusive

The Hellblade 2 reviews unanimously praise Ninja Theory’s visual and technical masterclass, but the jury’s out on its gameplay on Xbox.

Hellblade 2 reviews: Senua running around a fiery arena, next to a close-up of her face

The Hellblade 2 reviews have finally landed. As Senua’s adventure across the breathtaking Icelandic plains is anything but smooth sailing, so too are many of Hellblade 2’s critiques. Though we all knew Ninja Theory’s latest would be a technical marvel, replete with mocap magic and groundbreaking graphics, the jury’s out on whether it’s sacrificed too much of its gameplay to execute its vision for an experiential masterpiece on Xbox.

For our sister site PCGamesN, at least, that’s not been the case. The outlet’s 9/10 Hellblade 2 review calls the new Xbox game “an impeccable story of coming to terms with trauma and making difficult decisions, punctuated by moments of outstanding beauty and strength.” Surely, we’re looking at one of the best games of 2024 here?

Well, by the sounds of things that depends on what you’re looking for in a game. VG247’s three-star review criticizes it for “keeping you off the stick for so many of its most impactful moments, and not giving you enough to play with when you do have control.” Though Hellblade 2 was expected to be an elevation of its predecessor, there is a prevailing sense that the gameplay balance has been skewed a little bit too far in favor of it becoming a true ‘walking simulator.’

YouTube Thumbnail

Forbes supports this notion in its 7/10 review. While the “one-take John Wick Viking fight sequences” are a major highlight, these are seemingly overshadowed by “long stretches of time where you’re doing nothing but holding down forward.” That being said, reviewer Paul Tassi does say he’s realized that “this brand of storytelling is mostly not for me,” so therein may lie the source of much of this critical variation.

There’s also mixed opinion on the Xbox exclusive’s puzzles, which appear to share design similarities with Senua’s Sacrifice. XboxEra’s 10/10 review concurs with PCGamesN in dubbing them a “much-needed respite from some of the more intense moments.” However, Forbes says that the problems themselves were limited in variation, and only one of them was considered “somewhat interesting.”

Currently sat with a Metacritic score of 81, Hellblade 2 has, incredibly, replicated the exact same average review score as its predecessor. Though Ninja Theory has elevated every element of the Senua experience, it hasn’t quite been reflected in its overall score. That being said, it’s clear from the mixed reviews that Hellblade 2 isn’t a straightforward game to evaluate, and you’re ultimately going to have to play it for yourself to decide just how good it is.

Fortunately, Hellblade 2 is a day-one addition to the vast library of Xbox Game Pass games if you are subscribed to the service. Alternatively, you can pick it up on the Xbox store for $49.99/£49.99 respectively. Though we’ve yet to get hands-on with Hellblade 2 ourselves, be sure to check back in the coming days as we decide whether or not it deserves a place on not only our list of the best Game Pass games but the list of best Xbox games full-stop.

For more of the latest on the other big releases that are dropping this week, check out the latest XDefiant preseason patch notes that have fixed the broken Splinter Cell class just in time for launch. To ensure you’re the first to know when our Hellblade 2 impressions go live, be sure to give our Google News feed a follow.