Roundup: Here's What The Critics Are Saying About Xbox's Hellblade 2

Ninja Theory's Hellblade 2 launch is finally upon us, marking the first major Xbox Game Studios release of 2024. We've already delivered our thoughts on the team's highly-anticipated sequel earlier today, so now it's time to take a look around and see what other folks are saying about the Xbox Game Pass title.

Down below we've gathered some critics' impressions of Hellblade 2 at launch:

Pure Xbox (7/10)

"Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is the best-looking video game we've ever played. It sounds incredible, Melina Juergens acts herself inside out, and on a purely technical level this is just next-level stuff all round. However, we still don't feel as though extending Senua's plight into a Saga is a good idea. We remain unconvinced, and it's because this sequel feels like diminishing returns, as we had worried it might. It's not as vital or as unique in 2024, and it goes for bombast as a means of smoothing things over, resulting in a good game, an interesting eight hour romp, but nothing that screams must-play. Weak combat and dull puzzles are just more salt in these wounds, unfortunately."

Eurogamer (5/5)

"In short, Hellblade 2 is as confident a sequel as any I've ever seen - Ninja Theory has shown tremendous ambition with this game and the result is equally tremendous. A lot has changed since the release of Senua's Sacrifice in 2017, not least in terms of our comfort and familiarity with mental health and mental illness as subject matter but, if there was any doubt as to whether Hellblade could move with the times, it can be safely put to rest now. Ninja Theory has not only proven it can read a changing landscape, but that Hellblade and Senua absolutely still deserve a place of prominence within that space."

GamesRadar (5/5)

"Haunting, confrontational, and deeply cathartic all at once, Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is a stunning feat of video game art. Ninja Theory doesn't tiptoe around its heavy themes but welcomes them with well-honed empathy, tempered by an even keener creative edge this time around to deliver an unforgettable narrative adventure experience that's hard to watch, yet harder to turn away from."

Windows Central (9/10)

"A game like Senua's Saga: Hellblade II can only be the result of years of passion and talent, captivating you with its unbelievable visuals, impeccable audio design, and powerful thought-provoking narrative. It's a veritable masterpiece, but it's just shy of perfection thanks to an average PC port and some minor criticisms."

Game Informer (9/10)

"Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II’s conclusion ends on another strong note, and despite my initial reservations about continuing Senua’s story, I walked away happy to see her conquer new monsters, both literal and metaphorical. I’m pleased Ninja Theory avoided the temptation to blow up this formula into something far bigger than needed – this isn’t Xbox’s God of War; it’s a better Hellblade."

IGN (8/10)

"Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II delivers a spellbinding adventure packed with cinematic spectacle and story surprises that maintains a surging sense of forward momentum and never wastes a second of its slender run time. Its combat manages to feel consistently intimidating and immediate despite its mechanical simplicity, and its perspective-based puzzles regularly scratch cerebral itches even though they largely rehash or rework concepts from Senua’s previous story.

A journey as brutal as it is beautiful delivered with hardware-pushing visuals and persistently absorbing audio, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is another Viking-worthy feast for the senses that meets the high bar set by its predecessor, even if it never really manages to clear it."

Forbes (7/10)

"I enjoyed many parts of Hellblade 2, and there are some environmental/music sequences in particular, one near the beginning, the other nearer to the middle, that are going to stay with me a while due to the absolute crushing, horrifying, intense atmosphere paired with amazing audio. But as a game? Something I enjoyed playing? Generally speaking, no, it wasn’t really for me."

VGC (3/5)

"Ultimately, Hellblade 2 has to be considered a stumble as Xbox gets its first-party story back on track. The game will likely receive some acclaim during the coming awards season, but this will almost certainly be on a technical basis, and not related to how the game actually plays.

It would have been passable as a launch game, but in the middle of the generation, Hellblade 2 isn’t the sequel we’d hoped for. Fans of the first game could perhaps split it across a few nights for a better experience, and Melina Juergens’ performance deserves to be seen."

Gamespot (6/10)

"While few games can rival Hellblade 2's sound, graphic fidelity, and talent for rendering stunning vistas and characters so expressive you can tell when they're tensing their jaws, I couldn't help thinking how gorgeous the game would be if what was depicted was more varied. There are a few memorable set pieces I won't spoil, but even compared to its predecessor--which led players through tombs, razed towns, haunted woods, chamber halls, and let them face off against giants, a rotting boar, towering stag-headed monsters, and the god of illusions--there is surprisingly little variation in Hellblade 2's settings and monsters."

Metro (5/10)

"We can only hope that what Ninja Theory make next is something considerably more satisfying in terms of narrative and gameplay. Because if those elements were as good as Hellblade 2’s graphics this would be one of the best video games ever made."

Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.

Well, there you have it! Impressions of Hellblade 2 seem pretty varied across the board, but the averages are quite strong so far. The game's Metacritic score is currently sitting at 81, while the game also has an overall rating of 83 on Open Critic at the time of writing.

Of course, Hellblade 2 is available right now on Xbox Game Pass, so if you're subscribed, you can give the game a go for yourself and see what you make of it.

Excited to play Hellblade 2 for yourself? Tell us what you think to these reviews down below.