How Senua’s Experience of Psychosis in Hellblade II is Rooted in Neuroscience and Lived Experience

Studio Head Shares Insights on Mental Health Consultants for Hellblade II

Hey there, it’s Dom Matthews from Ninja Theory. On May 21, we are thrilled to be releasing Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II on Xbox Series X|S and PC. This marks a significant milestone for our team and all those involved in the development process. Today, I want to shine a spotlight on the invaluable contribution of our mental health consultants through the release of ‘Senua’s Psyc

hosis’ – a feature video that delves into how our collaboration has shaped Senua’s experiences of psychosis in Hellblade II, drawing from both neuroscience and real lived experiences.

When we first conceptualized the idea of portraying a character dealing with psychosis, we knew that it came with a great responsibility to approach the subject matter with care and understanding. To achieve this, we teamed up with Professor Paul Fletcher, a renowned Health Neuroscience expert from the University of Cambridge. This initial partnership opened doors to collaborations with Recovery College East and other individuals who, like Senua, have navigated the challenges of seeing and hearing things that others may not comprehend, along with harboring unique beliefs about the world. What started as a learning exercise quickly evolved into a creative journey where the authenticity, openness, and enthusiasm of our collaborators enriched Senua’s character, her world, and her narrative.

Following the release of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, we were deeply moved by the feedback from fans who expressed that Senua’s story helped them gain a deeper understanding of psychosis. Some found solace in resonating with their own experiences, while others found it to be a window into the struggles faced by their loved ones. This emotional connection fostered empathy towards the millions grappling with mental health challenges daily.

As we draw closer to the launch of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, my hope is to once again provide a glimpse into the world of hearing voices, seeing unique visions, and embracing beliefs that may seem unconventional to others. A few weeks back, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with our collaborators at ‘Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind’, a conference organized in partnership with Cambridge Neuroscience. This event was dedicated to exploring how Senua’s psychosis has been brought to life in Hellblade. For those curious, you can catch the full conference here. The conference underscored the privilege we’ve had in collaborating with our mental health consultants – a dedicated group that has been instrumental in helping us authentically portray Senua’s story as if it could very well be real.

In today’s video, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Paul, Eddy, Kathy, and all our collaborators, acknowledging their immense contribution to Hellblade.

For more insights on the themes discussed in this video, feel free to explore