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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Accessibility Report

We've documented 21 accessibility features for Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice in the Difficulty, Getting Started, Reading, Navigation, Controls, Visual and Audio areas to aid enjoyment of the game for different players. This report is created with input from accessibility experts and the player community to help people find games that have the accessibility features they require. Once you have found potential games on the database, there are excellent specialist accessibility sites that offer in-depth reviews to guide your purchasing decisions.

This is a dark fantasy adventure, drawing on Norse and Celtic mythology, where you play a young female Pict warrior, Senua. You explore and fight your way to Helheim to rescue the soul of her dead lover. As you play, though, you hear multiple voices in your head and wrestle with a decaying grip on reality. In this way the game aims to represent, and offer a metaphor for, psychosis. You battle difficult enemies and solve puzzles but often fighting directly, or obvious solutions, are not the best way forward.

NotesAccessibility Notes

The game provides audio of the voices that your character is hearing in her head. This offers a degree of assistance. For example, if you needs to jump off a ledge you can hear voices arguing "why isn't she down there" followed by "its because she's afraid". This is useful and important assistance information. Because of the overlapping nature of this audio it is not completely covered in subtitles, although the loudest voice is provided.

The game has an adaptive combat difficulty option so that combat isn't the barrier between success and failure. Spoiler: The game auto-saves, and tells you that if you fail too often you will have to start again from the beginning. This is a device to make the player feel the weight of dying in the game and it never actually forces you to reset.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 08/08/2017, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory)

Players: This is a single player game

Costs: Purchase cost

 

DifficultyDifficulty

We've documented 2 accessibility features for Difficulty in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deal with how you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select the level of difficulty from a range of presets. This not only offers a way to adjust the challenge of a game but enables you to do so without dealing with individual criteria.

Adjust After Setting

Adjustable Anytime: You can adjust the difficulty while playing, without having to restart the level you are on. This enables you to quickly adjust the game to suit your needs and see the difference immediately.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Difficulty

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Difficulty accessibility features you require, this similar game extends the Difficulty accessibility:

Getting StartedGetting Started

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Getting Started in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deal with what support is offered to get started with the game. This includes customising the experience when you first open the game via any onboarding processes it provides as well as tutorials and other assistance when you first start playing.

Assistance Getting Starting

These features aid your play of the game in terms of cognitive load on learning controls, dealing with pressure and coping with the environment and challenges.

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play. This clearly displays the mappings of actions to buttons/keys/mouse/keyboard without having to leave the game.

Assistance For Progressing

These features aid your progress through the game offering different ways of maintaining your progression.

Assisted Progress With Boosts: If you fail frequently the game automatically gets easier to ease the likelihood of failure. Or there’s an option to start this happening, like giving more health, lives or power each time you fail. Sometimes called Rubber Banding.

Assisted Progress With Hints: The game notices if you get stuck and provides information to help you progress. This can offer hints or tutorials popping up during play. It can suggest which difficulty settings to adjust or offer to skip past problematic levels.

Save Progress Anytime: The game automatically saves progress or you can save any time. This doesn’t mean you never lose progress, but it does mean you can stop whenever you want (without having to get to a save point) without losing progress.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Getting Started

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Getting Started accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Getting Started accessibility:

ReadingReading

We've documented 4 accessibility features for Reading in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deal with how much reading or listening comprehension is required, how well the game provides visual and audible access to the text and whether subtitles and captions are a good fit for purpose.

Text Visibility

High Contrast Text: Text colour contrasts to the background or can be adjusted to be. The text in menus, instructions and other information is presented in high contrast with a solid background.

Subtitles

Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, at least 1/20 (46 pixels on 1080 screen) the height of the screen, or can be adjusted to be. Considered separately from the general text of the game, the subtitles are large, clear and of good contrast.

Some Speech Subtitled: Some spoken content has subtitles. This reduces the pressure on interpreting all the spoken content, although not everything is captured textually.

Voice Acted

All Dialogue is Voice Acted (Or No Speech In Game): All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced, or there is no speech in the game. This means there is no requirement to read the dialogue and narrative text to play the game.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Reading

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Reading accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Reading accessibility:

NavigationNavigation

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Navigation in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deals with how the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds. These are only for games that have traversal and exploration in 2D and 3D spaces.

Head-Up Display

Head-Up Display Navigation: Indication of where to go next with overlaid arrows, minimaps and waypoint markers. This supplements in-game visual and audible cues with additional guidance about where you are and where you need to go.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Navigation

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Navigation accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Navigation accessibility:

ControlsControls

We've documented 8 accessibility features for Controls in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deal with how you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Gamepad

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse And Keyboard

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

Can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Buttons: Can re-map all buttons so that you can use alternatives that better suit your play.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Can remap mouse and keyboard key bindings, on systems that support these controls.

Invert X/Y Axis: Can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming. This enables you to match your instinctive orientation when looking.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons for prolonged periods (a second or more) is not required or can be switched to toggling the action on and off. This is in addition to the movement stick/button which is not considered a hold for this purpose.

Controller Vibration

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.

Sensitivity

You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Controls

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Controls accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Controls accessibility:

VisualVisual

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Visual in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deals with how you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Colour Options

Colour blind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colour blind friendly mode with double coding or similar way to avoid colour dependance.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Visual

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Visual accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Visual accessibility:

AudioAudio

We've documented 1 accessibility feature for Audio in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice which deals with how you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game. This enables you to tailor the most important sound levels to ensure you can hear them.

 

Similar Games With More Accessibility Features for Audio

If you want to play Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, but it doesn't offer the Audio accessibility features you require, these similar games extend the Audio accessibility:

System Accessibility Settings

In addition to the accessibility features provided in the game, you can also use system-wide accessibility settings:

PC
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators.
 
PlayStation 4
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping).
 
Xbox One
Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games.
 
Read more about system accessibility settings.

VSC LogoAccessibility Report supported by VSC Rating Board, PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors @JonahMonaghan, @GeekDadGamer and @ronald_brady


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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