Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 4 months ago.
Author: Andy Robertson.
Created in partnership with neuroscientists, mental health specialists and those with lived experience of psychosis, the experience aims to share something of what it’s like to live with this kind of illness. The voices, confusion and delusions weave in and out of the action as Senua struggles to come to terms with the trauma and guilt of her past.
For adults, the game can provide a different window on the experience of someone close to them who struggles with mental illness. Some parents have played the game with older children as a way to engage with this difficult subject. The game succeeds by avoiding reducing its rendition to a literal or journalistic recreation. The story of Senua’s struggle is as much about resilience, persistence, bravery and dealing with guilt or failure as about any specific medical diagnosis. In this way it offers a deeply relatable experience.
This game is free with Xbox Game Pass.
Central character suffers from psychosis which is manifest as hallucinations (visions and flashbacks) and delusions. She hears voices all the time in her head. Schizophrenia is also a symptom.
This game has been rated ESRB MATURE 17+.
PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). 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.
The following games are like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice for younger age ratings.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is in These Lists
In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice in the following lists:
The games selected below create emotionally rich spaces in which to explore scenarios with feelings rather than facts. In some games this is achieved with beautiful or soothing interactive visuals; others create charged relationships and settings that invite players to take a role in processing these emotions.
In contrast to films or books, characters and relationships in video games need to be discovered by the player. Some of my favourite relational moments in games happen amidst other action. Often these other actions – whether shooting, puzzle-solving, or fetching and carrying – serve to underline the difficult, awkward and snatched nature of interpersonal interactions.
The awards started in 2004 and are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). For parents, they are a great way of discovering brilliant games to play in their family. The games included here are from the:
- The Family Games award highlights games that will work really well for parents and children. These often include multiplayer features and feature a cast of family-friendly characters.
- The Games Beyond Entertainment award is also of interest as this highlights more unusual games with an emphasis on storytelling that addresses topics that parents may find appealing themselves.
Some of these games are aimed at younger players to play on their own, but others (as indicated by their PEGI ratings) are better for teenagers or played together in a family. Find some games that pique your interest, read through the details and decide how your child might benefit from playing them.
You cannot play games you install when your Xbox Game Pass expires, although you do keep any games you have purchased at a discount with your membership. You will need to purchase any in-game extra content in addition to the subscription, although some games include this content for free.
- Xbox Game Pass £7.99/month
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate including Xbox Live Gold for online play £10.99/month
- Xbox Game Pass PC £7.99/month
Xbox Live Gold usually costs £6.99/month and is the Xbox service that lets you play with others online. It also offers a few free games each month and substantial discounts.
It's a great list with something for everyone in the family and plenty of games you can play together as a family. If you want more lists of games to try you can visit the list of lists page that outlines a wide range of themes and categories, or visit AskAboutGames for advice on setting up technology with sensible limits.
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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.