Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has really cool mo-cap tech but this interview is well into the creepy-ass uncanny valley

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 28 June 2017 01:00 GMT

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is clearly a horror game. Make it stop.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was built by 20 people, yet looks amazing. How? Part of the answer is some incredible live performance capture technology allowing Ninja Theory’s wizards to do some very fancy things.

That same technology also allows the team to pull promotional stunts like this one, where Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice actor Melina Juergens is somewhere off-stage hooked up to a bristling array of microphones and cameras, while her movements and expressions are transposed live onto a CGI model of Senua.

The result is terrifying, to be honest; my lizard brain woke from it slumber and did that whole something is wrong here thing it does when humans gaze upon the uncanny valley; probably because Senua can’t quite look in the right direction, or maybe because we’re not used to seeing action gae protagonists smile and laugh merrily. But also once you get past the weirdness and settle down, it’s very cool. (We assume the final game won’t have that initial terror moment because it will have been lovingly polished, and there’s no evidence of it in the terrific Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice trailers we’ve seen so far.)

You can watch for yourself above. The action kicks off at about 4:50. It’s pretty interesting; there’s a bit of chat about how Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice includes mental health themes, and how Ninja Theory have researched the topic rather than just recycling tropes.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice releases in August for PC and PS4. It’s Ninja Theory’s first release as lead developer since DmC: Devil May Cry.

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