The year might have only just begun but I think I might have stumbled upon my pick for the best game that I’ve played in this series because Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice delivered an experience that I won’t soon forget. The sequel is set to be unleashed on the gaming world later this year and I can’t wait to see this Senua’s Saga continue.
The first game is an absolute marvel, in my opinion, and I’ve got just what you need if you’re planning on taking a trip to Helheim to help Senua with her quest. The story is amazing, the puzzles provide a decent challenge and the combat delivers some intense moments that I still think about to this day.
This game would have been a serious letdown were it not for the simple yet fluid combat that kept me engaged and entertained. Even though the game tries to overwhelm you at times with the number of enemies on screen, I never felt like I was out of my depth throughout my playthrough.
It was all thanks to a few simple tricks that I discovered which should help any casual player get through these fights with ease and without fear of reaching that permanent Game Over (more on that in my full review). So, without further ado, here are my best tips and tricks on how to beat Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
HOW TO BEAT
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE
Dodge Is Better Than Block
A great offense is nothing without a good defense and Senua has a few tricks up her sleeve to mitigate a lot of the damage that these enemies do. The easiest of these is the standard block and, while it may be the simplest method, it’s way more effective and a whole lot more fun to use the dodge instead.
Even the most basic enemies have an attack that can break your block and stagger you for a few seconds and there are some larger, more fearsome enemies (and bosses of course) with attacks that can’t be blocked at all. Not to mention the fact that you aren’t very mobile when in the blocking stance.
In my experience, it’s way more effective to move away from the attack instead of trying to block it head-on and that’s where the dodge comes in. Simply by tapping A and holding the left analog stick in the direction you want to move, Senua will side-step, spin, and roll to completely evade an attack.
This action also gives you temporary invulnerability while you’re in the dodge animation making it most effective against enemies that attack in a large sweeping motion and have attack patterns that aren’t as predictable as the others. Trust me, there were more than a few moments where spamming A was the only way out of a sticky situation.
— Stevius Maximus (@SteviusM) January 22, 2021
All Hail The Counter-Attack
Blocking isn’t entirely useless, however, and there are moments where it can be the most valuable tool in your toolkit. If you block at the precise moment that an enemy is about to land an attack, you will initiate a counter-attack. This not only blocks the incoming attack but also staggers the enemy and gives you an opening to do some damage.
So, if you can’t evade and blocking is your only option then try to land a counter-attack as the enemy lands their swing. It’s especially effective if enemies have you trapped in a corner and you need to create some distance in order to land that super-important dodge that I mentioned earlier.
This also opens up the opportunity to land one of the most effective combos whenever you’re in a fight. Wait for the enemy to attack and, when they’re about to land a hit, block to initiate the counter-attack, mash the X button to get at least 2 or 3 hits in, and then spam A with the left analog held down to quickly back off.
You can pretty much do this combo on auto-pilot and get through every fight without taking a single hit of damage, which is incredibly boring if you ask me, but there’s no denying how easy it is to win most of these fights with this counter-attack combo. Make sure you use it.
Keep An Eye on Everyone
During the first few levels of Hellblade, enemies will spawn one at a time with no more than two enemies being in the arena at the same time. However, as you progress through the game and encounter all the different enemy types, you’ll start facing off against more and more enemies at once.
I’m talking basic enemy types, shield-types, speedy-types, and big, bad, bruiser-types all on-screen at the same time. I mean, there was one point where I counted eight baddies coming at me all at once with another 2 continuously spawning behind me. It was awesome, to say the least.
These odds will never bring you down as long as you rely heavily on the dodge, try to counter-attack whenever possible, and make sure that you keep everybody in your field of view. If an enemy is in the arena to fight you make sure that you can see them at all times.
This is where crowd control makes the biggest difference and maneuvring so that everybody stays in your line of sight is key to handling large groups of enemies. This will be especially useful in the final stages when you have to fight two of the previous bosses at the same time.
Save Your Focus
Senua has only one special ability known as Focus. When used in combat it allows Senua to slow down time and attack a lot faster than she would normally. It builds up with every successful hit you land on an enemy and it can be used up to three times before it needs to recharge again.
It can give you a good advantage when you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to reposition during a fight or when you just want to go ham on a tough enemy without any struggle. But I found that the best strategy was to hold onto those charges as long as possible and use them when absolutely necessary.
When Senua gets knocked down by an enemy, she has a few seconds to get up before they finish her off for good but, if you use Focus before this happens, Senua will instantly jump to her feet and keep fighting with a little boost from this ability and I was able to avoid death numerous times because of it.
Even when you encounter enemies that are invulnerable unless you use Focus. You’ll eventually unlock the legendary sword called Gramr and it can give you a free burst of Focus when you land a good counter-attack and, if you follow these tips, you’re probably going to using the counter-attack a lot.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice delivered a truly unique experience with an exceptionally written story that is easily complimented by some satisfying combat and some decent environmental puzzles to solve. Read all about it in my full review and, with these tips, you’ll surely have a good time getting through it as well.
Have you played Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice? What are some tips and tricks that you’ve learned along the way? Let me know in the comments section below.