Do I need to play Hellblade 1 before I play Hellblade 2?

Yes, it is recommended that you play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice before playing Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. This series is very narrative-driven, and Hellblade 2 takes place almost immediately after the conclusion of the first game. In order to understand Senua as a character and how she got where she is in Iceland, you’ll want to experience the harrowing journey she took in Senua’s Sacrifice.

Nearly seven years after the release of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Ninja Theory is poised to release its long-awaited sequel. Dubbed Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II (no, I don’t know why Ninja Theory swapped the name around), it continues Senua’s story across Iceland. It’ll further explore Senua’s psychosis and the past that gave it form, as well as shed light on her motivations and objectives, freshly created following her terrifying descent into Hel.

The Hellblade series is obviously narrative driven, meaning it tells a dark, heavy, and detailed story of personal hardship, trauma and grief, and mental health. So, it shouldn’t surprise you when I say that you do want to play the first game before diving into the second. If you already played the first and simply want a refresher (or you’re intent on not playing Senua’s Sacrifice), you can catch up with our recap of the story so far in Hellblade.

Playing Senua’s Sacrifice: Hellblade

Senua’s Sacrifice is still beautiful, and explores Norse mythology and mental health in equal measure. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The first Hellblade game puts you in the shoes of Senua, a young Pict warrior who is willing to put everything on the line to bring her lost lover Dillion back to life. Accompanied by an unsettling darkness born of her father’s abuse and the auditory and visual hallucinations attributed to psychosis, Senua begins her journey into Helheim. Along the way, she will confront her past and the path that led her here, as well as vicious opponents in the form of the Norse god Surtr, the raven-like god of illusions Valravn, and an army of corrupted Northmen.