Ninja Theory announced today that a VR edition of its critically-acclaimed action-game, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, will be coming out on Steam on July 31. Hellblade VR will be free for PC players who already own Hellblade on Steam and it will be compatible with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Ninja Theory says Hellblade VR will not be coming to PSVR however as a high-end PC is required for the experience.
Ninja Theory released a short video documentary about Hellblade VR and how it came to be. The dev team apparently got a VR dev kit early in development and used the tech to help with the development on the console version of Hellblade. But Ninja Theory also experimented with VR and began workshopping ideas on how to incorporate Hellblade as a full VR experience.
Announcing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Edition! Coming July 31st to #OculusRift & #HTCVive on #Steam! If you own or buy #Hellblade on #Steam, the VR Edition is included for free! Watch our new dev diary: https://t.co/s2uQp4eNbo— NinjaTheory (@NinjaTheory) July 25, 2018
Unlike typical VR titles, Hellblade VR isn't in first-person. Instead, in order to combat nausea and maintain Hellblade's core mechanics, Hellblade VR will remain in third-person but with players controlling the camera and Senua's direction using their heads. Hellblade VR has also been optimized to run at 90fps, something that took two years but also contributed to Hellblade's performance on consoles and PCs.
The framerate requirement is also probably why Hellblade VR won't be coming to PlayStation VR as Ninja Theory says Hellblade needs a lot of power to run smoothly. Something the PS VR won't be able to handle compared to high-end PCs.
To answer the question: Hellblade VR won't be coming to PSVR, purely because the VR Edition has been created for very high-end PC VR set ups. You can see more on this in our dev diary:https://t.co/s2uQp4eNbo— NinjaTheory (@NinjaTheory) July 25, 2018
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an action-adventure game about a Celtic warrior haunted by her own psyche as she deals with the aftermath of the death of her husband. Hellblade was a critical and commercial success upon launch and the title won numerous video game awards for narrative, acting, and visuals.
NinjaTheory had been promoting the success of Hellblade as the success of a new way of game development, something Ninja Theory called Double-A or AA game development. At E3 2018 Microsoft announced that the company had acquired Ninja Theory along with Playground Games, Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games. Ninja Theory says that this won't change the studio's ethos or design philosophy.
You can check out our unscored review of Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and how the game successfully used empathy to draw players into the mind of its lead character. Hellblade VR comes out on Steam on July 31.