Ninja Theory has released what I'm now considering the gold standard of video game trailers for the developer's upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.
The developers behind the award-winning Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice have released a new trailer for the sequel at The Game Awards 2023. The new trailer showcases intense gameplay and cinematic sequences that display an incredible level of motion capture technology, sound design, combat, the game's setting, and much more.
Ninja Theory explains in the YouTube video description that Hellblade 2 will be set in "Viking Iceland," and Senua will journey throughout, saving those who have fallen victim to tyranny while attempting to overcome the darkness within and without. Furthermore, the trailer showcases the impressive capabilities of the Xbox Series X, as it is detailed at the beginning of the trailer - the in-game shots were captured on Microsoft's flagship console.
The trailer is undoubtedly an incredible piece of art by itself, with its pacing, sound design, in-game footage, story arc, and graphics. It covers all of the important bases of what gamers want out of a video game trailer: a tease of the story, in-game footage, cinematics, combat, epic music, and a building of momentum that concludes by leaving you wanting more.
While this is certainly a subjective take, I believe the official trailer for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II has set the gold standard for video game trailers. Other developers and publishers should take note, as Ninja Theory has simply knocked it out of the park with this one.
"The goal with Hellblade 2 isn't to perfect it, but to create an experience that feels more believable and more refined", Ninja Theory's founder and chief design director, Tameem Antoniades, said in an interview last year. "Its ambition in terms of scale is bigger. I think Hellblade 2 will make Hellblade look like an indie game."
Senua's Saga: Hellblade II doesn't have a specific release date at the moment, but is expected to come out sometime in 2024 on both PC and Xbox.