In 2017, Ninja Theory took a massive leap of faith and bet on themselves by developing and then publishing Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice.
The game was quickly heralded as one of the best of the year, given its profound themes and the fact that Ninja Theory had published the title themselves.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was slotted into the category of "AAA-Indie," meaning although it was technically published by an indie studio, the game had all the markings of a AAA title.
Hellblade, in many ways, was a breath of fresh air as it tackled incredibly nuanced themes and managed to tell a story in a way that is not common in the AAA space.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice was as visceral an experience as there ever had been, and fans were in awe of what Ninja Theory accomplished. After garnering massive critical acclaim and love from the fans, Ninja Theory caught the attention of Microsoft and Xbox.
Ninja Theory's Hellblade 2 image impresses fans
In 2018, news broke that Ninja Theory had entered into an agreement with Microsoft and became part of Xbox Game Studios (then known as Microsoft Studios).
After a short period of silence, a mysterious new trailer premiered at The Game Awards 2019, set to a rather aggressive rendition of Heilung's "In Maidjan." As soon as the familiar visage of Senua appeared on-screen, fans of Hellblade couldn't contain their excitement.
The trailer was immediately praised as one of the best that evening, and Hellblade 2 quickly shot up on everyone's list as one of the most highly-anticipated games from Xbox.
The trailer showcased some truly breathtaking footage that was apparently captured from the in-game engine. If that truly is the case, fans are in for one massive visual treat on the next-gen Xbox Series X.
Since then, no footage of Hellblade 2 has been made public. But recently, Ninja Theory posted an image of a "cinematic lighting experiment," and it is fascinating.
Hellblade 2 is definitely one to keep an eye out for as one of the biggest exclusives from Xbox. Its release date is unconfirmed, but it will be available exclusively on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PCs.
Ninja Theory has had a storied run in the industry. It has put out some truly memorable games like the original Hellblade and the massively underrated DmC Devil May Cry.
As things stand, fans can only hope that Hellblade 2 can do for the Xbox what Uncharted and other exclusives could do for the PlayStation brand.