Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was critically-acclaimed upon release for its portrayal of mental health in games, and there was a collective cheer when February’s Nintendo Direct announced that Ninja Theory’s beloved title was coming to the Switch. Luckily, fans won’t have to wait much longer; the Hellblade Switch port arrives next week.
The Nintendo Direct of February 13 showed off Hellblade, its BAFTA-winning graphics, and its storyline, teasing a release date of Spring 2019. The title’s portrayal of psychosis was both confronting and praised by critics, and it’s heartening to see material dealing with themes like that making its way to Nintendo, which has been mostly silent on that front in its own first-party games. Now, the date of Senua’s arrival draws closer than ever.
The official Ninja Theory Twitter account has now confirmed that the Hellblade Switch port is going to be released on April 11. It’s been less than two months since the Nintendo Direct that announced it, which is a pretty impressive turnaround time for a Switch port, especially one that looked as good as Hellblade from the example footage shown off in February. From what we know about this port so far, it’s going to be a digital-only release and it won’t be available as a physical cartridge.
While the Hellblade Switch port will only be available for purchase on the eShop at this stage, we wouldn’t put it past Ninja Theory to have a Limited Run release at some point; Hellblade has definitely reached cult classic status, and there would likely be a demand for it. The unique story of Senua has gained many fans since the first time it was told in 2017, and the game’s excellent use of sound design has been lauded multiple times over for contributing to its unique portrayal of sensitive themes. It’ll be nice to have Hellblade as a portable title, but the game’s atmosphere definitely lent itself to the kind of setting that you’d normally want to watch a horror movie in so it remains to be seen whether or not its full gravitas will translate in this new format. On top of that, we’ve yet to see a proper confirmation of how the original’s picturesque visuals will transfer over to the Switch.
Regardless of how the Hellblade Switch port performs, one thing is for sure: it’s refreshing to see that the Switch is becoming home to a wide variety of games from various genres. Nintendo hasn’t historically been a best friend to ports from other studios but with popular titles like Hellblade and Cuphead making their way over the company’s flagship console in April, it looks like a new age of ports is in sight.