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Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Only Runs 30 FPS On Xbox Series X|S, Not That You Noticed

Maybe this is where we all collectively admit that 30 FPS is OK.

Ninja Theory has revealed something that might shock everyone: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 only runs at 30 FPS on Xbox Series X|S.

As reported by Pure Xbox, Ninja Theory’s visual effects director Mark Slater-Tunstill revealed in an interview with GamePro in Germany that the studio decided to go for this framerate, and focus on its dynamic resolution instead. There will be no graphics modes for the game on Xbox Series X|S either, but if you get it on PC, you will be able to raise the framerate.

Of course, this is easy console warrior bait, but any fanboy who is going to try that is just setting themselves up for embarrassment. Obviously, no one knew that it was on 30 FPS. Because of the stunning visuals that we have seen in trailer and gameplay videos, it was very obviously the last thing on people’s minds.

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In fact, Ninja Theory revealed that this was a deliberate choice, to make the video game feel more filmlike. That’s a really interesting statement, because it highlights the difference from gamers who love the ‘cinematic’ narrative based games, like Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and the film nerds, who like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2.

As you probably already know, higher framerates like 60 FPS or 120 FPS increase the smoothness of a video. In video games, this is a boon, because it can help gamers react to stimuli in the game faster. Higher framerates benefit people playing first person shooters, or action games.

But in the film world, that smoothness is actually undesirable. As explained in this video, filmmakers as a rule record and project their movies at 24 or 25 FPS, even lower than 30 FPS. That’s because the filmmakers are aiming for ‘the lowest possible framerate that appears natural to the human eye.’

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 We could go on about the technicalities of this phenomenon, but our point here is that, as ironic as that statement sounds to someone who plays cinematic games, it’s actually correct, if you’re someone who knows all about movies in actual cinemas.

Now, Ninja Theory likely couldn’t actually push the framerate lower than 30 FPS for gameplay reasons. But if you have played the first Hellblade, and seen the previews for this title, you can probably tell that this game was built around running on 30 FPS.

The combat scenarios are scary and visually stunning, but they certainly won’t require the pinpoint accuracy a Call of Duty title will need. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that most of the game has focused on creating a seamless narrative and gaming experience, than getting you to play as much game as possible with a story to bookend it.

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And as previews have pointed out, the game looks great, much better than many games that boast being able to boost to 60 FPS or 120 FPS. Even now there are fans who can’t tell or don’t believe that Ninja Theory came up with a visual style that looks indistinguishable to real video footage. And that’s precisely why many previewers call Hellblade: Senua’s Saga 2 possibly the first true current generation console experience.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 will be releasing on May 21, 2024, on Xbox Series X|S, and Windows via Steam.

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