After the development of DMC, Ninja Theory began dreaming about a spiritual sequel to Heavenly Sword. Unfortunately, the barrier to entry for big-budget development is continually on the rise, and the studio began to wonder if it still wanted to compete in the cutthroat market of triple-A game development. Hellblade is Ninja Theory's response to the "Go big, or go home" mentality of traditional publishers. Over the past several years, the Hellblade team has remained lean and mean, constantly seeking shortcuts to traditional game-development problems in the hopes of delivering a game with a strong artistic vision that doesn't sacrifice on high production values.

Hellblade tells the story of Senua, a Celtic warrior who struggles with psychosis. After her hometown is invaded by Vikings, Senua begins a descent into madness, and she must battle her way through Hel to find redemption. True to its action pedigree, Ninja Theory is working hard to deliver a story-focused action game that encourages players to learn more about mental illness. For our May cover story, we spent two days with the Hellblade team in Cambridge, England, got a deep look into Hellblade's unique narrative, and went hands-on with the game Ninja Theory hopes will reshape the industry.

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To learn more about our upcoming online coverage and get a glimpse of what we saw during our trip to Ninja Theory, check out our Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice coverage trailer below.

Also in our May issue, Matt Bertz takes a look at the state of the VR industry and examines how VR companies still need to push the technology. Brian Shea interviews UFC flyweight champion and Twitch streamer Demetrious Johnson. Suriel Vazquez takes a look back at the cult fighting-game documentary Bang the Machine, while Andrew Reiner talks with Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann about the future of comic-book games. We also have a couple post-mortem interviews with the teams behind Horizon Zero Dawn and For Honor. Our Previews section features early looks at Middle-earth: Shadow Of War, Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and the indie darling Hob.

Print subscribers can watch for their issue to arrive in the coming weeks, but you can read the full digital issue now on PC/Mac, iOS, Android, and Google Play. You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on Nook, Kindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

Our Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice cover story is only the beginning. Come back throughout the month to see even more exclusive features and interviews with the team, including a look into the studio's motion-capture space and a rapid fire interview (like this one). Get to know more about Senua and Ninja Theory's unique approach to game design through our hub by clicking on the banner below!