I picked up Hellblade yesterday and I was really surprised by how good this game looks. There are a lot of good looking games out there, but Hellblade is just amazing! One thing that stands out from the very start is the detail with the main character. Not only are the textures crisp and realistic, but the mocap is up there with LA Noire with the eyes from Horizon Zero Dawn. Turns out there is a fairly interesting story behind the mocap for this game.
Like most modern games, Hellblade had a detailed mocap system in place to handle all of the character animations. They also used a system to capture the facial animations which is how they got Senua’s facial expressions to look so lifelike. Melina Juergens is the name actress and model behind Senua and she got the role by accident. Melina worked for Ninja Theory as a video editor and while they were looking for a full time actress for the role as Senua, they asked Melina to step in and fill the role so they could continue with the development of the game. After some time they found that she was a perfect fit for the role and wanted to use her image for Senua as well as getting her to act out the role.
The video below is a behind the scenes interview where she explains how it all came to be and also shows some good footage of the mocap and other work she had to put in to help build the game. It is an interesting video and well worth watching if you have been enjoying Hellblade.