Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Combat Guide

Overcome Iceland's adversaries with this simple guide.
Jamie Clarke

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, is a game that has relatively easy combat. Before you start the game, it will show you an overview of the controls. There, it says about the different combat mechanics:

  • Quick attack
  • Heavy attack
  • Block
  • Dodge
  • Focus

That is all you are told regarding those controls. The game is essentially HUD (Heads Up Display) free, making for an immersive experience – but one that may trip up players trying to grasp the controls. This Hellblade 2 combat guide will allow you to understand the inner workings of those mechanics, and how best to utilise them.

We will explore the fundamentals of the Hellblade 2 combat system, controls and mechanics – and a guide on combinations to use to survive Senua’s harrowing journey into 9th Century Iceland.

How Combat Works in Senua’s Saga

Combat is scripted to occur at several segments within the game (the game is highly linear, so even on repeat plays, combat will still be encountered in the same areas). It starts from a cutscene, before seamlessly transitioning you from animation to the gameplay element:

Combat will be initiated by Senua drawing her blade and the music intensifying. During combat, your camera is locked on the enemy.

Once you have successfully defeated your enemy, the game will either transition to a new combatant via an animation, or Senua will look around and put her sword away, ending combat.

Senua pulls her blade out of an enemy. She looks around, covers herself for a moment from the wind, before looking as a new Enemy - this one holding an axe - approaches her.

When you reach no health, you enter a final stand stage. During this stage, if you hit the Spacebar or the A Button on your Keyboard or Controller, you will see a flash on screen, while the voices of psychosis encourage you to get up. A pulse will appear around the screen, while a final attack is swung at you. If you interact enough times, you dodge and get back up.

Senua is heavily wounded by the axe. In slow motion, she falls to the floor. Red appears on the screen. The man raises his axe, as a yellow hue (signalling interaction from the player) appears. In slow motion once again, Senua dodges the axe and gets back to her feet.

Combat Mechanics and Controls

The controls of Senua’s Saga, especially regarding the attacks, seem relatively easy on the surface. Below, I will discuss how they work:

  • Quick Attack: Left-click on your Keyboard, or X on your Xbox controller, will trigger a fast swing. It does a light amount of damage, but the speed more than makes up for it. 
Senua swings her blade twice in quick succession using one hand.
  • Heavy Attack: Right-clicking your mouse or hitting Y on your Xbox controller will trigger an attack that has a wind-up to it, so timing is key. It can stagger enemies, break their guard, and open them up to attack.
Using two hands, Senua executes two heavy swings. One creates a clash with the swords, and the man staggers; the other does damage to him.
  • Block: Either CTRL on your Keyboard or RB on your controller will trigger a block animation. This animation stops you from taking damage.
Senua holds her blade up. The blades clash, causing a yellow flash to appear as the blades hit each other. Senua staggers slightly after each block.
  • Dodge: Either Spacebar on your Keyboard or A on your Controller will trigger a dodge. If hit again, Senua will do a second dodge, creating further distance between you and your combatant.
A red glow appears above the enemy sword that he holds behind his back, signalling a heavy attack. He swings down. Senua moves to the left side, before moving further left after another dodge is prompted.
  • Focus: Hitting E on your Keyboard or RT (Right Trigger)/LT (Left Trigger) on your Controller will cause Focus to be enabled. Time slows down around you, and you can do a range of attacks.
A flash of blue shines from Senua's belt and envelops the screen. Now in a blue hue, with symbols surrounding her, Senua attacks with one hand in normal motion, while everything else slows down around her.

Combination of Combat Mechanics 

To succeed in combat in Senua’s Saga, you will need to use a variety of attacks. This is due to enemies adapting to your play style. To counter this, you can do one of the examples below:

  • You can use Heavy Attack to open up an enemy to a few Quick Attacks for solid blows.
  • Use Focus to slow down time, then a few Quick Attacks followed up with a Heavy for a large amount of damage to turn the tides in your favour.
  • If low on health, use the Block counter to gain some Focus – or even go on the aggressive to gain some Focus – to either use then and there, or to save and continue to build up your collection to use in dire situations.
  • Quick Attack and Heavy Attack both have standard combos. But using a variation of them can keep the enemy from adapting to you. Two heavy strikes, followed by a Quick attack, can make the enemy unsure of where and how you will attack next.
  • You can use Sprint (Shift on the Keyboard and LB (Left Bumper) on the Controller) to close the distance between yourself and the enemy. Then, using a Quick or Heavy attack, you will deal a massive blow to the enemy and cancel their attack.
Senua runs towards an Enemy. She swings her blade with two hands, the clash of swords produces a red coloured flash. The Enemy staggers backwards with his sword pointing towards the ground.

Conclusion

This guide has shown you that the combat in Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, has layers to it. On the surface, it is a simple Combat system. But, under that surface, there are a good amount of combinations with simple abilities that will help you conquer the foes that Iceland throws at you!

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Jamie is a Creative Writer from Swindon. They have a love for video games, films, television shows, and the Arts as a whole. When not writing about stories, or writing their own stories, they love to read, watch, and consume as much media as they can, playing DnD with their friends, and lamenting on life wondering where it all went wrong.
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