Here’s when Hellblade 2’s review embargo lifts & why it’s worrying

Hellblade 2 trailer screenshot

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is coming out soon and details regarding its review embargo have finally come out, but fans aren’t taking the news well.

Like the previous game, Hellblade 2 will be a linear, story-focused, single-player experience that emphasizes visual flare. With its launch drawing near and reviewers already having copies, fans anxiously await reviews before deciding whether to buy it. However, information about when the review embargo has increased skepticism regarding the game.

The review embargo for Hellblade 2 won’t be lifted until shortly before the game is available. Looking at how games with technical or other issues have done similar things in the past, it makes sense why the narrow timeframe before the reviews start dropping concerns many players.

When does the Hellblade 2 review embargo lift?

Hellblade 2’s review embargo lifts on May 21 at 4 am ET or 9 am BST, after which reviews will be allowed to be posted. This is on Hellblade 2’s actual release, just an hour before the game is available for purchase.

Tom Henderson of Insider Gaming reported the news and stated in a tweet that Hellblade 2 is now in reviewers’ hands. Reviewers having their copy before release is normal, but the timing of the embargo is a red flag for many.

The first Hellblade’s review embargo was lifted around a day before the game’s release. However, the sequel seems to take things further by allowing reviewers to share their thoughts and opinions on Hellblade 2 only an hour before its release, making it tough for fans to decide whether they want to preorder it.

Major releases often have review embargos that lift one or two days prior to release, as was seen with Dragon’s Dogma 2. If publishers are extremely confident in how their game will be received, it will be lifted earlier, as was seen with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.

Hellblade 2’s short length fuels worry over review timing

Hellblade 2’s late review embargo has fans worried, especially for the game’s length which is confirmed to be on the shorter side.

Ninja Theory already shared that Hellblade 2 will be as long as the original game, which received mixed reactions and questions from excited players. The previous title was short, so players want to be sure it’s worth their money before spending $50.

Publishers not distributing review copies, withholding review copies for specific platforms, or making it less likely for players to see reviews before purchasing the game has historically been a bad sign. Notable examples of this include Cyberpunk 2077 and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. The late review embargo for Hellblade 2 has players concerned that Hellblade 2 will be a similar case.

Hellblade 2 will be released on May 21. Questions about the game’s quality will be answered then.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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