Skip to main content

Ninja Theory’s Project: Mara is its latest game to tackle mental terror

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice approached mental illness and tragedy in a way we hadn’t seen before from a video game. The studio, now owned by Microsoft, is moving ahead on a sequel, but it also has another project cooking that will tackle mental terror in an entirely different way. Project: Mara is a new title that aims to deliver a grounded experience rooted in reality, and Ninja Theory will let you join the development team on the development process.

Separate from the previously announced The Insight Project, Project: Mara is an experimental new title that will be “a showcase of what could become a new storytelling medium,” according to Ninja Theory commercial director Dom Matthews and chief design director Tameem Antoniades.

A game that appears to blend live-action with traditionally rendered visuals, Project: Mara was teased with a very short clip during a Ninja Theory development diary. The protagonist Mara Fisher is struggling with her grasp on reality, and will be played by Hellblade star Melina Juergens. She will be the only character featured in the game, and there will be only one location.

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II will also continue to explore the human psyche, and how suffering can in turn shape our understanding of myths and religion. The game will be releasing for Xbox Series X, but does not have a release date yet.

The Dreadnought Diaries 1 | The Mission (Ninja Theory)

Ninja Theory’s final project focusing on mental illness is The Insight Project, which is a collaborative process between mental health experts, scientists, and artists. The details of this project are being kept under wraps, but it aims to combine gaming with neuroscience and psychiatry to promote mental well-being.

“What Hellblade achieved was to make the invisible visible,” said University of Cambridge Professor of Health Neuroscience Bernard Wolfe. “What if we could go further and give people the ability to see, engage with, and perhaps even overcome their fears and anxieties?”

We’ll have to wait to hear more information before we know if Ninja Theory succeeded, but the studio is certainly tackling subject matter largely ignored by the rest of the industry. Should these projects achieve their goals, that could certainly change in the future.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
Hellblade developer Ninja Theory confirms it won’t replace voice actors with AI
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2

Ninja Theory, the developer behind the Hellblade series, denies that it will replace human voice actors with AI.

In a response to a Twitter user asking if the studio would do such a thing, Ninja Theory stated: "No. For clarity, we use this AI tech for placeholder content only to help us understand things like timing and placement in early phases of development. We then collaborate with real actors whose performances are at the heart of bringing our stories to life."

Read more
Xbox is inspiring Black youth to make games with Project Amplify
Project Amplify banner

Xbox launched Project Amplify, a new program that will help support Black youth who want to work in the gaming industry.

Project Amplify is a video series where 14 Black employees within Xbox seek to educate Black youth on the diversity of roles within the gaming industry, offering them advice and insights into their current roles as well as sharing stories about their journey into the gaming industry. The teaser trailer below compilates snippets from all 14 videos from each employee, including program manager Q Muhaimin, senior business development manager James Lewis, software engineer Nayomi Mitchell, and head of development for Halo Infinite Pierre Hintze.

Read more
Xbox Game Pass loses three of its best games this month, including Hades
hades best builds key art new cropped hed 1244036

Xbox shared the second wave of August Game Pass titles coming this August, but what's leaving the service is a bit more notable. Game Pass is losing three indie heavy-hitters, including the award-winning Hades.

The mid-month additions to Game Pass this August feature many day-one additions such as Midnight Fight Express, Commandos 3, Immortality, and Tinykin. The only AAA game coming this month is Ubisoft's Immortals Fenyx Rising, with the total lineup spanning eight games across cloud, console, and PC. Here's the full list of games, what platforms they will be available on, and what date they will come to the service.

Read more