We've benchmarked Hellblade on a GTX 1060 and it runs without a hiccup. We've also shown some Low vs Ultra comparison screens. Now it's time for a complete breakdown of each and every one of Hellblade's (admittedly meagre) selection of graphics options, showing you not only what they do, but also the performance impact you can expect when you enable them.

Hellblade System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used an MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory, running Prey at 4K resolution.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

Graphics Setting Performance Cost Performance Impact Priority
Foliage 2.36% 1/5 3/5
Postprocessing 11.80% 4/5 2/5
Shadows 3.14% 2/5 2/5
Textures 14.17% 4/5 5/5
View Distance 6.29% 3/5 2/5
View Effects 10.23% 4/5 1/5

Hellblade Graphics Settings

Foliage

Hellblade's Foliage setting affects both the density and the draw distance of foliage. The actual quality of the foliage doesn't change regardless of the setting, but on Ultra it does appear to be much thicker and is visible at greater distances. This is one of the more obvious visual changes to be found in Hellblade and the low performance impact means there's little reason not to crank it up. 

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 3/5

   

 

Postprocessing

Postprocessing is a strange one in Hellblade. Whereas most games splinter off postprocessing into distinct settings, in Hellblade it's all rolled into one. This setting covers antialiasing, chromatic aberration, motion blur, film grain and more. Not having fine control over this setting is infuriating, particularly when it can carve 12% off your frame rate. Disabling post-processing leads to crisper image quality but you will miss out Hellblade's dreamy, ethereal aesthetic. Ultimately this one comes down to personal choice rather than looking definitively better on ultra.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Shadows

Shadow Quality directly affects the resolution and overall shape of the shadows cast in Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Normally this is an absolutely vital graphics setting to crank up, however, the Shadow Quality in Hellblade is ever really good enough to make it a must-have choice. Lighting rather than shadows ultimately ends up the more impressive in terms of visuals. Shadows on Low do look fairly blocky, yet on Ultra they still don't look particularly distinct. As such, this is a setting which it's safe to drop down to at least Medium.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

 

Textures

Texture Quality does just that, affecting the resolution of the textures displayed in Hellblade. We can't emphasise enough just what a difference this makes. Ninja Theory should be commended for including god-awful Low textures is Hellblade, purely so it works on a wider range of systems. But look the images below and you can see the sort of difference it can make. Textures does have a fairly chunky performance impact, and it's the setting most affected by VRAM. If you've got at least 4GB video memory then turning this up to Ultra should be a must.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 5/5

 

View Distance

Hellblade's View Distance sets the draw distance for objects. Setting this higher will allow more objects to be drawn in at farther distances. In the example below you can see the tree branches at the top are slightly more detailed on Ultra. View Distance on Ultra undoubtedly looks better, but it's quite a small change that doesn't have a major impact on overall visual quality. If you're struggling performance, this is a decent one to drop to gain a few fps in Hellblade.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

 

View Effects

The View Effects option is a vague term that refers to the quality of particle lights and reflections. This was comfortably the trickiest option to determine any sort of visual difference. Particle effects looked largely the same to me in the screenshots I took, and it was the same story for the reflections. I was trying to convince myself it looked better on Ultra, which is a sure-fire sign that turning it up in the first place is pretty pointless.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 1/5

Hellblade - Low vs Ultra Graphics Comparison Sliders

Hellblade PC Performance Benchmark - MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6GB