The small team at Ninja Theory, known for Heavenly Sword and DmC: Devil May Cry, explains the unorthodox approaches it's taking to make Hellblade feel like a blockbuster indie game.

Ninja Theory's latest developer diary for Hellblade showcases the unique methods of design its 13-man team is utilizing to make it look like a blockbuster title. There are numerous innovations made to Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 to help Hellblade's world be as detailed as possible without allocating tons of manpower and sleepless nights to it.

"If we were to make Hellblade using standard, AAA methods with our team of just 13 people, we'd be lucky to have anymore than an hour of gameplay," said Dominic Mathews, who is in charge of Product Development at Ninja Theory. "So over the past few months, we've been in our prototyping phase, where we've been exploring new ideas and new ways of working."

Background and environmental objects, such as a rocks, grass and hills, automatically blend in with the ground depending on how high or low its elevation is -- the ground actually crusts up to help the items naturally mesh with the land. Multiply this process with dozens of different objects being added into a scene at the same time, and Hellblade is shaping up to be quite the looker.

“It's not enough for us to just make a smaller version of what we've done before. We’re not competing on scale, therefore we have to compete on being different," said Tameem Antoniades, Ninja Theory's Chief Creative Designer. "Hellblade has to be unique, something that you wouldn't be getting in a big budget AAA experience. So, our approach to making the game has to be different too."

While no release date has been set, Hellblade is expected to launch later this year for PlayStation 4 and PC.