Unlike how it is originally described in Norse lore, Garm appears as large boar, decaying away on various parts of its flesh. Its head and jaws are skeletal on one side and its skin in a pale colour, covered in wounds and rot. It towers over Senua, being at least twice her height.
Garm first appears when Senua steps into the darkness of Helheim's halls. Whenever she traverses an area that is not well lit by natural light or a torch, the environment darkens and distorted flashes of red begin to grow more intense as Garm closes in on her. If Senua remains in the dark too long, she will be killed.
When Senua manages to corner the beast, she has a chance to slay it. With a lot of health and attacks that a combination of both fast and powerful, Garm is one of harder challenges in the game:
- Claw Slam: Garm reaches out with a claw and slams it forwards towards Senua. It can do this with both of its legs.
- Forward Bite: Garm will try to bite Senua, lunging forward.
- Charge: Garm will retreat into the darkness prowl around, before charging across the arena. Listening for the audio of his growling will help to locate where it is going to charge from.
- Leaping Slam: Garm will leap forward at Senua and slam down with both legs. It is best to evade, as the claws have an area-of-effect. This is usually done after a charge.
- Darkness Expulsion: One of Garm's strongest abilities is vomiting darkness towards Senua. This causes her vision to go black and act in a similar way to the hallucinations of when she was being chased earlier. During this time, Senua will only get brief glimpses of what Garm, who is still attacking, will do. The only way to break out of the darkness is attacking it, either way with Focus, or running towards it blindly and attack.
- Garm also makes things a little trickier, as normal attacks when not Focusing will simply bounce off its body. Only by using Focus will Senua damage it normally.
- Despite being referred to as a giant wolf in the original lore from which Garm is based, it appears in Hellblade as a large boar-like creature. It is speculated that the reason for this is that Senua was only told the story of Garm by Druth where he referred to it only as a 'beast'. This causes her to imprint one of the more common beasts she knew from her home onto its form: a boar.