Bloodborne is the biggest new game release at the moment. The game was created by the developer FromSoftware and the director Hidetaka Miyazaki.
They are most notably known for the Souls series, AKA Demon’s Souls and Dark Soul games. These games are gritty and gruesome depictions of a lonely and troubled hero fighting his way through hordes of the undead and dying.
This new game is about a single dark warrior that wakes up in a town isolated from the rest of the world. Every townsfolk has become infected with some sort of lycanthropic disease, which means werewolves, and a ton of them.
The first enemies in the town are experiencing the first stages of transformation. The main character unfortunately wakes up in an intoxicatingly dark atmosphere surrounded by half transformed enemies.
The lack of a given story is par for the Dark Soul’s series, but after continuing onward, a rich world starts to form. Pay close attention to the snippets of dialogue from the few characters who don’t instantly try to eat your face off. While navigating from town to town, the story and horrifying environments suck the player in.
Did I mention this game is hard? And by hard, I mean it isn’t all that uncommon to die a dozen times in an hour. A death takes the player to the last checkpoint, enemies respawn and are ready for another go.
This is a game of trial and error, finding a rhythm with attacks and blocks is one key to progression. Just running and mashing the attack button won’t get you far.
While most of the 3rd person genre strategies apply, it is necessary to possess multiple strength based attacks with the ability to dodge and roll out of the line of enemy attacks.
The game is also about patterns. Unknown areas can lead to ambushes that cripple the health meter. Then, a 2nd party pops up from behind and back to the last checkpoint. It is imperative to learn from past mistakes and update attack patterns with every new area.
One of the biggest changes to the series is an utter lack of a shield. This removed a bit of a safety net most players are used to. Instead the designers put a firearm in one hand and an axe or blade in the other. This forces the player to take a slightly more aggressive approach to the gameplay. Instead of blocking it’s important to riposte the oncoming attacks with the firearm and then send in a flurry of attacks with the weapon of choice to finish off the enemies.
Evasion is also an option to be used and this is where dexterity helps, but this isn’t going to kill enemies.
The final verdict is that this game itself is loads of fun for a gamer that’s willing to die often and learn from their mistakes. It’s quick-paced and has a beautiful story to tell. Set aside some time because it’s a bit on the long side, it took me 46 hours to enjoy this game to its fullest. I guess the better question is: are you up for the challenge?