Whenever people talk about the Souls games, one thing that is common is how satisfying the combat is, and of course, the high learning curve. We’ve had three Souls games last gen and they were all dripping with quality. From Software knows how to make these games and they’ve done it again with Bloodborne.
Bloodborne is a lot like Demon’s Souls with a bunch of Resident Evil mixed in. Confused? It’s a survival horror action RPG with that classic Souls’ combat and systems that we’ve come to know and love.
Once you create your character you are dropped in this magnificent Gothic world called Yahrnam that will just make you stop and admire its beauty. Yahrnam is not a friendly place though, you are here for a reason and that reason is to wipe off the filth that is infecting this world.
Just like the previous Souls games, exploration is the key. That feeling of opening a shortcut that leads to the original area you started in is sublime. The game is quite similar to Dark Souls as it has a hub world called the Hunter’s Dream where you can level up, fortify your weapons and do other things.
This is where game director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s brilliance shines. The entire world is interconnected and seamless. The downside of this is that the loading takes a while. You go from one area to another, gain Blood Echoes–which is like souls–that you can use to level up and buy things.
Bloodborne’s combat is slightly different than the Souls games. You can now use guns in strategic ways like to stagger an opponent and much more. Shields are gone and so are the various magic abilities you saw in the previous games. There are now trick primary weapons which have one handed and two handed abilities. The gear you wear isn’t that important anymore other than making you look good. So no more annoying people in pvp who use all the same turtle gear and try to smash you.
I kinda felt that this game is a lot more difficult than the previous games due the lack of shields. You now have to dodge, counter, parry and be really aggressive with your enemies. Kill them before they kill you.
There are a bunch of weapons at your disposal, mainly melee weapons and guns. You can use the starting Saw Cleaver weapon and finish the entire game with it. It won’t be outdated as you keep playing. You do, however, find some cool weapons in the game that let you do a lot more.
The stats are a bit different as well. You now have Bloodtinge and Arcane stats which you can use to improve your gun and magic skills respectively. By magic I mean using items to do arcane damage.
Now comes the best part: bosses. The bosses in this game are nicely designed and will creep you out. They are also very aggressive and since at the time of writing this review I was near the last boss, there were only two bosses in the game I encountered that I felt were not upto the mark.
There is co-op as well and it’s a bit different than the previous games. You no longer have signs that you can click to summon someone, you have to ring a bell. There are three bells, one to summon, one to be summoned and one to invade. There will be some enemies in the game using a sinister bell (invade), so if you don’t kill them quickly, someone might invade your game.
Playing with your friends is pretty easy too. You can set a password and this matches both of you together. There can be a maximum of two friendly summons playing the game with you at a time. Co-op is basically the easy mode. You need to have insight to summon people and you can gain insight by killing bosses or certain enemies. There are also items that can give you insight.
Have more than 15 insight? The game will become slightly harder for you as this is a world tendency system of Demon’s Souls in its new avatar.
The game will take your around 40 hours to finish which is great. The game’s areas are all well designed and there is hardly any filler material here. In fact, there wasn’t a single area in the game that I disliked. This is artistic design at its best. However, in some areas the framerate drops down and creates a bunch of issues. Other than that, the game usually runs pretty well.
Just like the previous Souls games, you need to play the game to figure out what is going on. The story is pretty vague but it is also exciting to unravel the mysteries of Yahrnam that From Software has lovingly created. There are a lot of secrets in this world, and you have to explore every area, look in every nook and cranny, to get interesting things.
Unfortunately, I had a power cut and that corrupted my save. I lost a lot of progress but ended up creating another character. This time I aim to play slowly and explore each and every area. It would be advisable to upload your save to the cloud or USB and not make the mistake I did.
Bloodborne is one of the best games ever made. It’s amazing that we are getting a game of such calibre so early in this gen and this is definitely a killer app that the PS4 was waiting for. If you loved the Souls games and like playing beautiful looking RPGs then you should definitely buy this game.