From Software and Hidetaka Miyazaki – if you see these names associated with a game, you know what you’re in for: a willful obtuseness, satisfying mechanics, brilliant level design, and of course, sanity-shattering difficulty. Bloodborne brings the Souls games (Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2) onto the PlayStation 4 in a considerably stream-lined fashion. Unlike those previous games, there’s a relative dearth of weapons and armor, and, barring a single instance, an absence of shields. Instead, Bloodborne speeds up the gameplay, becoming a bit of a direct descendant of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s Castlevania.
My hunter, Severian. An attempt at modelling Peter Cushing
Enemies have distinct patterns, and you’d be well to learn them, just like the Souls games; if you die, you drop your experience and money (referred to as blood echoes), and all traps and enemies respawn; you can journey back and try to regain them (sometimes, they’re picked up by an enemy, and you have to kill that particular monster in order to reacquire them), but if you die again before you do, they’re gone for good. Yes, proper punishing, that. What Bloodborne isn’t, however, is unfair. If you take the time to learn and upgrade as you go, you’ll find yourself inching forward, despite swearing (if you don’t swear while playing this game, well, you’re considerably stronger than I am ) that the game is impossible with each and every death. And oh, will there be deaths. Make peace with dying, because you’ll do it over, and over, and over again. Of course, this only makes the victories all the sweeter.
Huge, beautiful, challenging, filled with grotesque monsters and haunting environments, Bloodborne is a horror-action masterpiece. While there will certainly be those who purchase it and abandon it early on do to the dedication required to progress, those that give it a chance will find Bloodborne all consuming, and one of the most satisfying and stunningly designed games in years. Brilliant and bloody, if you’ve got the mettle, don’t hesitate to pick this one up now and let From and Miyazaki’s latest masterpiece take you on a rollercoaster of fear, anger, doubt, despair, and triumph.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.