Out of all the games that have come out in 2015, Bloodborne has set itself apart, with a fresh gameplay style that is different enough from FromSoftware’s other games, and yet still feels like a “Souls” game. New weapon styles, guns and brand new spells, as well as even more terrifying and satisfying bosses. The gameplay design speaks for itself when I say that its extremely progressive into getting video games being recognized as art. The visuals are grand and always fits the scene, the bosses and enemies will always catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared, and the world always has a way of making you uneasy of what is coming next.
//Bloodborne is Property of FromSoftware// //This article may contain spoilers… You’ve been warned//
A common theme with FromSoft game series’ is whether you are talking about Demon Souls or Dark Souls it’s always the great elements of game design. They will always give you something that seems daunting to fight at first, and when you die they give you the necessary tools to give that fight another go. Bloodborne has these elements scattered throughout the game, your very first enemy is a Lycan and you have no weapons. You are expected to fight this creature and whether you live or die determines when exactly you get your weapons. Dying gets you your weapons sooner, showing the developers that you need them for that fight, however if you kill the beast with your bare hands you don’t immediately get ported to the overworld hub. You are instead expected to find a way through to a lamp. New players almost always die here, I personally only know two people to have beaten the first enemy in the first shot on the first playthrough, and these players were veterans of other games from Soft. The game itself has a classic easy to learn, hard to master mentality to it, the initial enemies after the first one are fairly easy to learn how to fight and dispatch and the first area of the game is made to teach the player the kinds of situations he/she might find themselves in. Now lets talk shop, because there are a lot of games that do what Bloodborne does, we however are going to look at what Bloodborne does different from other games from the last decade.
Please make note that other games may have done the things that I am about to mention but either its been far too long to be culturally relevant to the current gaming community or they didn’t do it successfully. First I’d like to mention that there haven’t been many good games that make it to console that successfully deals with the Lovecraftian medium of story telling, the good combination of classic horror coupled with the unreal makes this game a treat to explore and discover new things. Even if these things aren’t a new weapon or equipment, but simply just a few sentences from an excerpt of a destroyed book, I still found myself engrossed enough into the story to want to find out exactly what happened to the people of this Victorian city. One of the moments of the game that really stuck with me was at one point, as you enter another part of the city that is far below the rest, it’s cut off from the other residents and has a sign on its entrance that states that no one is alive beyond that point.
Also that you aren’t wanted, but where one isn’t wanted means there is surely treasure…right? Wrong, you discover some guy has some strange moral obligation to protect the beasts remaining in the town. Understandable, and shouldn’t be much of a hassle, right? Wrong again, he has a god damn mini-gun and will not stop firing at you so long you are within his line of sight. So what do you do? You could come back later (as this area of the game is mostly optional) or you make a damn good run for it. Now later on in the game you learn that what you actually see might now be what is actually real, or even if it is real the rest of this cities population don’t see the beasts around them and don’t see themselves as the infected masses that you take them for. Thus you learn the second game element of the unreal, and this is where the story and the gameplay start to blend together. You begin to see more and more of what is actually around you when you start gaining more and more “Insight” (The games built in difficulty mechanic/currency/revealer of secrets).
Now that exact specifics of Insight in the story are these multidimensional “eyes” on the inside of your head and you gain them by witnessing and killing things that are terrifying and unreal (AKA Bosses) now if you have a lot of Insight on you at one time new enemies will start to see you and you will start to see them. It also determines how much damage your character can take from certain enemies because certain enemies will literally try to suck them out of your brain. You’ll start to notice that some people in the world have even torn out there own eyes just so that they won’t be driven mad by the creatures around them. Another unique thing that Bloodborne has done was how it tackled multiplayer, similar but not quite the same as its predecessors, Bloodborne requires the use of a single point on Insight in order to summon other players from other worlds. The idea being that the eye is being manipulated into opening a small rift into a parallel dimension that allows other hunters through. Now these Hunters that you summon in will help you but their presence allows for another entity to start summoning in enemies from other dimension. These are also other Hunters but their goal is to try and kill you.
These are just a few ways that Bloodborne differs itself from the pack, now to continue on our path.
So lets start off the story part of our article with the back story. An archaeology dig starts to open up old ruins of a lost civilization but one of them becomes sick and discovers that some of the old blood found in these ruins cured his ailments. Word quickly spreads of this miracle blood and it starts to become a widely administered treatment. Soon after however they quickly discover that the blood has given them otherworldly senses and they start to slowly turn in beasts because of this. Now people are beginning to research other treatments to treat the outbreak of beasts and start to discover multidimensional “eyes” that allow one to see beyond the veil of common understanding. This also allows them to start to go mad from the things that they now can see and some kill themselves, others fight back and start to try and cleanse the town for these creatures and others still sick with ambition to take control now begin to use the dregs of blood of these other creatures to administer further treatments.
Some give their own eyes and still become abhorrent beasts
Now lets fast forward to the present day where everything has gone to shit thanks to these two factions fighting and blaming each other for their mistakes. We start with your character beginning to learn about the world around him/her, and that they came to Yarnham to be cured of their own ailment. Upon discovery of what that entailed you character is now thrown into this world of insane beasts and otherworldly creatures. That’s pretty much where the story will take you, the rest is for you to discover my friends.
Gameplay 9 /9.5 Rabid Dogs
Story 8/8 Lovecrafts
Graphics 10/10 Individual Cobblestones
Overall: Buy it, its good and it’ll take your brain on an adventure.