Bloodborne: The Reason You Bought a PS4


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By Chris Mudd, Staff Writer

“Bloodborne” is a dive into the rain soaked and melancholy world of Yharnam, leaving the player with a dread few games manage to instill. The dreary fog-filled streets of “Bloodborne” make for a panic-inducing environment to combat some of the most horrific creatures in gaming. Its game design is in top form, having refined the elements that made “Dark Souls,” the first game released by From Software in the world of Yharnam, so enticing.

No longer do players loot souls from the corpses they plunder as games in the “Dark Souls” world, instead blood vials are commonplace and used as a sort of currency, with larger and more imposing monsters presenting the player with larger sums. Used to upgrade or alter existing items, the blood never loses its usefulness no matter how far into the game the player progresses.

One will need those upgrades, as the number of weapons in the game has been limited compared to the “Dark Souls.” This isn’t exactly a problem, as the weapons that players do have are infinitely more complex. For example, each weapon now has an alternate style through which it can be used, such as a sword that transforms into a whip with a flick of the wrist.

“Bloodborne” also introduces the use of firearms. When choosing to use a one-handed weapon, the other hand can be used to fire a burst attack that doesn’t do much damage, but certainly pushes back the opponent for a limited time. The guns create space in a game where reaction time and accuracy determine life or death.

The speed of combat seems to have increased compared to “Souls,” although this is perhaps due to the lack of defensive items in the game. It’s virtually unheard of to block. Instead, players are encouraged to simply dodge and roll away from attacks. This makes it impossible to turtle up and defend and forces the player to be aggressive.

The story of “Bloodborne” is undeniably nonexistent. There are a few poetic dialogue scenes that cryptically inform the player where to go and what they have to do, but there doesn’t appear to be any long-term narrative that flows through the game.

Instead, “Bloodborne” relies on world-building and mood, instilling an emotional response within the hearts of those who play. Somewhere between fear, panic and a deep, longing sadness, “Bloodborne” executes its emotional through-line perfectly.

From Software has always set a name for themselves in the world of creature design, but “Bloodborne” exemplifies its talents. The trembling and roaring flesh-beasts that bear down on the player from the beginning are so eerie that on more than one occasion, I died just from enjoying the creepy spectacle of watching its animations.

“Bloodborne” is a must-have if you own a PS4. Shut out the lights and become absorbed. It’s an unforgettable experience.