Review: Bloodborne “From Software have succeeded again with arguably the best game of the year so far.”
When I first saw the game Bloodborne I was rather sceptical, I loved the Souls series and Bloodborne looked more like a hack ‘n’ slash, it looked similar to Devil May Cry. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Bloodborne picks up where Dark Souls II left off. It won’t spoon feed you like almost every other game does these days and that’s why it stands out so well. There are no objectives, no straight path to follow, and an open world which encourages and rewards you to explore. Bloodborne is extremely hard and offers a sense of accomplishment that only From Software games seem to manage.
Waking up in a ruined city, where some sort of hunt is going on and a disease has turned people into werewolf style beasts Bloodborne thrusts you right into the action, making you figure out the story yourself with very few cut scenes or explanation in between.
Bloodborne feels and plays very much like a Souls game but with more of a flourish. Gone is the slow, defensive combat, in its place is a new system which rewards the player for an aggressive style of play. Shields are discouraged and a new “regain system” which allows the regeneration of health off of enemies really emphasises this. The standard shield of the Souls series is replaced with a firearm which is used to counter enemie attacks rather than do damage.
The game is extremely challenging, players are guaranteed to die repeatedly. Enemies offer “echoes” which are used to level up, this is where Bloodborne is absolutely brilliant but brutal. The game doesn’t encourage you to level up to progress, it encourages you to learn. It never feels like the game is cheating you, rather the opposite, it is extremely fair and every death is something to learn from. Be it the map layout, traps or enemy patterns and weaknesses every death helps the player.
Zones that are absolute nightmares to begin will quickly become areas that you can transverse without taking damage. The game almost becomes trial and error, forcing you to explore every possible option until you find what works the best for you.
Bloodborne has a hub type area called “The Hunters Dream” which allows players to navigate to different areas they have unlocked. You can buy items, upgrade weapons or level up in this area.
A wide variety of bosses, enemies and areas constantly offer new challenges for you, the game never feels boring or old no matter how much you die.
Bloodborne generally runs well with occasional frame drops, but the real killer is the loading screens. They can be up to one minute long which is rather frustrating and can really drag your mind out of the world.
The game is not for everyone however it will offer an experience to every player, old or new. You’ll come away with memories, if you love it or hate it, it will leave an impression.
From Software have succeeded again with arguably the best game of the year so far.