December 23, 2019 at 2:41 AM #759
Rating: 5.0 – Flawless
You wake up in a dream, and stay in it even after you beat it
With From Software’s massive success that was birthed from Demon’s Souls in 2009, the triple-A game company went on to create a whole entire quadrilogy, also reeling in one of gaming’s most loyal fanbases. From Software is also responsible for other ground-breaking titles such as Armored Core, and Kingsfield which also had many, many sequels. Currently, From Software is working on Dark Souls Remastered, so keep tuned in for that!
A large setting difference, as compared to Dark Souls, Bloodborne takes place in a rural and run-down towns and cities, sporting a nice 80’s vinyl feel. The art theme for this title also rubs off onto the types of "armor" you may find on your journeys through the fictional town of Yharnam and beyond, featuring old top hats, dresses, church robes, long coats and spats. You would be stupid if you ever said Bloodborne didn’t make you enjoy feeling edgy.
Bloodborne, being released in 2015 after Dark Souls 2, is a spin-off of the Souls-type combat style and gameplay mechanics. Bloodborne is easily distinguished from the other titles, utilizing a gothic horror vibe. On top of the entire art theme swap, Bloodborne also uses a tacky, more fast-paced Player versus Environment and Player versus Player experience. As compared to Dark Souls, where you parry with you shield and roll to evade attacks, in Bloodborne, the Hunters parry with their workshop crafted pistols, dodge and weave with their dashes, and fight with transforming weapons. This game has a black and white type fan base- either you absolutely love it, or you hate it and curse it to death with every last breath. There is no grey area of "Yes, I kinda like Bloodborne, it was cool."
As it seems the deep lore of the Souls formula has also slipped into this masterpiece! I would be lying if I said Bloodborne was not inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft, utilizing his fictional characters and beings known simply as "Great Ones", cosmic creatures who have transcended their human bodies and become powerful entities of folklore. The game revolves around bringing day back to Yharnam after a disease has spread about the population, bringing beasts, and with beasts, Hunters. As a Hunter, you are tasked Hunting beasts until the source of the unrelenting plague on humanity is ridden, by eliminating Great Ones, who hold forbidden wisdom, useful insights to the past that may help you in the present, and the power to revert the night back to day.
Another major difference from the other Souls games is the weapon variety is much smaller, featuring only 15 weapons. These weapons are called "Trick Weapons", all of which function as swords and blades in their normal state, but are capable of being transformed into another weapon type giving the weapon an entirely new moveset. The deadly and intriguing design of the Hunter weapons allows for consecutive attacks that lead into a riper, more fun PvP and PvE experience, to be shared with you and your buddies in holly-jolly co-operation.
Dark Souls 3 has an infusion system in which you can forge a weapon to deal a specific elemental damage type. Bloodborne uses a similar feature, except you are able to easily swap out these gems as they are not permanently infused. Each gem in Bloodborne can contain up to a maximum of 3 effects: 1 main effect, 1 side effect, and 1 defect. The way to obtain Blood Gems is to come across them in your perilous journey through Yharnam and beyond, or explore the dungeons of old, unlocked by using Chalices that older beings used to worship, and partake in communion with. Gems vary from poison, to fire, to magic and they can all be adapted to how you build your character. Keep in mind, you can also create multiple characters too~!
Graphics/Visuals and Audio and Score
As previously stated, this masterpiece has a gothic-horror vibe to it. The graphics of Bloodborne featured on PS4 (not PS4 pro) are outstanding! The visuals are very ripe and colorful, allowing the player to feel hypnotized with euphoria after beating a boss or discovering eldritch wisdom. The locations featured across the game are more than perfectly crafted. Ranging from small towns with big meaning, deep forests hidden with merciless witches, castles of royal blood, and other planes of existence known as the Nightmare realms. Accompanying the beautiful graphics is the audio. As you slash and dash through the streets of enemies, you may want to stop and take a moment to embrace what is the Bloodborne soundtrack. Created in London by a 62-piece instrumental and a 32 member choir, every moment will feel as eerie as the last, only getting more adrenaline-rushing as you go on. When you’re not being distracted by the wonderful, unique pieces for each boss and area, you may notice the small ambient sounds of creepy breaths in the night, screaming, bells tolling, and faint rustling of leaves in the wind. Bloodborne’s atmosphere on top of the sound creates a surreal, and all too real and alive experience every moment.
Replayability and General Play Time
If you are not experienced in difficult games (cough, Spelunky, cough, Surgeon Simulator), or even have no experience in the Souls series, you may find this game fairly difficult and take many 10’s of hours to complete your first playthrough. Even to a seasoned Souls veteran, Bloodborne may still be tedious learning the revamped controls and game mechanics, taking you anywhere from a teensy hour, to 90 full hours, not to mention the time you will be investing in to finding all of the hidden secrets, lore, and items. As for replayability, the game features a New Game Plus mechanic allowing you to carry your gear and your character into the same tragic nightmare all over again, only harder. This allows you to pick back up on missed quests, followers and friends, and gear you otherwise may have missed you first time through, all while making the game significantly more harder and rewarding in the "wow-I-just-did-that" sense. Player Versus Player (PvP) is also another good reason to pick this game up again after you have beat it. The style of weapons and variety of player builds you can create, and never-ending randomly generated Chalice Dungeons that provide a though-provoking and frustrating experience to further your character’s strength, are all good reasons to PvP. Personally, I know I have had a lot of fun dueling others in mano e mano combat, but I will not touch on this matter any further as the community is slowly whittling away with cheaters.
Jerr- I mean, Wudchuk’s Final Thoughts (I give this a very good rating of 9/10)
Many people have complained and ranted around the internet about how this title is a Playstation 4 exclusive, and have even taken it upon themselves to blame Sony or From Software themselves for it. This feud has resulted in the nickname for the console, "The 300$ Bloodborne Machine." If you want to purchase Bloodborne, or play Bloodborne at all for that matter, I would fully reccomend that you try it out for a few hours and see if you dig it. If you are considering buying it and own a PS4, I strongly recommend you pick this masterpiece up, while you can still find it in local game shops like GameStop, Best Buy, and other franchises for around 20$. The game itself also only takes up 36.5 gigabytes, excluding your ever-expanding save data. But if there is one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that once you fall into the Hunter’s Dream, you will never wake up from it.
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