Bloodborne, the newest IP from the sadists at FROM Software. Exclusive to the PS4, this is very similar to the “Souls” series of games with a few differences.
Firstly there is no block, dodging is the only way to avoid getting bits ripped off. Secondly the emphasis is more on attack. When you have been hit you can recover up to all of the damage accrued back by attacking. It’s an interesting mechanic and makes you more likely to attack rather than falling back to lick your wounds. This makes it different enough from Dark Souls so keep you interested and not feel like a carbon copy.
The biggest difference is the setting, the world is a very gothic Victorianesque setting where people have been drinking and administering blood for many years and this has led to a plague of beasts, werewolves and the like. You are a Hunter, charged with making the streets a safer place but no one truly trusts you. It is a very rich setting and you get far more background than in the other FROM Software games.
The graphics will not blow you away this game looks nice enough, although it could have been a little nicer. The game has the same sort of punishing difficulty that every Souls game has, even though this isn’t officially a Souls game, if you replace “Souls” with “Blood” it’s practically the same. There are no character classes, so starting choices are not as difficult, as you have the choice of 3 main hand weapons and offhand weapons, the alternates are easily purchasable not long after you start. So your style of combat is purely dictated by your weaponry, and you need to tailor your stats for the one that you find feels best.
The final main difference is the fact that there is no magic and you have guns. Now the guns have very limited range and are used more to stun enemies or to perform “visceral” attacks (this is when you time your gunshots perfectly just as the enemies are attacking, you’ll perform a critical hit).
It is still difficult enough to induce insanity after you die continuously, but just as gratifying when you succeed. Basically if you’re a fan of the Dark Souls games then you will likely enjoy this, if you don’t like them, then you probably won’t be struck by this either. If you have never played any of the FROM software games, then I would say give it a go, get yourself up to and defeat the first boss. If you still can’t stand it then move on, if you have got past the first boss you may get just enough of a rush to carry you forward into enjoying this game.
I originally completed this within a few weeks of its launch and have just picked up the DLC so will be reviewing the DLC separately and it will be up here soon!
Bloodborne is a solid game and innovates nicely from its spiritual predecessors.