Every once in a while there comes along a game that leaves us wondering why so many people are drawn towards violence and misery? With the wondrous graphic capability of the PlayStation 4, games like Bloodborne can push our imagination to accept monstrous beasts that cannot ever be described by mere words. The makers of the Dark Souls series, From Software, took the best parts of the beloved Dark Souls 2 engine and gameplay, and created one of the most compelling games that released exclusively for the PlayStation 4. After spending a great deal of time vanquishing a series of properly scary foes, we have put together a review that should help you get an idea of what this game is about.
Bloodborne is an action RPG, if you want it to be put in the blandest of terms, but right from the very first minute, you know that you have brought upon yourself an experience that may change you. You are made to choose your character’s class and details at the beginning of the game, but after that, you’re on your own. There are no explanations or introductions to combat sequences or strategies and you are made to face a werewolf in the first five minutes. Deriving its key mechanics from Dark Souls 2 (forgive the constant comparison, but it is supposed to be a sequel!), fight sequences rely heavily on the strengths and weaknesses of individual enemies that will bring you face to face with desperate melee. Enemies can ambush and even attack collectively, and you have no way of defending yourself effectively.
The game throws you, a hunter, into the city of Yharnam which is suffering from the spread of a mysterious lycanthropic disease (hence the werewolves). Although there are not many twists in the plot, Bloodborne offers so much to do apart from the main storyline, that you may often find yourself searching for minute secrets and increasing the already lengthy playtime of the game. While progressing through the storyline, we observed that the game does not quite make an effort to stray away from what you can predict, but instead gives you what you expect with such extraordinary effect, that you cannot wish for anything more.
The environment in Bloodborne is painstakingly detailed and interactive. Foliage sways with the wind, smoke and mist engulfs the cryptic areas of the city and blood sprays out of the enemies as your weapon connects.
Regardless of how grim the game it, you find yourself awestruck every time there is a sweeping view of the ruined surroundings. We know that the developers have done a great job with the graphics when a hellish, despair-ridden world like Yharnam actually looks beautiful. About the graphics of the characters, it is absolutely flawless. Each new enemy is painstakingly crafted to be the worst kinds of monster that can come from human imagination. Just when you think you have faced the scariest of them all, the game throws yet another one at you!
With Bloodborne leaning more towards horror than the previous games from the developer, the soundtrack is haunting and dramatic which creates an amazing atmosphere for the game. You will not hear much of it though, as you will be more creeped out by the horrific sounds and screams made by deranged characters, vicious enemies rising from a pool of blood and lava, violent transformations of villagers and the uncomfortable silence when you dare to explore beyond the main path. The sounds of destruction and violence alone when you are engaging an enemy is powerful and realistic enough to scare you, and when combined with strong visuals, you have a game that will remind you of why you were afraid of the dark.
Dialogues and cinematic scenes in the game are quiet limited, considering the amount of time you spend fighting, dying, and fighting again just to regain all the Blood Echoes you lost previously. Cinematics are dramatic, broody and always impressive, pushing the storyline forward relentlessly. The dialogues, much like the previous Dark Souls series are generally vague, giving you another reason to be drawn towards the mysterious world.
The only things wrong with the game are the frustrating fighting system, obscure gameplay and the fact that the storyline could have been stronger.
A game is more about numbers and individual flaws, as the experience of the entire package is so satisfying that you never feel let down by a masterpiece like this one. Despite all our observations and explanations, even though you believe you know everything there is to know about Bloodborne, you will need to play it for a few hours to truly appreciate the hellish beauty and the high difficulty of the game. It is grim, gory and relentless in its pursuit of showing you what purgatory must be like.
If you manage to stay sane, and keep your hope in happiness alive after Bloodborne, it is almost like the game has been wasted on you. Do us a favour, spend some time with Bloodborne, lose yourself in Yharnam and once you have spent weeks getting over the broody, dark atmosphere, you might even start appreciating the fact that you do not live in that kind of world. Well, not yet, at least.
• Awesome game world
• Great enemy designs
• Challenging for every gamer
• Long loading times