Bloodborne is the latest release of game publisher FromSoftware. In their own words, “Face your fears as you search for answers in the ancient city of Yharnam, now cursed with a strange endemic illness spreading through the streets like wildfire. Danger, death and madness lurk around every corner of this dark and horrific world, and you must discover its darkest secrets in order to survive.”
If you have any familiarity with the game’s developers through their previously acclaimed titles, Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls I/II, then there isn’t too much that you don’t already know about the types of games that they produce. If you aren’t familiar with their games, then I have a whole lot to tell you about.
The story for Bloodborne has you taking the role of an unwilling visitor to the city of Yharnam. The city itself has been overrun by strange creatures, monsters, and the deranged inhabitants of the city itself. Your objective is to find the source of the plague that has afflicted the people and creatures in order to survive.
Having spent a good amount of time playing both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls II, the gameplay was quite familiar to me. The style of gameplay is that of an action-rpg. You take a third person view of the action allowing you to see your avatar and the enemies around yourself. Navigation and combat are in my wheelhouse for this game. It is a run and gun, active type of gameplay. Bloodborne is the type of game that you cannot mentally switch off while playing. You have to remain alert to threats approaching and, as you regularly encounter large groups of enemies at any given time, you have to always be cognizant of your position in relation to those of your enemies. It also involves elements of strategy and planning as items dropped by enemies that may be needed for encounters later on will not continually be dropped when they respawn.
Personally, I love Bloodborne. I mean, the game was most certainly not designed for the casual gamer. I have had more than one instance where I simply had to put the controller down and turn the system off in order to keep from hurling it through the screen. Sometimes the encounters are so frustratingly difficult that you have to bash your head into the same wall over and over again to learn the mechanics and overcome. That is what draws me back every time. The difficult games are the most fun because of the sense of accomplishment when you finally figure things out and persevere. The Lovecraftian, Gothic setting doesn’t hurt for me either. The entirety of the world has a dark and spooky feel to it enhanced by the mission you are on, the graphics, and the soundtrack. If you like a game that you can pick up and waltz through in a few hours, then Bloodborne probably isn’t for you. If you enjoy a spooky environment, a serious challenge, and active, involved gameplay, then Bloodborne is the kind of thing you will most certainly enjoy.
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