Bloodborne: A bloody good time


A new hunter faces one of the infamous Darkbeasts in the ruins of old Yharnam. Large beasts were a focus in the creation of Bloodborne bosses, and previous fights reflect this. Photo Source: PCMag

Ethan Clark, Staff reporter

The “Dark Souls” franchise is a favorite among the gaming community for its unique and famously challenging gameplay, featuring a slow and deliberate combat experience and detailed explorable game worlds. However, the series has always had an issue drawing in new players because of its difficulty and its high barrier to enter. This changed on March 24, 2015 with the release of “Bloodborne”. It features faster but easier to learn combat, a horror theme the previous games never touched and new unique gameplay mechanics. “Bloodborne” refined the “Dark Souls” franchise allowing an entire new player-base in.

“Bloodborne” takes place in the city of Yharnam, a town ruled by a church basing itself around a mysterious blood substance that has miraculous healing abilities. However, this blood has caused an outbreak of lycanthropy and the city’s residents have been transforming into beasts. In response, hunters have been sent out to silence these beasts in nightly hunts, utilizing light, cloaked armor and quick, serrated weapons. During the night, the whole city is on the verge of collapsing, as almost everyone begins to fall to the beastly scourge and eldritch abominations begin to populate the city. The story bits are well written but as with most “Dark Souls” games, the lore is hidden in hundreds of item descriptions and requires a lot of reading in between the lines. Going through the game for the first time can be confusing, which is unfortunate for the story being as detailed and creative as it is.

“Bloodborne” uses a fast-paced melee combat system, complemented by its light armor and fast weapons. The edged blades and larger bludgeoning armaments make up the Hunters’ trick weapon slot, always having an additional second form with unique or different attacks. The left-hand slot holds a pistol but as it only holds 20 shots without specific buffs, it is used for parrying enemies into a stagger and leaving them open for massive damage. Level up certain stats at the hub world, the Hunter’s Dream and upgrade weapons with bloodstones and three of the more varied and random blood gems. The fast paced combat matches well with the large, lumbering creatures and felt like dancing through the large, monstrous limbs and tearing through the belligerent and bloody beasts. All out aggression is encouraged by the rally system, which gives the hunter back a portion of health if enough damage is done to the enemies or bosses. Overall it just feels right to play, unlike the slow and methodical play style of “Dark Souls”, which emphasizes discomfort.

“Bloodborne” is a favorite of many, which is deserving for its inventiveness and refinement of previous mechanics. The game is worth the time it takes to learn it and for most players it is a bloody good time.