There is an old saying, “Kill or Be Killed,” But once you get to play BloodBorne, well let’s just say you’re going to be killed…..a lot! First couple of hours of play-through I’m still being killed relentlessly in the starting area but yet despite myself cursing at the “Your Dead” screen and wanting to throw down the controller and rage quit any moment, I can’t stop playing it. There is something about this game that makes me go back out into the playfield and try to hunt down these demons repeatedly until the job is done!
As for storyline, there isn’t much to start off. You undergo a mysterious blood transfusion because of some supposedly terrifying plague going around in the great city of Yarnham. You wake up in a nightmarish world of blood thirsty beasts, which was once men, raiding the streets as a Hunter. From then on, that’s as much of the storyline goes. You gradually find conversations with a few civilians behind doors and windows trying to piece together what’s going on around the city, but really your main concern is being a hunter with one objective. And that objective is Hunt to Kill!
Developed from the company SOFTWARE that brought us the Dark Souls series and Demon’s Soul, veteran gamers from these titles will have no problem being familiar to the combat mechanics and gameplay decisions. To newcomers however, well you will learn from your mistakes by how you die and learning to figure out to overcoming your enemies strategically. The enemies in this game are the most aggressive and brutal foes you’ll ever encounter in a video game. You retain knowledge of where paths lead and which enemies appear where. And you have the information to keep from making the same mistake a second time.
The standard loadout consists of a firearm and main-hand weapon, and hand-to-hand combat is the game’s biggest focus. You have no shield and can’t block, so the only way to avert from being damaged is by dodging. You have a stamina meter that governs all of your actions. So don’t expect to hack n slash spamming as possible. You have to be somewhat methodical with your combat skills, be resourceful and time your attacks cautiously.
And of course, with every RPG element, you have a leveling system, but with a twist. Instead of just earning EXP. points by defeating an enemy, you have to collect amount of Blood Echoes from enemies you slain and convert those blood points into attribute points to level up your character’s attributes. And can use them as currency for buying equipment as well. But on the downside, each time you die you’ll lose all of your Blood Echoes you’ve collected in order to make any progress to leveling your character. The only way to get them back is to make your way back to where you died and collect them without dying again. If a monster has consumed them you’ll need to slay the beast to get them back. This makes the game more challenging, especially since all the enemies will respawn once you come back.
The co-op system is not much to deal it. The system revolves around the use of two types of bell items to choose. The Beckoning Bell, which pulls co-op players into your world. The next item is a Resonant Bell, which someone summons you into their game world. It’s a handy little feature if your too underwhelmed taking down a certain boss all on your own. The only downside is that it takes a good bit of time connecting to someone, at least around 10 minutes waiting to play with someone. But once you do, it’s still worthwhile.
Bloodborne is a solid and hostile experience. The visual effects have a pleasing gothic aesthetics to its environment. There isn’t much of a musical score within the game, but just having the dark and grimy ambient sounds and the enemies’ deadly uproars help bring out the horror survival experience (I would recommend headsets). Only problem I had to deal with is technical issues such as the long loading times between deaths and teleporting to different places (though sometimes it helps me take a breather whenever I get frustrated from getting killed a lot). And in rare occasions I would get stutter frame rates, but luckily there’s been a couple of patch updates to accommodate it.
Overall Bloodborne is one of the most beautiful and immersive games I’ve played exclusively for the PS4 by far. You may start off in a harsh environment from start, but once you start to take your time to be perseverance and dedicated. Each passing death you go thru, you will find yourself getting right back up and continuing your cruel journey to victory…..well eventually! I rate Bloodborne a 4 out of 5 rating score.