I have spent roughly 15 hours in just a couple of days with the new action-RPG “Bloodborne,” and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of the game. If you are familiar with previous games by Japanese developer “From Software,” you will know this is exactly what they want.
Bloodborne is a Playstation 4 exclusive directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, who revolutionized the idea of a “difficult game” in 2009 with “Demon’s Souls.” “Bloodborne” is not a direct entry in the “Souls” series, but it is more than appropriate to say the games are spiritual relatives.
While there is a story to be had in these games, it is somewhat trivial, as the real appeal is the brute challenge, which relies on segregating any type of hand holding provided to the player, and to an extent, punishing the player for failure.
I found myself three hours into the game and not past the first stage. You have to take what “Bloodborne” gives, and learn from it to achieve success. This means studying enemy attacks, such as how they wind up for a swing, the reach of the attack and how quick the attack is.
Learning enemy nuances will also help you in evading enemy attacks, which is vital, considering if you die, you are sent back to the start and all the enemies return, regardless to if you had taken them down previously.
Obviously “Bloodborne” is not for everybody, and if you find yourself explaining the game to a friend, you may sound crazy or even masochistic. I caught myself ready to throw in the towel and asking “why?” at certain points.
Then I discovered my first boss. A giant skeletal demon creature named “Cleric Beast,” who had a great speed and size advantage over me. My main goal was to just survive the battle, and then a few minutes later I had noticed his health was half-way down. That is when the real pressure hit.
Before too long, I had the beast defeated, then after one final blood-gurgling cry, he had fallen over and “Prey Slaughtered” popped up on my screen in a congratulatory manner.
Finally, I understand why these games have such a huge following. This sense of accomplishment was something I had not felt in a video game in quite some time.
Riding a high from this triumph, I rushed into the next zone feeling untouchable and was killed immediately by a gang of werewolves. Back to square one I went.
Technically speaking, the game does well enough using the power of the Playstation 4. There were a few moments when a lot was a lot going on onscreen where I noticed some temporary hiccups and slow downs in the frame rate.
The biggest problem with “Bloodborne” that I have noticed in my playtime is the atrocious camera work. The camera will sometimes get caught behind a wall or tree, completely blinding you from your character and the dangers around you.
I would say 85 percent of time time when I died, it was my own fault, but that other 15 percent was due to poor camera angles, which is infuriating in a game as meticulous as “Bloodborne.”
Poor camera work withstanding, “Bloodborne” is still relentlessly challenging, incredibly achieving and ridiculously humbling. I can not wait to see what they throw at me next.