Ever since their entry game in the Darks Souls franchise, gamers and sadists around the world have been asking for more from FromSoftware. And, surely enough, FromSoftware delivered. This time, they decided to remove their game from a medieval setting, and begin a cycle of death and rebirth in the blood-soaked streets of Victorian London-like city of Yharnam. It was time for Bloodborne
Dark Souls in Victorian London
In Bloodborne, you play as a Hunter of different Origin and slay monsters trying to unravel the bloodborne disease that spread throughout the city of Yharnam. As in all Soulsborne games, you can create your character and choose a class, which is called Origin, and also provides a backstory. As usual, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck in that class forever, but may diversify as you wish.
Gameplay-wise, you’re looking at another Souls game, but with some interesting tweaks to the old formula that somewhat change the game experience. Yes, you still need to evade your enemies’ attacks and slash at them until they die, but the game speed is increased, and the enemies are quite agile, almost as agile as you. On top of that, you can no longer place all your faith in your trusty Havel’s Shield, as there is only one shield in the game, and, most of the time, it won’t save you. To survive you must learn to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge, and, most importantly, you’ve got to Git Good.
The weapons are also quite different in the game. Your primary weapons are called Trick Weapons and feature a second form. Usually, the way this plays out is that the primary weapon form is faster, but does less damage, and the second form is bigger and does much more damage. You can also carry a secondary weapon in the form of a firearm, although the damage done by firearms doesn’t make them a viable option to rely on. These are used to stun enemies and perform critical hits, but be careful how many times you use them, as you’ve got limited ammo.
As usual, Bloodborne features a story that is not told to the player directly, but through interaction with the NPC-s, as well as through the locations and enemies placed there. The story is convoluted, full of emotional moments and pristinely told, as long as you’ve got the patience to unravel it. Bloodborne also features something called Chalice Dungeons that don’t connect to the main story, but appear as standard dungeons. There you will collect more Blood Echoes (game currency) and find certain hidden chests. Chalice Dungeons can be accessed through performing a Chalice ritual in the Hunter’s Dream, a hub much like DS3’s Firelink Shrine.
When it comes to graphics, Bloodborne looks very good. In fact, it looks even better than Dark Souls 2, though DS2 suffered from graphics downgrades upon release. The game’s made for PS4 exclusively, so it runs very well and steadily at 30 fps. As in Souls, Bloodborne features online cooperative play where you can summon other players to help you.
All in all, Bloodborne is just what the doctor ordered for Souls fans. It’s the same, but it’s also sufficiently different not to be considered a Souls clone. It’s, rather, a game inspired by Souls, but is very much a game of its own.