Developed by From Software
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
The legends are true – tales of an incredibly tough but supremely rewarding gaming experience backed up by jaw-dropping visuals and smart social connected elements – available only on Sony’s mighty PlayStation 4 have been foretold but now they are a reality!?
From Software (the genius team behind the excellent Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls games) have created something very very special in Bloodborne – a combat heavy fantasy experience that literally allows you to ‘hunt your nightmares’…
In Bloodborne you take the role of a monster ‘Hunter’ thrown into the gothic city of Yharnam, a dark, creature infested place whose secrets are legion and where the currency is blood itself… Do you dare walk the cobbled streets, the dingy houses, the gloomy cathedrals and ominous forests of this place that has been both forsaken and cursed?
You won’t be alone… It seems that the entire populace have become cursed minions who are after your blood – ranging from the angry pitchfork wielding zombie-alike peasants through to huge hulking beasts that crash through the city or dwell in the dank sewers. Around every corner will be a new horror, and the bad news is that even the humblest of these minions can kill you quickly if you are careless, weak or unlucky (or any combo of those)!? The cursed menagerie of enemies are freakish and breathtaking – a superb freak show even dripping danger and menace – plus several that will unnerve and strike outright fear into your gaming heart.
"these folk want a word with you..."
So the challenge is a great one – but fortunately you are equipped with a tasty assortment of weaponry – a choice of crunching / slicing melee weapons for one hand – each with more than one attack mode (e.g. the Threaded Cane – my personal favourite starting weapon - which can become a whip for longer range attacks on multiple enemies).
In your other hand you hold a firearm – starting with either a pistol or shotgun, a handy thing to have in any fight as timed correctly a blast can stun an enemy with a well paced Quicksilver bullet to the face. As well as guns you can swap out for a flaming torch, shield or flame throwing can!?
The combat is fast and furious, but also nuanced and requiring thought, button mashers will be seeing a lot of the loading screen for sure!!
If you’re a Dark Souls fan – you’ll be right at home from the start – Bloodborne has the ‘Souls’ DNA under it’s slick next gen visuals, but this is a faster slaughter-em-up where aggressive style is favoured over caution every time.
"temptation... looks great on your shelf!"
Bloodborne is a tough game – and any gamer looking to waltz through unscathed on an ‘easy’ difficulty will soon be humbled – this is game that rewards skill, you will need to hone your abilities, upgrade your weapons and grind through the surprisingly hard initial stages.
There is some cool multiplayer elements which help, one where you can ring a bell and summon another human hunter to your version of the world – bosses are much more tackle-able with a pal at your side! The converse of this sees you enabled to ‘invade’ another human’s game and attack them as a dangerous game-ruining phantom.
Another nice trait is that you can write notes for other players (and read those left by others) – warning of upcoming dangers and sharing tips that might just help you through… You can also ‘rate’ the notes you find either ‘fine’ or ‘foul’ – and if another player likes one of your notes, you’ll get an immediate health boost which can be very very welcome during a tough fight!
"no time to stop and admire the clouds"
Bloodborne is a truly addictive and maddening game, each failure and death will either make you want to give up and trade it in or try again and win through against the odds. I am serious hooked – and have even found a way to spend the reloading screen time… It’s the “Bloodborne Workout” – each time you die you simply get down and perform a minimum of 10 push-ups or sit-ups (alternate for best effect). This being such a gruelling game, you’ll be buffed up in no time!?
This is a review that could go on and on as there are many complexities and secrets to found, weapons to upgrade, runes to imbibe and various equipment to be enhanced. Bloodborne is a game that will keep you playing for 50+ hours at a minimum and then there are the host of user created ‘Chalice Dungeons’ – that warrant a whole additional review…
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(5 - Greatness is here!! Gird yourself for hunting!)...
"Every boss fight is epic!"