The Ninjabot

Bloodborne Review: True Horror and Madness

Posted on June 15, 2015 at 12:04 am by Victor Chaves

BB1

You can keep your Assassin’s Creed Unity, your Call of Duty: Advance Warfare, your Destiny, the crazy Grand Theft Auto V, the bright Infamous: Second Son, and all the games on PSPlus, because my reason for owning a Playstation 4 is Bloodborne. Although all these other games are fine in their own way, nothing tickles my belly more than a game that is challenging and at the same time fair and rewarding like this macabre dance of swords and monsters. Bloodborne is a game that I can tell is a work of high-class art that refuses to be all-inclusive, and instead does the rare move of demanding you, the player, to have enough skill in order to see brilliant gems hidden in the dark. For months I honed my skill, and when I was not playing my heart pined for another trip into the horrors, a feeling I can only compare to Bayonetta 2.

Yes, this is another Souls-type game by From Software (Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2). The usual tapestries are here: bonfires (lamps), estus flasks (blood vials), HP and Energy bars, R1 is a light attack, R2 is a heavy attack, there are souls (blood echoes), humanity (insight), and so on. However, that isn’t to say that the game is the same; I would say that this game sets itself aside far enough to be the most original Souls-type game I’ve ever played.

BB2

Not Your Typical Souls Game!

For one, the player is not using a shield but a gun in their off-hand, which causes the player to not be able to turtle-in and set the battle at the player’s own pace. This is a small enough change that causes absolutely gigantic ramifications to the way Bloodborne is played! Gone are the times you would hold L1 and wait for the enemy to attack so you can counter. Nope! Now you must rush right in and get your attacks in, all the while making sure to read the enemy well enough to dodge away unscathed. For those of you who are Souls veterans, this will be such a change of pace that the game will feel like a completely different experience. Funny enough, there is one (terrible) shield in the game, which has a description essentially saying “if you use this shield, you are a wuss.” So yea, learn to dodge and attack! Move, move, move!

The way weapons are implemented is also brilliant, where the guns are mostly used as a shiver-inducing and cathartic long-distance parry, the main weapons are the real stars of the show. Besides the light and heavy attacks, you can knock on L1 and transform the main weapon into its other form, which basically means you get transforming weapons! What makes this fantastic is that the transformations usually have qualities that balance each other out, and thereby makes each transformation useful in certain situations. Take the cane weapon for example: its cane mode works well against a single enemy and attacks ridiculously fast; switching to the cane’s whip mode makes the attacks much slower but can affect multiple enemies and hit harder. Each weapon works in this fashion and requires experimentation to understand the insides and outs. My favorite weapon is a sword that (and I’m referencing Jim Sterling here) if you need more sword, hitting L1 shoves the sword in a bigger sword to have more sword, as honestly, every problem can be solved with more sword.

BB3

An Ugly Yet Beautiful World

The world is meticulously crafted; from the enemy placements, the level layouts, the environmental visuals, and the deliberately slow-drip story shows the talent that From Software has in creating an engaging world. The game dips into gothic elements and then leans right in to insanity, all the while giving the player a true sense of dread. Unlike other games of its ilk, Bloodborne will not have you saying “Oh, I guess it’s another cave to go through” because you know that this new area will have new enemies that will surprise you and kill you, as well as having fantastic and imaginative environments. Human-like bugs with 100+ eyes will attempt to drive you insane, other hunters (like NPC’s that fight you) will shoot tentacles from their arms, three-floor-tall priests will slam down blunt axes, there are insane men in wheelchairs shooting gatling guns that are attached to their chair; this game refuses to be just another dungeon-crawler, it is a survival horror game that aims to drive you insane.

BB4

This paragraph is a mid-game spoiler that isn’t part of the main story where I mention my favorite moment, so please skip this paragraph if you’d like to not be spoiled. *SPOILER* A side-quest in the game is the ability send people to a safe place called Cathedral Ward, as NPC’s would give some good items and were often interesting to speak to. At one point I met a bandaged man in a swampy area and sent him to Cathedral Ward, noting that he was a bit suspicious in the way he spoke. Coming back later to Cathedral Ward, I found that one NPC was gone and in their place was a deadly splat of blood! Looking outside, I noticed Mr. Bandage was there. Putting two and two, I realized it must have been him that was killing the people in Cathedral Ward. Out of anger I attacked him three times, assuming that he would just crumble and that would be that; it isn’t that crazy that FROM Software would pull a George R.R. Martin on me. What I didn’t ever think would happen was that after the third time, Mr. Bandage transformed into a giant beast! Removing the sheep wool and revealing the beast inside, I died several times trying to down the beast, but fulfilling my vengeance for him killing these characters that I was trying to protect felt incredible. It was an experience full of surprise, challenge, and story; an experience that happens in Bloodborne all the time. *SPOILER END*

Clotting In The Blood

If there is one big issue I have with Bloodborne, it is the fact that the game forces you into New Game+ when the final boss is defeated. What is terrible is the fact that there are three different endings to get in Bloodborne, and you can’t get the others without beating the game all over again. I put in quite a lot of hours into the game, and finding out there were areas I missed, endings I didn’t see, and weapons I hadn’t tried left me sour. Then again, I get to play Bloodborne again which alleviates the pain a bit.

BB5

Final Thoughts

Yes, Bloodborne is amazing. This is worth getting a Playstation 4. That’s what I did, and I did not regret it. During my time with it, I obsessed over the game till I went insane. I want Bloodborne DLC, and I want it now.

Presentation: 10

Gameplay: 10

Replay: 9

LEGACY SCORE: 9.7

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him turning Japanese. At least, he really thinks so.

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