Faster, harder

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First Posted: 4/13/2015

The “Demon” and “Dark Souls” series are some of the most popular series on the market. The Souls games have a very distinctive style and a crushingly hard difficulty level. “Bloodborne” is the newest game from Hidetaka Miyazaki and FromSoftware and is one of the first big PS4 exclusives.

“Bloodborne” is the spiritual successor to the “Dark Souls” games, but it’s much faster and not-so-medieval. The other games in the series have presided in more of a fantasy setting, this game is set in the fictional city of Yharnam, which is more akin to Victorian London, but with a terrible curse. Thanks to the power of the PS4, this is the best looking game of the series.

Don’t get me wrong – they all looked pretty good — this one, however, is truly gorgeous. All of the creatures are terrifying. The sound design is pretty incredible. The musical score does a great job of setting the somber mood. Sound effects bring the world to life.

At the beginning of the game, you do get a bit of explanation how to play, but most things are not explained. You must figure out most things yourself and it’s not easy. FromSoftware is known for producing games that don’t hold your hand, but “Bloodborne” brings that to a new level. Throughout the game, you never stop learning how to play. The game introduces a host of fierce enemies and many different types of weapons. Your gameplay style must change constantly, adapting to new situations.

Just when you think you have a handle on things, along comes a boss fight waiting to break your spirit. If you do make your way through the game, the level of satisfaction is second-to-none. It will stand as a badge of honor, especially if you can manage the higher difficulty settings. The boss fights happen often and most of them, though huge and horrifying, are just a pure spectacle. Most of the bosses have a gimmick, a move you have to learn or something you need to use in the environment in order to beat them. They all have some flaw to exploit which you need to discover in order to win.

“Bloodborne” is much faster and more intense then the other games. Being on the offensive is the best way to stay alive. If you get good at dodging and learning when to interrupt your opponent’s attacks you stand a chance. You have to be precise though, if you do get hit by an enemy you will regain some health if you land a blow within a certain time period. One of the big differences are guns. They make the game more offensive. You can use them to interrupt attacks and hit people at longer range which is a good tactical option.

As you progress you can buy new weapons, armor and other customization options that will make you stronger and change your attack options. There isn’t a ton of different weapons but each one has some type of ability that helps you. As you progress through the game the rewards ramp up and you get some pretty good gear letting you customize your character in any way you want. Customization isn’t the only dynamic thing, each of the levels have a ton of places to explore. There is an incredible amount of hidden content to find, such as optional bosses and level shortcuts. Every time you play you will to find something new leading to a level of replayability not found in most games.

There aren’t a ton of online features but if you have trouble you can have a friend come into the game to help, but, it sometimes makes the levels too easy and takes away the tension. If you feel like being a jerk you can invade other people’s game if they have the option turned on. Also if you are playing with a friend you can visit Chalice Dungeons which are procedurally generated and a good way to explore with a friend to find extra loot, experience and are almost infinitely replayable.

“Bloodborne” is a great game especially if you are looking for a challenge, it is very similar to the “Dark Souls” games so if you aren’t a fan this might not be for you. If want to see what the buzz is about this is a good option for getting started with this type of game. The action is much faster and a bit more accessible, there is a ton to explore and ways to customize your character. This might be one of the most challenging games you will ever play and if that idea excites you then you might be masochistic enough to love this game.