From Software, the creators of the Armored Core franchise and, well, the Demon’s/Dark Souls games have once again created another financially and critically successful action RPG with a hint of survival horror with the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Bloodborne. This is easily one of the top 10 best games of the year so far. It has an incredibly engrossing atmosphere that is overflowing with a feeling of dread, satisfying combat, gross-looking enemies, and memorable bosses. It is one of the most interesting experiences you will ever find in today’s games. Sure, it might be a little too tough at times, and I do have a few gripes with the game itself, but if you want a PlayStation 4 exclusive that is going to captivate you into a multi-hour adventure, then you have it right here. If I wanted to give it a score, I would give it 8 out of 10. In this article, I am going to list the reasons why this game rocks! If you were expecting a list of why this game sucks since I know there are those people that like to hate on popular good games, I will make a list for that as well. Now then, get on your hunter gear and let’s dive right into the list!
6. The Lore
Any good RPG or horror game needs an interesting lore or history that you can get lost in, and since this is the first entry on this list, the lore and world around you is very interesting. If you have not been up-to-date with Bloodborne, you are a hunter, and your goal is to take out this plague of unknown origin. It has enveloped the land, causing villagers to go mad, every living thing looking like they are rotting, with H.P. Lovecraftian creatures roaming the landscape. Some of the best stories in this land happen to be with the bosses. One of my favorite stories revolves around the game’s second boss, Father Gascoigne. He was a priest/hunter with a possible foreign origin. Unfortunately, at one point in time during the big hunt, he got infected with the plague. He has quite possibly killed his wife, which left his poor daughter all alone back in the city. The situation is quite sad, but it helps engage you in this depressing world. Even other hunters that you encounter will not always be friendly with you. Speaking of the world around you, that leads to the next part of why Bloodborne rocks.
5. The Atmosphere
Bloodborne quite possibly has one of the best atmospheres out of any game released this year. I felt instantly pulled into this gothic and depressing world. I stood upon higher areas to watch the infected townsfolk walk the street, the sounds of people laughing, coughing, or crying inside their houses, the sounds of ogres grunting as they patrol the area, and you get the idea. While the soundtrack felt like nothing new compared to the past games in this series, it still pulled you into the game’s world, since a majority of the time, the soundtrack mostly stayed in the background, which amplified the sounds of the world around you. I never felt safe in this world, which is the point. Everything around you, even the other hunters, is there to kill you. You should never feel safe in this game. Even during the safe areas that have those lovely lamps that act as way-points, I felt uneasy due to how quiet everything was around me. I know a lot of people like to say that the best immersion is making a game in the first-person, but Bloodborne shows that you can feel wrapped up with a third-person perspective.
4. No Weight Limit
In the previous games in this franchise, you had to worry about how much you carried, due to each item having a weight limit. I personally don’t care for this, and luckily, they took it all out since the hunters in the game pretty much wear thick leather armor. I just prefer not having to micro-manage everything, and since you don’t have to worry about weight limit, you can focus on the range and power of your weapons, as well as not dying at the hands of the enemies and bosses.
3. The bosses
To many, one of the biggest disappointments about the bosses from Dark Souls II was the lack of creativity and how a majority of them were simply giant human-shaped beings with armor. Luckily, while Bloodborne has some creativity issues with how some bosses look, the bosses here are memorable and imposing. The first time you fight the Cleric Beast, you realize just how gigantic he actually is and how terrifyingly fast he can move. That is really imposing for a first boss in such a game. While some bosses, optional or not, can be slightly disappointing in terms of their difficulty, you can bet on having more memorable encounters than disappointing ones.
2. The designs
I am not a fan of the overall franchise, but the elements that I always enjoy in these games are the designs and art direction of the world and enemies. The enemies you encounter are incredibly grotesque, with infected humans, rotting dogs, and other creatures that are equally disgusting. I also found that a lot of the human enemies are exceedingly creepy. For example, when you get into the Cathedral Ward, the first new enemies you encounter are these tall mask-wearing guards, and even though they take their fashion tips from The Undertaker, you still see them as a threat. Another simple, but effective designs are the ones for the crows. They don’t technically fly, due to them being rather fat, and they sound more like dogs as they squirm across the ground. They might look easy, but like everything in this game, if you don’t handle the situation correctly, you can get overpowered by these fat, flightless birds. There are also other cool designs, but you get the overall idea. They wanted to make a gothic festering hole of unease and horror, and they did that with the designs.
1. The combat
One of my issues with the combat from the previous games was all of the micro-management that was required. I think the reason I was put off by the other games was because the game was built so much around defending against attacks rather than being full-on aggressive. This franchise is by no means here to give you a power fantasy. You are going to die a lot. However, Bloodborne tweaks that combat system and how the enemies act around you. Instead of being on the defensive, you need to be aggressive and hit hard, but still watch out so you don’t get surrounded or hit too many times. This means that you will technically get no shields in the game. Instead, you use a gun, which in a sense, acts like a shield because it will cause enemies to stumble, allowing you to go in and give them quite a nasty stab. Another element as to why the game rewards you with being on the offensive is that you can regain any health you might have lost from the most recent strike to your health bar by striking back. The overall vibe from the combat system is to be aggressive, but strategic. While I still prefer the faster-paced combat of games like Final Fantasy Type-0HD or the over-the-top pile of awesomeness that was Bayonetta 2, I enjoyed this combat system much more than the other games in the franchise.