The Gothic Victorian Architecture with a brilliant mapped out world makes it a stunning world to go through.
The fast paced combat, often described as "Dark Souls on Meth", is very challenging and satisfying when you win a fight.
While there isn't a lot of class variety, the weapons are all very different from each other.
Despite having a beautifully designed world, it's lacking many colors. I'm sure it's bleak on purpose, but it didn't do much for me.
The story is virtually non existent.
The lack of class variety is disappointing. Your Origin only changes your starting stats.
I was actually kinda hesitant to get into Bloodborne. I’m a huge Dark Souls fan, and both these games are made by From Software, they’re known for being extremely difficult and having really solid combat. Now, I’m going to try and resist comparing it too much to Dark Souls because Bloodborne is technically not a sequel, so it wouldn’t be fair to compare it too much. Similarities aside, Bloodborne is a great PS4 exclusive, I’m loving my time with the game so far.
What you See and What you Hear
Bloodborne takes place in a Gothic Victorian world where monsters roam the streets. Now, as cool as the Gothic atmosphere is, and the impressive graphics to go along with it, the colors of the game are actually very bland. Everything is either black or grey except for the blood which is red, obviously. In addition to this, all the areas kinda look the same, like none of them stand out. Occasionally you’ll change from a city to a forest, but that’s about it. The music also didn’t impress me, except for boss fights and cut scenes. The game is very quiet, all the sounds come from the environment.
Now, there are two things the visuals and sounds for this game did exceptionally well. The first is the use of sound, a lot of the time you can listen for a beast’s breathing and it can let you know if a trap is nearby. The other thing that Bloodborne does brilliantly (this is something you can see in Dark Souls as well) is the mapping. This isn’t just a straight line you’re walking through, this is a world you’re exploring, and almost everything you can see, is a place you can reach. The game uses lanterns as checkpoints or safe zones, but instead of giving you lots of lanterns, it gives you a shortcut back to your last lantern. So, many times I was shocked to realize I knew exactly where I was in respective to the world.
The story of the game is arguably the weakest part of Bloodborne. You play as a hunter during a monthly event called the Hunt, where monsters roam the streets and the hunters slay them to keep the peace, but sometimes the hunters lose themselves in the hunt and become the beasts themselves. You’re also looking for something called a Paleblood, but it’s not touched upon very much. I really wouldn’t say the story drives the game at all, you hunt for the sake of hunting.
Now if you’ve played any of the souls games you have an idea what Bloodborne is gonna play like. Lots of dodging and attacking, but it’s actually very different from any other souls game. It’s still dodging and attacking but it’s much faster and aggressive than ever, because if you can hit an enemy right after you get hit, you can recover some of your lost health.
Now I’m going to break my rule from earlier and compare it to Dark Souls as a form of critique. Dark souls had a ton of different classes that drastically change how you play the game. They range from warriors, to archers and mages, but Bloodborne fails in this department. You still have classes (now called your Origin) but it doesn’t really change how you play, it only changes your base starting stats like how much health and endurance you start with. I really don’t like this because a new player already has little to no idea what all these stats mean and Bloodborne isn’t exactly the simplest of stat systems as it is.
While the classes have very little impact on how you play, it’s the weapons that bring the most diversity. You get two weapons at any given time, a right handed blade (which can range from a saw, to an axe, rapier, flail, etc.) and a left handed weapon which is typically ranged and used to stun enemies, usually a gun. The right handed weapons have the ability to transform, like turning the saw into a spear, or the axe into a halberd. Transforming a weapon typically makes it longer and slower but there are exceptions to that as well. For the most part I really like how the weapons play differently from each other, but it still doesn’t offer the same kind of class diversity that I would have liked to see. For example, there’s not (That I’m aware of) a purely ranged character, your guns are used to stun enemies and you have very limited ammo.
Bloodborne is definitely an amazing game, it’s just a little bland in a few departments. I love how the world is built and how you could easily map out the area on paper if you wanted to. I like how they changed it from the just waiting and attacking method of Dark Souls to a more aggressive and in the moment combat style. I really don’t like the lack of colors in the world, the lack of character diversity when it comes to play style, and the lack of a proper story, it’s a bit of a letdown.
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