As a huge fan of From Software’s Souls series since the first game, I’ve been dying to play Bloodborne since it was announced. So far I’ve beaten the first two bosses and raked up ~5 hours playtime with more to come in the following days, but I wanted to share my impressions thus far before moving on.
I’ve summarized my thoughts below in no particular order:
- Before any kind of direct gameplay thoughts, there are HUGE LOAD TIMES. We’re talking like 30-45 seconds of loading between any area/death. This is really absurd and is my main problem with the game thus far. Bloodborne is quite unforgiving and deaths are to be expected, so every death being followed by 30+s of loading is just ridiculous. Hopefully they release a patch with a fix soon, though I’m not sure how quickly they will be able to fix the issue
- Great environments and tone, though most of it stays within a steampunk-esque 1800’s England aesthetic
- Significantly more fast paced than previous Souls titles, largely due to faster healing item + the heal on revenge attack mechanic, which results in a much more fluid and intense experience
- Boss fights much longer due to huge health bars. The two bosses I’ve fought so far have had tons of environmental objects in the boss room that are annoying to work around due to the camera being blocked by things in addition to occasionally getting stuck on something while trying to dodge
- No more delicious OJ for you to chug – blood vials are the new healing item. Stacks up to 20, any more you pick up goes into storage from which the game automatically replenishes your stock when you die. Use and drop rate similar to life gems in Dks2. I.e. They’re everywhere.
- New healing mechanic added that let’s you regain lost health in a small timeframe (~2-3 secs) after getting hit. Activated by dealing damage to enemies before your health rolls down to the white bar, reminiscent of rolling health bars in fighting games
- Trick Weapons – there aren’t close to as many weapons in Bloodborne as I had access to in the previous From games, but the ones that we are given are all superb. Each weapon has two forms, usually a shorter range and a longer range version. My weapon of choice was a cane sword that transformed into a whip, which increases the versatility of the weapon by leagues, in addition to making me feel like some kind of steampunk transformer ninja. Other awesome weapons I saw were a great hammer whose handle could be removed to reveal a shortsword, and a hand axe that was able to extend its handle to become a poleaxe.
- Addition of guns not affecting game much yet at this point. Guns do completely insignificant damage, clearly used only as a parry tool. However, anything that a parry works on, a heavy charge attack will generally kill off in 1-2 hits anyway, so it just ends up taking more time due to the long execution animations.
Bloodborne has been pretty fun, and feels different enough from the Souls series that I believe that it deserves a play through to experience the new sights. The highlights of the game thus far are the visual aesthetic and the really cool weapon transformations that allow you to create much more interesting and effective combo chains than ever before, without forgetting that the only way to roll is with style.
If you’ve been playing Bloodborne too, leave a comment with your experience with the game so far!