And goddamn was it good.
NOTE: If you haven’t played Bloodborne or haven’t completed it yet, this will contain spoilers.
I like the “Souls” games. The combat is great and is a lot of fun, the variety of how you can play is brilliant, the bosses fun to fight and of course the challenge. These are the good things about the Souls games. However, there are three other parts of the souls series that I like more than those listed above, the music, the world and the lore.
Music has always been a strong point in the series, Gwyn’s music is beloved by the Souls fan base. One of my favourites is the Abyss Watchers theme from Dark Souls III, there’s something so hauntingly beautiful about it. The world in the Souls games have always been good, they have a level of mystique and intrigue that many other games don’t have. The mystique of the world is what makes me explore every nook and cranny, as there could be something of importance around every corner. The lore, dear god the lore in the Souls games is fascinating but it’s like the Enigma Code, it’s hard to decipher but that’s part of its charm. Souls games don’t spoon-feed you the story, you figure it out for yourself and that’s a game within itself.
Now on to Bloodborne and it feels like Dark Souls and plays like Dark Souls but despite that, Bloodborne is its own thing, it’s a different beast to Dark Souls. First of all I want to say, THANK YOU From Software! In Bloodborne there’s a dedicated healing button. No more going through items to heal up. Honestly in Bloodborne a dedicated healing button is a godsend. Also the dodge, my god is it fantastic. You’ll be dodging a lot in Bloodborne (nothing new to Souls players) and the mechanic works near flawlessly in Bloodborne.
There is one very noticeable difference between Dark Souls and Bloodborne apart from the setting and that is, speed. I died a few times in the early stages of Bloodborne, the difference in speed to me was particularly jarring and took me a little while just to get used to the speed of Bloodborne. I must say though whilst most fights in Dark Souls are very intense (I’m looking at you Nameless King), the speed of Bloodborne adds another level of tension and I love it.
Combat is a lot of fun and again the speed helps with that. However one thing that added to the fun is the weapons. Now weapons in Dark Souls are great, the Zweihander, Uchigatana, Washing Pole and the Black Knight Halberd are all iconic. In Bloodborne all melee weapons have a trick up their sleeve (literally). A weapon I used in Bloodborne is the Saw Cleaver. In its normal form it is close range and delivers quick attacks. It’s trick form it has a longer reach and it does a bit more damage. There are a number of melee weapons in Bloodborne and all of them have their own unique “trick”, I love it.
I can’t write about Bloodborne without mentioning the bosses. I mentioned one of the game’s bosses in the picture above, Orphan of Kos. Orphan of Kos is the ‘final’ boss in The Old Hunters DLC and he pushed me to the limits and truly tested my skill. I couldn’t do this fight on my own, I just could not do it at all. In order to beat Orphan of Kos I had to request for jolly co-operation. Orphan of Kos tested my skill but he isn’t my favourite boss, that goes to one of the game’s last bosses, Gehrman The First Hunter. The fight against Gehrman is a brilliant one. He’s fast, powerful and if you make a mistake he’ll let you know. It’s a fun fight, one I will remember not just because I like the boss himself but also the music. The music sets the tone of the fight perfectly, it’s emotional and is fitting for a final boss of a game. Gehrman was my favourite boss fight in Bloodborne and is one of my favourite boss fights of all time.
I touched on the music in Bloodborne above but, I want to talk more about it. The music in Bloodborne is beautiful and sinister. Each boss has their own music, which is to be expected. One of the first bosses you fight, the Cleric Beast has horrifying theme but I bloody love it. I’ve already talked about Gehrman’s theme and how beautiful it is. Nearly every theme has a gothic, horror feel yet despite that they’re all pleasant to listen too. The same goes for Mergo’s Wet Nurse who in my opinion has one of the most unnerving pieces of music for a boss I’ve heard in a very long time. Even though the theme for Mergo’s Wet Nurse is creepy it’s still exquisite.
The lore of Bloodborne is extremely fascinating and well thought out however, trying to figure everything out would require time, patience and knowledge on how to solve the Enigma code. Just like Dark Souls, Bloodborne’s lore isn’t spoon-fed to you. It’s up to you to figure it out and as mentioned before, that’s a game in itself. There are similarities, both feature broken and evil worlds filled with sadness and despair and are practically beyond help. You wouldn’t want to live in Yharnam. Whilst there are similarities there are many differences, the main one being that Bloodborne is 1000% more messed up than Dark Souls. Reading up on some of the lore for Bloodborne makes me want to ask, what were they thinking when they thought of this? Bloodborne’s lore is very in-depth, it is grim, morbid, full of sorrow and misery. I love the lore in Bloodborne, it’s very interesting and I’ve lost an entire afternoon reading about it.
After finally getting around to playing Bloodborne, I’m kicking myself. Why? Because I’m wondering why I didn’t play it sooner. Bloodborne tested my skill and patience; it’s lore is incredibly fascinating, the gameplay is fast a joy to play, the bosses are brilliant (especially Gehrman) and the music is horrifying yet simply divine.
I can say this without any hesitation, Bloodborne is one of my favourite games on the PS4. In fact, Bloodborne is one of my favourite games of this generation.
Thank you From Software, it was an absolute pleasure to play Bloodborne.
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