Bloodborne Gets a New Batch of Juicy Details

Bloodborne is a game that many Souls fans have clamored for ever since Dark Souls 2 was initially announced. There was all this talk about it being a next-gen game and having mind-blowing graphics but it never met those expectations. When I played the private beta of Dark Souls 2, it looked magnificent and the lighting was exactly how it was promised. Unfortunately, Dark Souls 2 was heavily downgraded and the first promise of the torch being a necessary tool quickly faded away. It was also announced for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC with no mentions of PS4 and Xbox One which added more salt to the wound. Our hopes for a next-gen Souls game were all but shattered. And along came Bloodborne.

By now many of you have already feasted on the brand new gameplay trailer for Bloodborne that was unveiled at this year’s Gamescom and it was an excellent way to show off the game’s many new features that differentiate it from the previous iterations. It’s still a Souls game at heart but it brings with it a whole new bag of tricks.

Regain System

This is a new feature that may polarize some Souls fans but it’s really not that big of a deal. The producer behind Bloodborne has stated that he wants Bloodborne to be less punishing than the previous games and have a wider appeal to both new and seasoned players. Before everyone starts to panic, it’s important to remember that almost the same phrasing was used when Dark Souls 2 was first announced and the game turned out just fine.

So what is the Regain System?

It’s a mechanic that allows you to reclaim the health you just lost to an enemy by striking the enemy back within a very narrow window of time; thus encouraging players to be more aggressive knowing there is incentive to attack back. There will be a yellow trail on your health bar after taking damage but it will quickly disappear. The goal is to hit the enemy back before it disappears to regain health. If you get hit multiple times you’ll lose your opportunity to regain health. Hidetaka Miyazaki, creator of Souls franchise, has really been preaching the idea of reclaiming your “power of will” and does not want players to think of the yellow meter as a health bar but as an opportunity to prove yourself in this harsh world. Miyazaki has always had a flair for dramatic phrasing but it only makes us more excited to experience these tense moments in combat when we play the game in early 2015.

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Control Scheme

Thanks to the guys over at Dualshockers, we now have a clear picture of how the controls will work on Bloodborne and its unsurprisingly familiar yet unique at the same time. Having a dedicated button for healing is very interesting since that same triangle button was previously used to switch between one-handling and two-handling a weapon. Other noticeable changes include the L1 button going from being your trusty block button to transforming your weapon. A cool thing about this new feature is that if you’re in the middle of combat and decide to transform your weapon, you’ll pull off a special “transformed attack.”

The O button continues to be your back step or evade button but with a few little quirks added. When locked on to an enemy, pressing O and the left stick will allow the player to perform a quick dash in the inputted direction. Unfortunately there are no touchpad features at this moment and it’s not known whether the touchpad may be implemented. We hope the touchpad can be used to open up the options menu or equipment menu since the Options button on the Dualshock 4 is awkwardly placed above the face buttons and pretty tiny.

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The UI

It’s important to note that the UI is subject to change, as many other things on this list. The biggest difference to the UI, as reported by fans that played the Gamescom demo, has been the number of item slots reduced to two instead of the standard four that was in Dark Souls 2. Apparently, one item slot will contain your ammunition for your firearm and the other will be used for consumable and usable items like Blood Vials and Molotov cocktails.

The health bar, stamina bar and your two item slots are now located at the top left part of your screen as opposed to the bottom left corner that we’re so used to. It was also reported that there was no Souls counter of any kind or a Blood counter so character progression is still up in the air.

Bonus Speculation

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Will the Maiden In Black return? If you listen closely at the end of the Bloodborne Gameplay trailer, you hear a very familiar voice stating, “And so the nightly hunt begins.” Demon’s Souls fans know what I’m talking about. For those that don’t, Demon’s Souls had a very mysterious character that dwelled in the Nexus (Demon’s Souls hub world) whom you interacted with when you needed to level up, similarly to how you would level up with the Emerald Herald in Dark Souls 2 but much more memorably.

She’s a fan favorite and it would be such a great callback to the series to have the voice actress come back onboard. Of course, none of this has been confirmed but I’m pretty sure Hidetaka Miyazaki knows we’re speculating this and will soon show who the mysterious voice belongs to. Maybe TGS 2014? We’re all ears.

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