Bloodborne looks to take the Souls franchise to a new direction.To many Souls fans, Dark Souls 2 was a disappointment and a noticeable step back from the usual brilliant formula. There were some tweaks and welcomed changes that helped set Dark Souls 2 apart from its predecessors but it wasn’t enough to live up to the previous installments.
Questionable mechanics and design choices like limited enemy spawns and not having the ability to level your character at a bonfire really hampered the experience and created an artificial sense of difficulty. Bosses were unimaginative and most of them shared the same old tired traits: big bulky armored dudes with infinite stamina. When it was good, it was amazing but the Souls franchise isn’t about just one moment, it’s about all of the moments. Despite Dark Souls 2’s shortcomings, it was one of the best games of the year and a great launching pad into Bloodborne, releasing next spring.
Change of Pace
No Shields! Bloodborne will not have any shields as players will have to improvise and block with their own weapons. It’s a huge departure from Souls since the shield is a hallmark of the intensely tactical combat system. You block, wait for an opening, and then attack. Original creator, Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that he wanted a more active and aggressive approach to combat so he basically doesn’t want us hiding behind a shield anymore. Miyazaki has also said that he wanted every confrontation to be life threatening and risky so he wants players to be the aggressor and take care of the enemies quickly before they multiply and overwhelm you. It’s an exciting change that will test our adaptability skills as we’re so used to cowering behind our massive shields until we see an opportunity to attack. Miyazaki wants to get rid of that and we’re excited to see how it’s implemented.
It wouldn’t be called Bloodborne if it didn’t have anything to do with blood, right?
In Bloodborne you collect blood, the reason behind this is still a bit foggy but we do know that the player is traveling to Ynarum to obtain a cure for a disease so we can only assume that the blood collecting is a part of finding that cure. Through some forum digging and vaguely translated Japanese magazines, it’s safe to say that Blood will work similarly to how collecting Souls did in previous installments. Pure Blood is obtained by killing NPCs and human players and Tainted Blood is scattered around like regular items and are used to boost and improve your stats. Consuming too much Tainted blood will turn you into a beast and will also alter the gameplay in an interesting way as you’ll have to hunt down other human players online for Pure Blood if you want to return back to Human form.
If you’ve seen the E3 trailer, you noticed that our protagonist is wielding what looked like a transforming meat-cleaver. It’s badass and its one of the many characteristics of Bloodborne that sets it apart from the other games. According to Miyazaki, many weapons in Bloodborne will have multiple functions and can be transformed to better accommodate your current situation. He also stated that for the crazy meat-cleaver, when it’s closed, the weapon has a quick slashing attack that can be very effective in tight corridors and other close combat situations. When the weapon is extended and transformed, the attack style changes with it, allowing for much wider range like a halberd and the damage output will greatly increase. It’s not known yet how many weapons will be in the game or how many of the weapons will have these transformative properties but this is very exciting and will definitely spice up the combat system in new ways.
Oh and there’s a gun too. Although Miyazaki has alertly stated that the firearms in the game are more for crowd control and stun tactics and not viable enough to serve as an offensive weapon, you still can shoot an enemy in the face and do a lot of damage but you have to be extremely close for it to be effective. It is not known if the guns will have transformations.
It’s a Souls game so there will definitely be an online component. Not much of the online system has been disclosed but apparently hunting beast players online is rumored to play a big role in the game. There will be seamless multiplayer but instead of ghosts of actual players wandering around like in the last game, you will run into real players which is a little disconcerting but interesting nonetheless. At E3, From Software showcased about 10 minutes of the game behind closed doors and many who witnessed the game noted that the player ran into another player who was in mortal danger and the Bloodborne representatives said that you can either choose to help a distressed player or hurt them. This could be some insight into how the seamless multiplayer might work.
The game takes place in the ancient city of Yharnum, known for it’s miraculous medical practices. Our player is afflicted with a horrible disease that is turning people into beasts and he or she finds himself or herself journeying into a cursed city teeming with horrific beasts and undead dogs. Miyazaki has said that he wants to emulate or equal the atmosphere he created in the Tower of Latria, one of the best levels in Demon’s Souls. He wants to deliver a dark and unsettling atmosphere where danger lurks at every corner and every step you take might be your last. If his goal is to match and outdo Tower of Latria then we may have something special here folks.
Bloodborne is confirmed to be present at Gamescom as live demos will be available for the public to play at their booth. Slated for a Spring 2015 release, the next successor to the Souls franchise is fast approaching and we can’t wait to see the changes and how it will shape the franchise going forward. Happy hunting everyone.