Bloodborne PS4 review – Less souls, more blood, same rage quits

Prey

Emerging gloriously from a six-day hiatus fueled entirely by knockoff Dew, stale Cheetos, and what was once considered in human terms a “Hot Pocket”, a mixed celebration of prideful shame gave this writer the emotional roller coaster one could only receive from the sadistic genius mind of Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team at From Software.

It’s another Souls game, folks, so strap on your big boy pants and tell the girlfriend (or boyfriend) you’re going through a phase, because we’re going on one serious rage-filled adventure. Currently a PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne is the 4th installment in the Souls series. Easily my most anticipated game of 2015, Bloodborne delivers on what gamers seem to love most, punishment.

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One must first understand that this isn’t just any game. It’s a commitment; one from which you’ll emerge as a changed gamer. Never again will you select the difficulty known before as “Easy or Normal.” Never again will an enemy’s blow remain un-countered. Never again will you flinch in the face of danger, for every missed strike will be punished to maximum efficiency. So what is it that really makes Bloodborne worthy of its unanimous praise as a “Hard f***ing game”?

Story

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The game takes place in Yharnam (with the addition of castles, nightmares, and forests), a city known for its discovery of the art of “blood healing.” Of course, something goes wrong and it’s turning the citizens into horrendous beasts. You’re sick too, so it’s time to save your own ass and everyone else’s. At the start of the game, you decide to partake of the blood and join the hunt. This is the part where you’re chosen to basically slaughter anything and everything that moves. Some seriously high level shit starts happening as you descend into the depths of what could only be described as hell on earth.

Gameplay 

You may want to pull up a chair, because this is going to be a long one.

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Bloodborne is primarily a third-person action-adventure game with focus on itemization, strategy, and reaction timing. At the core of every Souls game is its unique engine aided by talented level designers proficient in pissing a person off to the point of self-circumcision. Fear not, for Galactus remains unscathed, unlike the wall adjacent to my couch.

Unique to Souls games, Bloodborne leaves out a mechanic thought previously so crucial to the genre; it made my eyebrow twitch upon first realization. The removal of Shields is perhaps my favorite feature of this hemophiliac title. A similar parry system, critical strike (backstab), exists now relying solely on your sidearm. It’s quite satisfying to pull off any of these as they reward the player significantly in comparison to any connected attack.

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Below is a demonstration and guide to Demon Boar slaying in three easy steps:

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Blood is the new currency. Gained similarly to souls in equal quantities when compared with boss-to-mob ratios and past titles, blood will get you new weapons, armor, levels, and just about everything you need. Here’s the fun part. If you die, you lose all your “blood” money. If a player wished to recover their lost dough, they must fight through the entire level again up to that point, slaying anything that may have picked up their big bucks.

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Now imagine saving up that 30k for a shiny new sword when a large enemy surprises you by unleashing a barrage of un-blockable attacks dead set on repainting the sidewalk with your skull. Understandably, you accept the punishment and set out to reclaim said “blood”. Upon this journey you stumble upon a door previously shut. One may wonder, what is behind this mystery door. Could it be treasure? Nah, because more than likely you’ll become salad toppings for a pair of hungry werewolves. At this point, you’ve lost every single point of currency collected throughout the entire level.

Yeah, I broke stuff too.

Visuals/Audio

Bloodborne absolutely delivers in the graphics and art department. While it may not fully utilize the PS4’s maximum power, there’s an absolute improvement over past Souls games. The multiple rich environments highlight the grim, dark nature of a title such as this.

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As mentioned previously, From Software creates wonderful layouts for each and every map in Bloodborne. While it may feel linear at first, multiple advancement options will quickly open up, adding replay value as well.

Voice overs and FX sounds have never been a forte of the Souls series, but the music really saves it here. We have a great soundtrack throughout the level, adding to the ominous feel and grim nature of Yharnam.

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Final Reaction

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

4.5/5 Atoms

What we have here is an absolutely solid addition to the Souls series. Bloodborne gives the hardcore exactly what they want while being slightly kinder to first-timers. If you’ve enjoyed difficult, bloody and grim games with massive bosses and seemingly impossible encounters, then you will not be salty. The online co-op still has issues but has been improved with a recent patch. Overall, a must have for hardcore gamers, just make sure you have a backup controller in stock. You’ll probably smash at least one or two.

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.