I haven’t exactly viewed From Software in a particularly good light after playing Dark Souls 2 on PC. Sure, it was a good game, and probably better than anything out in the market as far as gameplay goes, but I realized how much wasted potential the game had and that hit me the hardest. I blamed most of the faults and issues with the game due to Hidetaki Miyazki’s, the director of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, absence from the project.
Fast forward to Sony’s E3 2014 press conference. With the announcement of Miyazaki’s newest title Bloodborne, my suspicions were essentially confirmed that Dark Souls 2 wasn’t created by the main From Software team, so as a result it wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. Am I upset that the main team was working on a PS4 exclusive game? You bet. Don’t let my bias and rectal ravagement dissuade you from thinking Bloodborne looks like a good game however, because Bloodborne looks like it was designed to be a true successor to Demon’s Souls. Although I was not able to have a hand’s on demo with Bloodborne as I did Dark Souls 2 last year, I was able to attend a presentation where they showcase the gameplay and a general overview of the game itself.
As you can probably guess, Bloodborne plays very similarly to the other Souls game. A new feature they showed off however was the ability to change your main hand weapon’s, which was a cleaver of some sort, fighting style. When you extended it, it functioned similar to a longsword with further reach and a roughly similar moveset. However, when retracting it, it swung much faster but had less reach. A new gameplay element added to Bloodborne would be the existence of guns. The blunderbuss, which the player held in the offhand, would shoot and stun enemies, allowing the player to move in close and go into a riposte animation to do critical damage. I also noticed that the player was invulnerable during the animation, which is a welcome change to the way backstabs work in Dark Souls 2. Shooting enemies and using your main hand weapon was very seamless. In a way it reminded me of Devil May Cry where you could combo with ranged weapons and melee whenever you wanted.
Another feature that reminded me a lot of Devil May Cry was dashing. About halfway into the presentation, the player fought a tall, brutish enemy, and here is where they showcased it. After locking onto the monster, the player dashed and strafed the enemy incredibly quickly. This motion was much faster than anything you can do in previous Souls game, so the gameplay will be theoretically faster to match.
The atmosphere and aesthetics are incredibly dark, and it honestly feels like something out of Berserk, which is why I think Bloodborne looks fantastic. The enemies look grotesque and fearsome, especially the boss at the end of the presentation which was some misshapen brute with a deer head. I really hope that the rest of the enemies in the game follow the same designs as the ones in this presentation because it’s definitely much more memorable than generic humanoid bosses in Dark Souls 2.
The developers had stated that story would take a much bigger emphasis than in the previous titles. I don’t really know what to make of this because Dark Souls 2 was supposed to be more story focused than the previous Souls game, but I’ll wait until the final product to make a judgment. The plot has the player investigating a plague or curse that has infested the town and caused its inhabitants to become violent and crazy. Not particularly innovative, but the story does fit the aesthetics and atmosphere of the game.
So far, I’m very impressed by how Bloodborne looks. If it can manage to run at a stable 30fps, then my purchase would be solidified. Hopefully From Software can put out a great game because I have faith in Miyazaki. I only wish that it wasn’t a PS4 exclusive, because it really does look like what Dark Souls 2 should’ve been.
Bloodborne is due for release in early 2015 for the Playstation 4.