Punishing, brutal and unrelenting – these aren’t the words you’d usually use to describe something beautiful, but in Bloodborne’s case, they’re more than fitting.
The latest PS4 exclusive delivered to us by From Software, who brought us the Dark Souls series, takes a more action-oriented approach, but remains partially entrenched in its Game of the Year-winning lineage with the Dark Souls series. It’s hard as hell, but more rewarding than an ice-cream after a grueling marathon.
Bloodborne is essentially a third-person action adventure game, where you take control of a mysterious hunter, thrown into a grimy, eerie and lonely city that’s plagued with some nightmarish creatures; and yip, it’s your job to kill them – all of them.
You’ll have to explore the vast and creepy world, collect items, scavenge for supplies, and prepare yourself for what may lie around each corner. The anticipation and tension the game, and its world, is brilliant, and you’ll really feel like your death is just a slash away.
It’s all sounding pretty grim so far, but where’s the fun in Bloodborne, you may ask? It’s in the ultra-smooth combat system.
Bloodborne does away with shields, which featured heavily in Dark Souls, forcing you to get down and dirty with hack and slashing combat. It goes as far as to let you regain health lost from an attack by fighting back just after being smacked-about, which incentivises you to go on the offensive more often than not. It’s a relentless, brutal fighting system that will bring out the fury and ruthlessness of your inner-demon – everyone has one.
An interesting twist is the inclusion of guns. Firearms act as a parry mechanic, allowing you to fire away just before an enemy’s attack hits, leaving them stunned and open for an absolutely vicious (and unblockable) attack.
The various weapons in the game create a nice balance for the combat, which rewards you for being experimental and patient, rather than sticking with a trusty favourite.
Bloodborne is easily From Software’s best-looking game. The art design is phenomenal, and almost every aspect looks top-notch. The character models are uncomfortably creepy, and some of the bosses are breathtaking. You’ll spend a lot of time exploring the deep game world, and rightfully so, as there’s a lot to be admired and gawked at.
With all that’s said, can we recommend this new challenging new adventure? Well, Bloodborne is a tricky beast. It’s not for everyone. But if you’re looking for something a little different, something that will really challenge and involve you a bit more than your average eight-hour shoot-a-thon. Suffice it to say, you need to check it out.
Review originally published on MenStuff.co.za.Forum discussion