Somehow, From Software have successfully shown Bloodborne off to be both a fresh new direction for their ‘Souls’ series and at the same time, every bit the spiritual successor it’s billed to be. How they manage this is simple, if elegant – 6 solid minutes of whamming whammees with a selection of really large whammers!
Honestly the similarities to Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II are evident in Bloodborne’s very DNA, from the circling lock on combat to the all-important healthy and stamina bars which govern survivability. There are item and weapon slots which can be switched on the fly, as are there players who are free to join your game to lend a hand with the carnage, both general and specific.
Bloodborne’s divergences also couldn’t be clearer.
Arguably as a veteran of the three aforementioned Souls titles, I could be more attuned to these, but any fool with a pair of working peepers can appreciated the changed aesthetic. What was once medieval is now Victorian. That which was spring loaded is propelled now via gunpowder. Gone are the castles, the battlements, the lakes and fields. Here are the alleys, the streets, the grime and stink of Urban decay.
Combat, namely its speed, its aggression is similarly apparent. Nine foot scythes and sawn off shottys are not the weapons of a cautious gamer, and mechanically, systemically, Bloodborne rewards this frenzied strategy. The rewards are higher, so predictably the risks follow suit.
There’s no set release on Bloodborne yet, but a 2015 outing is assured. Just as well too. Following a mammoth 80+ hour playthrough of Dark Souls II in March/April, I lack the enthusiasm, let alone energy for Bloodborne… In a year’s time though? With all these tasty additions to an already genre leading formula?
Oooh, I could be sorely tempted.