Bloodborne First Look – From Software’s Newest and Perhaps Fiercest Creation - Prima Games

Bloodborne First Look – From Software’s Newest and Perhaps Fiercest Creation

by Bryan Dawson

If there’s one thing most older gamers can attest to, it’s that the modern era of gaming drastically reduced the difficulty and overall challenge of games. Back in the 80s and 90s, you had three lives and no continues. These days, you can restart from the last save point as many times as you want, and in some cases you’ll even get a buff to help you get through an area after a certain number of deaths. That said, one of the few shining lights of difficulty in the era of modern gaming is Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, brought to us by From Software.

With the transition to the current generation of consoles, From Software is once again ready to turn up the difficulty with the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Bloodborne. While the game may be a spiritual successor to both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, it takes more from the former than it does the latter. While in Dark Souls there wasn’t really a sense of accomplishment other than the fact you survived the last encounter, Bloodborne changes that to provide an air of achievement that more closely resembles Demon’s Souls.

In the previous games, defense is key. If you acted too quickly or became impatient, it was instant death. However, if you waited long enough, and opening would appear and you could get through almost any encounter without a scratch. It was difficult, but patience was the key to doing well. Bloodborne changes that by speeding things up. You’ll still need to engage enemy encounters with a solid strategy, but the enemies and your character move faster. Agility has been improved, as dodging and general evasion have also been sped up.

A new system mechanic called the Regain System rewards offensive players. If you take damage, and counterattack quickly and efficiently, you’ll regain the health lost from the enemy’s attack. You can’t just mash out a counterattack, though. If you attack recklessly, you’ll end up getting hit again and you won’t regain any lost health. Combat is now a dance in which you must use the faster pace of the game to counterattack with finesse and keep your health up.

While Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls have an array of weapons that can be collected as you progress through the games, aside from switching between ranged weaponry and melee weapons, most players stick to their favorites. Combat was slightly different depending on what kind of weapon you used, but it was more about hiding behind a shield or attacking from a distance than drastic changes in strategy.

Bloodborne changes this by introducing weapons with multiple forms. For example, the saw cleaver from the E3 demo has a short form and a long form. The long form inflicts considerably more damage but takes quite a bit longer to swing. However, you can switch from one form to the other in mid-combo and the transition will serve as an attack. This opens up quite a few possibilities and even gives Bloodborne a bit of a Devil May Cry aspect to the combat system.

There’s still a lot of information we don’t know about Bloodborne, but we do know that the game will have more of an online presence compared Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. The challenge and difficulty are still there, but with the added speed and the more in-depth combat system, players will have to think on their feet. It’s no longer about avoiding that one hit that takes half of your health, it’s now about strategically chaining your attacks and counterattacks to create a string of devastation.

For free walkthroughs, strategy, tips and more, check out our Bloodborne Hub.

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