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Video Game Review: Bloodborne

Take the FromSoft’s Souls formula for gameplay.

Make it faster. Throw in a gothic setting complete with werewolves. Add some Lovecraftian horror.

What do you get?

Bloodborne. You get Bloodborne.

I can probably stop the review right now.

Because if that combination doesn’t sound appealing, we can’t be friends anymore.

Okay? Okay.

Like any Souls-Like game, Bloodborne takes a brutally challenging (but almost always fair) action RPG mold that rewards learning the game’s patterns and player skill as much as grinding, while at the same time allowing multiple levels of character progression.

In typical FromSoft style, the story is largely hidden. If you don’t read the item descriptions, and go digging, you’ll probably have only the basic idea of what’s going on.

Short version—the Healing Church used the forbidden Old Blood to enhance life/cure diseases for the population of Yharnam (said gothic city). This has the unintended consequences of creating a blood plague that periodically transforms people into werewolves (called beasts).

This prompts a hunt.

The player character comes to Yharnam seeking a cure for some disease and gets roped into becoming a hunter of the beasts. Which also involves getting stuck in a recurring dream he or she visits periodically and if slain.

If you’ve played Dark Souls, the feel is similar, but, like I said, faster. The focus shifts from defensive play to offensive play, largely aided by the ability to recover lost health but hitting back if you do it fast enough (and don’t get hit again).

The speed almost made it feel a bit more like Nioh than Dark Souls.

And like all of the above, yeah, it’s hard. It’s supposed to be, to make the reward all the sweeter when you finally achieve victory.

Souls-likes have become my favorite kind of game in recent years, and I highly recommend you check this one out.

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