My first impression of Bloodborne which is a game I have been playing for the majority of the Easter weekend is that it is both a brilliant and artistically pleasing game to play. For some (myself included), they may find it difficult at first. But for those who have experienced the previous works of Hiddetaka Miyazaki before, they will surely know exactly what to expect from the game.
In Bloodborne you will be playing with a created character which you get to make at the beginning of the game. As a player you are able to adjust things like skin colour, type of muscle build, select your first weapons and choose a player name. You will use this character throughout the game. Although I did enjoy creating who I was, I felt that the customisation was a bit limited. For example changing the body shape didn’t do all that much, no matter how much I tried the character always looked pretty skinny.
Bloodborne is not a game that you can simply rush through or button mash your way past enemies. Every enemy in the game has the ability to kill you in just a few hits if you are not careful and this makes encounters with various foes dangerous every single time. Granted though, once you have an enemy beaten you can beat them the same way every time because they all attack in the same way, so you will learn slowly what to do against each one. Enemies are not the smartest bunch of AI but they are dangerous if you try and fight too many at once.
In the game you are a hunter, everyone seems to have gone mad in the town and will kill you on sight. There are a variety of creatures you will encounter as you explore the game that will be of danger to you such as giant birds, trolls, rats, wolves and werewolves. Killing these enemies will score you some points, these points are called “blood echoes” which you can use to buy weapons and supplies or use them for upgrading your character.
Not known to me early on in the game is that if you get killed, you will lose all the blood echoes which you have gained. It therefore becomes very important to stay alive. Every time you die and you will respawn at certain points which are marked by a lantern, different areas in the game have lanterns and once they are on you can choose to spawn there. Returning to these points will allow you to choose to visit the “Hunter’s Dream” location. This is an important area because it is where you upgrade or buy things using your blood echoes.
When you return from the Hunter’s Dream location you will find that all the enemies that you have killed have now returned back to life. As I am new to games that are from Hiddetaka Miyazaki I am not sure why this is, however I believe it’s part of a game mechanic to allow you to farm blood echoes. You see if you go through certain areas, kill a few enemies, return to the Hunter’s Dream, return back to the area where the same enemies are. Kill them again, get their blood echoes. Go back to Hunter’s Dream and spend your money on upgrades. I did not realize this until quite a few hours into the game because I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do, but once you do it’s a good way to level up initially.
One issue and really the only issue I have with Bloodborne so far, is that at times I don’t really know what I am doing at all or where I am supposed to go. I spent almost all my game time so far wondering around “Central Yarnham” which is one of the first areas you visit, dying and dying over and over again. It took a few hours but I eventually realised that Bloodborne has some really great level design, Central Yarnham is like a giant maze. You go through it, explore it, hunt down enemies and eventually open a gate or two. Doing so will provide shortcuts (or you may find shortcuts through the maze) and it will make it easier to run through it all again. When you complete a section of the maze and finally open a gate or defeat a boss which for me took all of Easter, you feel a really great sense of accomplishment. That’s something I haven’t felt for a long time in a video game (they are all so easy and casual these days). I have really missed being challenged and I love Bloodborne for providing one.
While I have only been playing Bloodborne for a few days and have now passed the Central Yarnham area and am now exploring what looks like to be a cathedral. I just can’t wait to see what is ahead. While I experienced some difficulty in leaning how this game worked and overcoming some of the initial challenges, I feel excited based on what I have done so far and can’t wait to see what is ahead.
I will write a full review of the game once get through it, but for those who are wondering, so far I am very positive about Bloodborne.