Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Bloodborne’ is a perfectly twisted video game experience

The newly released single player RPG game Bloodbourne hit the shelves on March 24th. (BagoGames/Flickr)
The newly released single player RPG game Bloodborne hit the shelves on March 24th. (BagoGames/Flickr)

From Software released “Bloodborne” on March 24th, exclusively for Play Station 4. The game reflects the notorious dark atmosphere and unforgiving combat of the Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls franchise. “Bloodborne” stands out with its Victorian style and noticeably more aggressive combat.

The game takes place in the ruined gothic city of Yharnam, where mystery abounds as the “night of the hunt” commences and monsters roam the streets. The player’s character is an outsider, with customizable appearance and stats at the game’s start. The initial task of the player at Yharnam is to exchange their blood for that of the more powerful hunters, and in so doing become a hunter of beasts.

Strange small, pale creatures, called minions, assist the player on the journey by guarding tombstones and allowing messages to be left warning other players from around the world in their single player games. The minions are mute, but burst with personality and lore, as do the hunters who light lamps and send messages with the elegant snap of their fingers.

The overall tone of “Bloodborne” is deeply mysterious and foreboding, as supported by the haunting melodies of deep cellos and eerie chimes that accompany the soundtrack. It is up to the player to discover the story through item descriptions and dialogue. The game has visually distinct and quirky non-player characters including noble warrior monks and an ungrateful civilian populace. This creates a rendered yet distinctly twisted world of Yharnam that gives players an extra challenge in putting all the pieces together.

“Bloodborne” features From Software’s iconic third person action role-playing game gameplay of hack, slash, mess up, die, hone your skills and repeat, with death being a fairly central mechanic. The game does encourage aggression, with healing items and a portion of player’s wealth at stake when they come into contact with the attacking warped monsters.

There is a heavy reliance on dodging skills and reactionary combat in “Bloodborne,” making shields a thing of the past. This reflects the emphasis “Bloodborne” puts on the power of player skill and tactical thinking over any upgrades and levels granted to a character. The game proves to be very satisfying when mastered, creating a truly natural progression system.

“Bloodborne,” like all true From Software games, contains the constant event of death and the pressure of losing past gained experiences as motivators. This concept was arguably better executed in the “Soul” series though.

The player should expect to die a lot. In “Bloodborne,” that entails waiting up to a minute in a loading screen offering nothing more than the title of the game. This gets very tedious very quickly and can often discourage a player from persisting.

Unlike in the “Souls” franchise where recovery was straightforward, “Bloodborne” is a little less forgiving about the way it gives back the game’s experience points. There is no pool of blood where lost progress can be recovered and is instead held in the soul of a monster near the location of death and requires finding and killing that monster.

In “Bloodborne,” From Software lives up to its well-known standards. The bosses are aesthetically pleasing visually, but often lack the complex and interesting move sets that some of the greatest bosses of the Souls series were known for. Recruiting an online partner is unfortunately random, a bit unclear and can often make a boss fight go from distressingly difficult to disappointingly easy.

“Bloodborne” has no slacking in the visual design of the game. Skies are pierced with gothic towers, cathedrals and  grimy streets that host fights and are stained with blood.

“Bloodborne” is a masterpiece in single player, best experienced when connected to the Internet. Its haunting setting and unforgettable sound design set the stage for heart pounding combat and endless exploration. The game is currently $60 and will easily last past 40 hours.

Alessandro Arena-DeRosa can be reached at [email protected].

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    SBOMay 5, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing contents of the bloodborne.