*Special Guest Post written by Teen Volunteer Zion Geraci*
Bloodborne (rated M) is the Gothic horror counter-part to Dark Souls. It is another of FromSoftware’s brilliant open-world action adventure games. In this review I’ll talk about my hate/loves of the gameplay, the story, and the downloadable content (DLC).
Things I Love About the Gameplay:
Bloodborne focuses on third person hack and slash combat. I played Bloodborne after Dark Souls Remastered and I was amazed at how much faster the gameplay was. Dark Souls encourages a patient and measured play style, whereas Bloodborne favors a high octane aggressive style. I strongly prefer the latter, a fact that I’m now reminded of whenever I play other action games. There are two mechanics to thank for the game's quick paced nature: rally and quickstep. The quickstep mechanic allows you to move in any direction in a blink, which is very important due to the fast enemies in the game. This allows a player to learn how to quickly close gaps and strike. The rally mechanic is a very unique one. After being hit a player may strike enemies for a short period of time to regain the lost health. This mechanic lends itself to and encourages the game's aggressive play style. A few other things I really like are the variety of weapons and the ease of upgrading them. Bloodborne hosts a decent number of weapons, and all of them have two forms, making them basically two for one deals. These weapons are also much easier to upgrade than the ones in Dark Souls.
Things I Love About the Story:
The lore of Bloodborne is very, very deep. The game has a complicated story that can be slowly gathered through non-player character (NPC) dialogue, reading the description of items, and certain cut-scenes. This encourages players to explore the world so as to encounter all the NPCs and to pay attention to both the cut-scenes and the items they are looting.
Things I Love about the Downloadable Content:
The DLC to Bloodborne is truly amazing. Once you enter the Old Hunters DLC you will be hooked. Many fascinating insights are revealed that can help a player piece together the game’s complicated lore through the exploration of this zone. The bosses are some of the hardest, and best, in the entire game. This makes players strive to improve as they progress.
Things I Hate about the Gameplay:
Ok, I love Bloodborne so the hates are gonna be few. However one thing I just can’t get over the is the stupid counter damage system. In Bloodborne when you attempt to dodge but mistime it and get hit you take 200% damage! This makes me really salty as it can lead to some absurd one shots, but on a whole it can be overlooked due to the quality of the game. In fact, it is my only really gripe with Bloodborne’s gameplay.
Things I Hate About the Story:
The actual story of Bloodborne is fascinating, but wow is it hard to work out. In order to really understand what’s going on you have to pour hours into reading item descriptions and scouring the face of the earth for NPCs to talk too. I feel that this really isn’t friendly to the casual/time pressured player and personally I’d rather go to YouTube and watch a video explaining the lore in much less time.
Things I Hate About the Downloadable Content:
So as I said above the DLC is excellent and I don’t have a lot to complain about. I suppose my biggest complaint is that there are times where there are just too many enemies coming at you and that can get a bit frustrating. The DLC is also very hard, not for the faint-hearted, but not so hard that I can complain about it being unreasonable.
Bloodborne is an excellent game. It has a rich and interesting story, fun and intense gameplay and one of the best expansions I’ve ever played. While there are certainly some parts of the game that are not the best they are few and far between, certainly not enough to keep the game from receiving a top score in my book. Bloodborne just keeps making me want to go and play more, so I encourage you to try it out. Bloodborne receives a 4.5 out of 5 score, it’s just so good.