The lights are on
Weeks ago footage of an unannounced game by From Software
codenamed Project Beast leaked. The video showed a dark warrior wielding an
old-fashioned firearm and a bladed weapon. This E3, From Software showed off more
of the game, officially titled Bloodborne, in action. The live gameplay
presentation I saw reveals the aggressive new combat design, gorgeous gothic
visuals, and a corrupted town of villagers wielding torches and pitchforks. I
watched the presentation through the lens of a fan of the Dark Souls series,
and noticed several key similarities to - and departures from - the Dark Souls
Twisted, Foreboding Environments Return
The demo takes place within a gothic, Victorian city in the
19th century. Filthy buildings, spires, and clock towers stretch
into the night sky as a full moon beams down on the slick cobblestone streets. A
curse plagues the town, turning some of its citizens into monsters. Villagers
rally with pitchforks, sickles, and torches to hunt down the beasts. However,
despite not being aware of it, some of these hunters are actually tainted
themselves. Imagine the angry mobs from Frankenstein stalking the creepiest
version of London you've ever seen. The corrupted mobs will turn on the player,
leaping out from blind corners and lighting them ablaze with their torches. The
atmosphere is dark, mysterious, and absolutely begging to be cautiously
It's A Gorgeous Next-Gen Game
Seeing the PlayStation 4-exclusive Bloodborne in action is a
stunning reminder that we are in a new generation of powerful hardware. The
gothic town is filled with abandoned carriages that realistically burst into
splinters when attacked. Blood splatters off fallen foes, coating the player's
black rain slicker, and glistening in the moonlight. The fire of the insane
villagers' torches flickers across the dim environment in a convincing manner.
The characters' movement is also much smoother than in past Souls' games,
creating an authentic-feeling world. Bloodborne is among the most visually
impressive games I've ever seen.
Player Customization Is Back
Bloodborne does not star a static protagonist; the
customization fans of the Souls games love makes a return here. From Software
confirms that players will be able to upgrade their characters and seek after
the best gear possible. Armor, weapons, items and more will be discoverable
throughout the game to hone your character into the warrior you want.
Shields Are Gone, Guns Are In
Blocking enemy blows with a shield has been an integral part
of most melee combat character builds since Demon's Souls. In a bold move, From
Software says they're no more. From Software says the combat is still as lethal
as ever, but that they want players to focus on being proactive during battles
rather than backing away with a raised shield. Firearms are in important part
of this formula change. While replacing a shield with a gun doesn't sound very
logical, it appears to work well in action. During the demo, the developer at the
controls carefully timed counterattacks with his blunderbuss to interrupt enemy
attacks. Stunned enemies were vulnerable for a proper slashing with the
saw cleaver weapon. The blunderbuss also looks useful for throwing off the
rhythm of battle via sneaking in potshots on regular enemies or stunning a big
boss with an up-close blasts. Tinkering with the bread and butter of the Souls
series' combat is risky, but I'm excited for the more aggressive approach to
combat. But don't worry, this isn't Devil May Cry, it's still a decidedly From
Player Death & Progression Are More Akin To Demon's Soul
From Software says they don't want players to get so
frustrated with dying that they put down the controller. While I personally
thought the death penalties in Dark Souls II were well balanced, From Software
says it's going to going to be more in line with the death penalties and
progression system found in Demon's Souls. From Software says that progression
will also be more in line with Demon's Souls, which from what we gather means
that we'll be collecting souls and returning to a safe zone once again.
Lethal Combat Returns
Don't let the idea of From Software' goal to make death less
frustrating alarm you - the developer is keeping combat as high-risk and tense
as possible. While the developer playing Bloodborne didn't die during the demo,
the visceral impact and quickness of enemy attacks illustrates that even your
run of the mill grunt still packs a devastating punch.
The Game World Is Less Open
When asked, From Software says it's not pursuing the same
open structure of Dark Souls II. Dark Souls II features a hub world filled with
vendors and an NPC for leveling-up, along with interconnected bonfires for
convenient teleportation. We can only speculate that since From Software says
it's not following Dark Souls II's structure, that the game will be slightly
more linear. However, we did spot more of the shortcuts that makes traversing
through the worlds of Souls games so rewarding. For example, the player knocked
down a ladder later in the demo that linked back to an area they had been
exploring 20 minutes earlier. It's too early to draw any conclusions, but it's
an interesting choice on From Software's part.
These are just a few comparisons that a fan of Dark Souls
has to make when seeing a new IP that treads so closely to From Software's
compelling formula of challenging, rewarding combat. For all intents and
purposes, Bloodborne looks, sounds, and feels like a natural next evolution for
the studio's Souls series, even if the word doesn't appear in the title. Hopefully, the departure from shields in combat doesn't tinker with
the formula for the worse.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
You are over thinking it Turi. I don't think just because its referencing the original game means that its going to take drastic departure from what they have now. If anything, worlds might be divided into hubs but will have large areas of exploration. If anything, the critical path might be easier to navigate as opposed to running blind in an open map.
I think encumbrance and carrying capacity will be more complicated like the original where its not just total weight on your char that determined their stamina and dodging effectiveness. you may have to micro manage how much you can safely equip your char without over encumbering your self at the same time keeping an eye on your inventory capacity as well...(it was a pain in the ass)
How much you want to bet all the Souls players boot this sucker up, it immediately feels familiar, you get a false sense of confidence and then the game hands you back your arse?
But...but...I don't want a PS4...
Ugh, I seriously hope they dont make most of the game like Demon's Souls
It was easily the worst in the series...
You had me at "blunderbuss".
From what I saw of the leaked gameplay footage it is most definitely a souls game and I can't wait. This and The Order 1886 are my most anticipated exclusives.
I don't know how to feel. I will look out for it in the future and most likely won't have a PS4 until this is used anyway so I guess it doesn't matter.
Considering the success of Dark Souls 2, it's admirable they are trying all new things, instead of cashing in the old cow (ahem, Far Cry 4).
First of all, does this NEED to be another Souls game? Why can't it just be its own IP? I get that Miyazaki directed Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, but honestly, it's been five years in that world, the IP is stale. Simply putting us in 19th century Victorian landscapes and giving us a gun instead of a shield doesn't make this innovative, it makes it recycled. I'd really love to see Miyazaki and From break free from the tired conventions of Souls games and do something new, something truly groundbreaking.
That said, this part bothers me a lot: "From Software says they don't want players to get so frustrated with dying that they put down the controller... From Software says it's going to going to be more in line with the death penalties and progression system found in Demon's Souls. "
Um, how will that be easier? Demon's Souls had exactly ONE checkpoint, at the beginning of the level. Dark Souls often had multiple bonfires, and Dark Souls II had several, many right before the boss. If anything, Demon's Souls was the hardest of the three, so I don't really get how that analogy translates to less frustrating.
Also, Miyazaki has stated in an interview that deaths were turned off in the demo he played, if they weren't he'd have died a lot in the time he played. So that doesn't really make me feel comforted. I worry that these guys don't know how to innovate anymore, that they're just recycling ideas, but I won't know for sure until actual gameplay is revealed (which From typically doesn't do) or the game comes out.
Regardless, this is the first Miyazaki title that I'm not buying - I'll rent it and see if it works.
Very cool. I wonder if there will be no pause menu or save option like in the 'souls' games.