Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service – In “Bloodborne,” players hunt through the night in the cursed city of Yharnam in search of a cure.
By Joseph Valencia ’17
9 out of 10
“Bloodborne” offers a truly unique and challenging experience, and is not intended to be a game that everyone can enjoy.
The setting of the game is dark and horrific, taking place in a city called Yarnham. Yarnham was once a prosperous city, but fell to a plague that transformed its residents into grotesque monsters.
The player takes the role of a traveler who has come to find a cure for the plague that is supposedly hidden deep within the city.
Very little exposition is given, and the player is immediately thrust into the hellacious city.
There are very little tips to help the player in the beginning, and the game is punishing from the start of the journey. Though Yarnham presents itself as a place to be feared, it has a hidden story waiting to be uncovered by the player.
Yarnham provides the player with an excellent sense of exploration. The game utilizes punishment as a means of teaching the player how to handle certain situations.
For example, there is a section of the game that forces the player to round a corner on a thin pathway overlooking a fatal drop. As soon as the player rounds the corner, a crazed denizen of Yarnham rushes out and pushes the player over the edge.
The punishment for death is a loss of currency. The game utilizes a substance called “Blood Echoes” as currency, and is gained by killing enemies.
Currency is used for buying weapons and armor, as well as leveling the player up. The risk of losing all currency instills the player with a sense of caution in every movement they make.
“Bloodborne’s” main attraction is the many bosses that the player faces along their journey. The first boss, called the Cleric Beast, was a priest who transformed into a enormous monster as a result of the plague.
The Cleric Beast is a difficult boss to face because of its unpredictable set of attacks. The beast flails its arms in fury as it attempts to crush the player.
“Bloodborne” encourages speed and agility, where its predecessors demanded slow, cautious movement and reliance on heavy defense. Whereas “Dark Souls” demanded that the player wield a shield for protection at all times, “Bloodborne” has no shields to offer.
All of the armor in “Bloodborne” is light, and the player can now side step and back step to avoid enemy attacks. “Dark Souls” had heavy armor and only allowed the player to roll away from or block enemy attacks.
“Bloodborne” demands agility, with little options of defense, which was a significant departure from “Dark Souls.”
Overall, “Bloodborne” provides a challenging and punishing experience, while still offering a mysterious setting and rich story to those who can find it.