November 24, 2020

Bloodborne was released in 2015 and I played it for the first time this past April during the lockdown. The game was developed by a game studio called From Software. They are known for making the critically acclaimed Dark Souls trilogy, which is considered the hardest games ever made. Bloodborne is no different. I know, these games have a massive fan base and are beloved by critics and gamers, but why would I want to put myself through the stress of playing these incredibly challenging games? I thought life was stressful enough.

 My brother, who is two years younger than I am, has played through Bloodborne several times since the game was released. He convinced my nineteen-year-old cousin (who has also never played the game before either) and myself to play through the entire game with him during the lockdown. I had nothing else to do, might as well waste my days stressing over a video game with my cousin and brother.

Bloodborne can be played as a single player experience. You can also play it cooperatively online with your friends. In this case, with my brother and cousin. We set up three televisions in the living room, each connected to a playstation 4, then we dived right in. 

Bloodborne is a dark fantasy, set in a fictitious Victorian London- style city called Yharnam. The city is overrun by its citizens who have turned into vicious beasts caused by an unknown sickness. You play as an unnamed hunter, tasked with eliminating the deadly monsters that stalk in the shadows of the city. The game just throws you in, without telling you what objectives you have and no context to what’s happening. From the beginning to end, you have to figure what to do on your own. I have never played a game like this, I found it refreshing that the game refuses to hold your hand for accomplishing objectives. I was one in control and I was the one making my own decisions in the game. Well in this case, I had my brother for moral support.

 Bloodborne is a third-person action adventure game that focuses on dodging and parrying attacks from foes. You use various medieval weapons to fight opponents and you can level up your character by slaying enemies and collecting an in-game currency called blood echoes, you can also use these blood echoes to purchase different weapons and items.

The objective of the game (once players figure it out) is to explore and slay monsters in a large area, there’s areas can range from castles, villages surrounding Yharnam and many more. Once you complete an area, you are required to fight a boss which is usually a much larger deformed monster or sometimes characters from the story. The creature designs are the best looking monsters that I have ever seen in the media. It’s impossible to describe the beasts without visualizing them. The boss fights are the most challenging aspect of the game. The fights are fast and fluid where a single blow from a monster can be your demise. It’s normal for a player to die several times from a boss before finally beating it. Once you finally beat it, you get a huge sense of accomplishment that drives you to carry on with the game.

 There is complex lore behind the story of Bloodborne, unlike a traditional game where the story is told through cutscenes, which takes players away from the immersion. Bloodborne tells its story through the gameplay by analyzing environments and monsters, item descriptions, letters, and by talking with the different characters throughout the story.  Other players can invade your world and fight you to the death, you can also join other players and help them defeat bosses and clear areas. The online community is fantastic and helpful, with players having an option to either aid or fight adds an interesting rhythm to the game. 

 I could write a 300-page review about this game and why it’s perfect. The story is complex and deep; the soundtrack is thrilling and intense; and the visuals are well detailed and immersive.  I’ve made great memories while playing with my brother and cousin. It’s a game that never ends and you are constantly learning something new about it. I finally know what I was missing for the past years. I have to give this game a perfect score.

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