Just last week, we were invited by Sony to test their upcoming games, Bloodborne and the Order: 1886. Since the event was bursting with gamers and media, each individual was given only one opportunity to try either of the games.
We decided to pick Bloodborne.
For starters, Bloodborne is a game developed by FromSoftware, the guys behind the Souls series. As a self-professed Dark Souls and Demon Souls expert (I tend to die a lot), I assumed that Bloodborne is a game that has the feel but with something new to bring onto the table. The game shoves the player into the boots of a “hunter” searching for a cure. The overall idea may be a tad similar to the previous Souls games, but the atmosphere is quite different as it mostly delves into gothic architecture and fog, assuming that what we experienced was an overall feel for the product.
The demo started with a menu detailing the number of characters available. There were four to choose from (in verbatim): a sword and shield, heavy weapons, magic, and rogue. With an air of confidence (and arrogance) I took it upon myself to choose the squishier man, opting for the dual-daggered rogue.
I started inside a walled haven, a castle with its walls bombarded with the gloom of blue and gray, spliced with a bit of orange lighting. It was foggy, apocalyptic, and dead. The fog, rotten trees, and strewn corpses, made the atmosphere more eerie and unpredictable. So far, so good.
Navigating through the maze-like town was easy since I have a member of the events team to guide me. I wasted no time in exploring, following his/her directions to the letter. I stumbled upon an enemy hiding from the shadows, which I quickly dispatched with my ever so agile fingers. Ha! Playing those Souls games has finally paid off.
I went straight to the path, climbing ladders and picking up trinkets along the way. I was abruptly stopped on top of a staircase by a parade of shambling ghouls walking at what seems to be a major thoroughfare. My guide told me to stop and simply wait for the four creatures to pass. “Bah! I am a veteran, a proven hero of the Souls game, four guys ain’t nothing to me”, ejaculated by my confident brain. To nobody’s surprise, the encounter ended with me getting blocked and my intestines gouged by the only remaining ghoul armed with a pitchfork. Things obviously didn’t end well.
True to its roots, the Bloodborne demo’s delivery of death was swift and unforgiving. I was punished with a long “Thank You For Playing” screen, adding salt to injury by restarting the whole ordeal. Great times indeed!
The second dry run was not as ill-fated as the first. I followed the directions to the iota of an “i” and immediately rushed through the sections of my initial attempt without any problems. Before my time with Bloodborne was up, I found myself smack in the middle of a corridor with two giant hounds blocking my progress. “You can’t handle them, just trick them”, says my trusty navigator. Heeding his words, I baited and ran towards the other end, cutting short the adrenaline behind a draconic statue. Unknowingly, I led them into another hunter, an AI-controlled one, which was stronger than my pitiful character.
The demo ended with my hero playing his part, slashing and dealing two digit damages to two monsters equipped with HP bars fit for a millennial. I ended with a bang, downing one hound.
Suffice to say, I found Bloodborne to be enjoyable and exhilarating. The experience was interesting and the atmosphere was effective in delivering a sense of survival. We did find the graphics do be substantially improved and worthy of being called next-gen, but the lack of anti-aliasing is baffling. Quick turns also prompted a decrease in frame rates. To be fair, we did experience an alpha demo, yet we do hope that the problems that plagued the demo would be absent in the final version.
All in all, we can’t help but wait for Bloodborne in the next coming weeks, but rest assured, we’re part of the ones waiting with glee.
The title is set to be released on March 24, 2015 and will be exclusive available for PlayStation 4.