Thursday, June 12, 2014

Breakin' down Bloodbourne in 11 points or less.

The European PlayStation Blog was kind enough to sit down with Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki, and the information is so dense and so good I'm just gonna' copy-paste the whole thing.

1. This is not a sequel
FromSoftware are perhaps most famous for creating Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II. Miyazaki himself was even the director of both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, but he explained, “Players that have experienced the other games I have directed are going to see some familiarities, but this is not a sequel…you’re going to find something new in Bloodborne…your gameplay experience is going to be more intense…it will be heightened.”

2. Explore the unknown
Set in the fictional, sprawling city of Yharnham, the 19th century setting is dark and foreboding. FromSoftware are keeping the details of the story of Bloodborne under wraps, but Miyazaki did tell us, “One of the most important aspects we are focusing on whilst we make Bloodborne is the exploration of the unknown” – players will have a massive area of the city of Yharnham, and you’ll be encouraged to explore it to unravel “a universe laden with mystery.”

3. Something beastly this way comes
As you journey along the dingy alleyways, strange cloaked figures and deformed figures will lurch out of the darkness to attack you at almost every turn. On top of that, “there are moments, like the ominous banging of these gates in the city, where we’re telling you that some huge beast if coming.”

4. There’s something deeply wrong in Yharnham
On top of the bleak colour palette and shadows of the city, something else is amiss, “the city has been stricken by a plague, and those afflicted transform into hideous beasts” – what’s more, “the citizens around are unaware that they too are afflicted.”

5. Fight for your life
Miyazaki is known for creating games with an enjoyably challenging difficulty level, and Bloodborne will be no different, “You’re going to constantly feel terror because when you face each enemy, you will also face death. Every fight could be your last.”

6. A weapon in each hand
Bloodborne isn’t going to send you out to face the hordes unaided – players will arm themselves with a satisfyingly powerful shotgun in their left hand, as well as a scythe-like weapon in their right.

7. Passive aggressive
Whilst wading right into a crowd of enemies is clearly a strategy that will quickly have you in a body bag, trying to stay out of the fight isn’t necessarily going to work, “You’re going to have to face up to enemies quickly or else become overwhelmed.”

8. Your weapons transform as you use them
Miyazaki showed off a melee weapon that was part scythe, part saw. What was most interesting about it is that players can employ different techniques to cause the weapon to transform as you are fighting. This will be one of the key ways in which players will need to adapt their techniques to tackle bosses, and customise their characters to suit their style, “with each transformation of your weapon comes a different play style.”

9. Shifting enemies
During the level we were shown, the citizens of Yharnham were hunting the beasts that are plaguing the city. During one section, they crowded around a makeshift pyre to set alight a slain monster, allowing us to creep around the outskirts unnoticed. However this didn’t last long – soon a bell sounded from deep within the city and the rabble recommenced their hunt. Miyazaki said, “The game is going to challenge you as the environment changes and enemies move around the level in unexpected ways.”

10. Helpful fellow
As you fight through Yharnham, you’ll occasionally meet other hunters in trouble, and you can choose whether to help or not, “You have that option, if you’re compassionate… And those characters might even come back later to lend a hand and help even the odds.”

11. Up close and personal
For anyone hoping to keep enemies at (more than) arm’s length, hurting enemies whilst staying well out of their reach in order to stay alive, Bloodborne might already be one step ahead of you. Miyazaki confirmed “close range combat is going to be the focus of the game”, but also hinted at some of the tricks you’ll have up your sleeve…

One wonders what Sony would have, now, if they'd just released Demon's Souls in the west instead of letting Atlus do it for them.  Oh well - at least they're prepared to remedy their mistake.


  1. I'm curious to see how a more offensive From Software game will play. I spent half of Dark Souls behind a shield, so it's interesting to see them go this direction.
    As much as I lived Dark Souls, I'm glad they are doing something new like this instead of another Dark Souls.

    1. Once I picked up my Greatsword in Dark Souls II, I found myself blocking less and less and eventually almost never using my shield - so I feel I'm kinda' prepared for a Souls-esque experience that denies one the ability to block.

      What worries me are the two weapons shown - that the player won't be able to entirely-customize their player-character a'la Souls' wide-open character development systems. On the other hand, all official commercials and such of Dark Souls had the same character - the dual-wielding fur-collared warrior - so I'm hoping Bloodborne is similarly open, in terms of player expression.