Friday, April 3, 2015
The first night I played Bloodborne, it was after several hours of housework. Kayla kept telling me to drop it and finally play this most-hyped of games, but I completed my duties before I finally booted it up. Played for about an hour - basically got a grip on the first street the game gives you to explore - but then it was time for bed.
As I came to bed, she asked how Bloodborne was, and I shrugged. "It's Dark Souls again," I told her.
And that's apt. It fires all the same neurons, it provides all the same satisfactions - and those are myriad satisfactions - but it bumps everything up just a little bit. Makes it a bit deeper, a bit broader, a bit sharper, a bit more vicious, a bit more bloody, a bit more grand, a bit more mysterious, a bit more horrific.
I think a review for this game is going to be quite a challenge. Anyone who's played a Souls game already understands, on a fundamental level, the precious prize these games offer and guard. We've rolled it over in our heads so many times that it can be rattled off, simplified, condensed into a single sentence - "it's super-challenging, totally unforgiving, and phenomenally gratifying when you defeat the latest monster to stand in your path."
Anything beyond that is kind of window dressing, but what Bloodborne does with the cherished formula that only From Software can accomplish remains... surprising and artful and moving and beautiful.
Here's another way to put it. If the Souls games didn't exist, and someone put up this screenshot on Kickstarter with the words "Victorian gothic action-RPG,"
that game would be funded in twenty-four hours. It's...
Well, it's wondrous, and wonderful. It's everything you want - and a big part of what you want is the unknown, and to be surprised. So I'll try to say little, beyond blowing a kiss across the Atlantic in the general direction of From, and SCEJ.
Oh, also, Chamberlain - I'm sending you an email tomorrow.