Five hours in Yharnam

Bloodborne fucking rocks!

It is the reason to get a PS4, if you haven’t already.

We received the Bloodborne package on Friday night, either as a thank you (for a badly written, prompt game review) or intended as an actual review (which we can’t anymore, cause of the badly written, prompt one) and then we spent the better part of Saturday in the office playing it.

As the headline suggests, I’ve managed to play Bloodborne for a measly five hours. Not enough time. It’s not much game time, but trust me on this, the experience so far has been rewarding. Like, rags to riches kind of reward, emotionally and spiritually – not, physically. Okay, that was a terrible thing to say…

Anyway as much as we can tell, Bloodborne is an unforgiving beast if you’re a slacker. The game requires you to be aggressive, at the same time, tactical in your approach as players are required to balance out offense and evasion as both are limited for a short time. If you’re used to hiding behind shields in previous Souls games, then you’re 100% fucked, so better start dodging good. If you look at it this way, Bloodborne can be the Souls’ training wheels for dodging. But not a great deal, since these two games have different game mechanics.

The city of Yharnam, in a way, is a labyrinth,  a massive puzzle as players run around opening shortcuts, finding treasures, and discovering interconnected routes. While there were games in the past that had been described as having a repetitive level design, grass-grass-oh, a mountain-grass-grass-and-more-fucking-grass, Yharnam doesn’t stray too far. The city’s Gothic feel is pretty much the same, stairs, hallways, and everything else you would see in a city, but by all means, Yharnam is not repetitive, far from it. The city constantly keeps players on the edge. Enemies lurk in corners, and while fending off a frontal attack, there will always be a chance that one or two a-holes have managed to sneak behind the player. Some bosses, such as Father Gas-whatever-you-pronounce-it, who moves in such incredible speed and attacks like a real motherfucker. Just, check out those YouTube vids of that fight. Damn, and that’s only the second boss of the game – or first, depending if you fought the Cleric Beast beforehand.

What I really liked about in the game is the absence of bullshit things to do. You’ve got games like Dragon Age: Inquisition that adds an illusion to game-length by making you run around like a fucking idiot, chasing after shard-thingies or connecting dots to make a picture. Yes, they yield rewards too, but they’re like payments after a job you hate. Collecting them is like collecting stale checks where you need to undergo a couple of headaches to fix. The very least, the blood shards, the gems, and all the stuff you just happen to pick up in Bloodborne, are all wonders that can be used immediately that makes a huge damn difference. That extra 1.5% damage increase from an item you just found? Worth it. Collecting useless shit for two hours to gain that 20-40% elemental resist? … Maybe worth it, in the long run, but those hours spent doing basically nothing, is never worth it. Bloodborne is brutal and relentless, but with mercy, their reward system is fast and efficient without making the experience a chore.

I’m not really sure how to close this post. So, here’s something from YT, the OST of the first/second boss of the game. Also, this game seems to have drawn influence from Lovecraft, which is always sweetens the pot.

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