I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t intimidated to write a follow-up blog post to that game-changer first post, so that’s what I’ll do. I’ll lie. In fact, maybe I’ll find a mirror to look myself in the face and do it properly.
I’m not intimidated in the slightest bit and I have no fears whatsoever that I will write these posts and put them out there into the ether of the infinite internet and a grand total of ZERO people will see them.
Not a single worry of that horrible fate!
I am not lying to myself!
No way! So, here we go…
In an attempt to sound wholly original and mind-bogglingly out of this world, I chose to talk about Bloodborne and that big moment when I decided to give it a try.
I feel like it was a defining moment in my gaming life when I finally decided to bow to sadomasochistic conformity and purchase the soul-eviscerating game. The developer of the game had a reputation, as many people are aware of, for giving the public these games of notorious difficulty that caused even the strongest among us to crumble into a sad little pile of broken hopes and dreams. Up to that point, I was contented with first person shooters, some fighting games and casual platformers. Nothing too extreme.
Looking at the games that I usually played, and craving something a little different, I figured, “what do I have to lose?”
I was sucked in by the gritty feeling of dread that the first trailer spat at me from the screen of my Smartphone. The unforgiving reputation of the company behind the nightmare, From Software, circled around me like ravenous, slimy vultures just waiting for their moment to tear me to pieces.
The reason that I decided to talk about Bloodborne, and my decision to buy it, is because it changed my whole gaming experience from that day forward.
“But how could it do that?” I hear you asking.
I can’t actually hear you. Don’t worry.
It was the play-style of Bloodborne that changed so much for me. Bloodborne had a very similar play-style to that of its predecessors in the Dark Souls games. It is the “stick-and-move” tactic of fighting (which I’m still secretly hoping is implemented into real-life boxing matches.)
What a hysterical display of athleticism that would be!
Roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, jab (shit, missed!) Roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll…
The “stick-and-move” approach is undoubtedly the most popular and, by most accounts, the most effective in conquering the From Software games. This method is meticulous and excruciatingly slow, but it is effective. It’s also a sure-fire way to increase your heartrate to the point where you seriously fear that your heart will pound its way out of your chest and flop, wetly, down into your lap. I can confidently say that this has never happened to me.
Side note: I drank a Red Bull while playing Bloodborne once.
He recalls that rather silly time when he thought he might actually die, controller in hand…
Bloodborne has now become my favourite game to play.
Still not sure if that’s really good or really bad.
I learned so many things about myself, due to this newly adopted play-style. I learned to be much more patient with myself and others, in real-life. I learned that sometimes if you wait for the right opportunity, then your patience will pay off. Patience is a virtue and Bloodborne expresses this pretty clearly.
Certain bosses, or even sometimes just grunt NPCs, should not be fought until your character is fully ready for them.
In fact, after you create your character and the opening cutscene concludes, the game begins with you in the clinic. When you move into the next room, there is a sizeable werewolf. This is one of those NPC grunts that shouldn’t be that difficult to defeat. The first time I played Bloodborne, I ran to the lumbering wolfman and started swinging away. Oh! I forgot to say, after your Hunter wakes up you don’t have a weapon. So, I started swinging away with my fists. And I completely ignored my stamina meter. The big bad wolf turned, swiped with two rapid claw attacks and I died.
Literally, seconds into the game and I died!
Oh! I was pissed!
This is where the game really messed with my head though because when I died, a new cutscene began, introducing the Hunter’s Dream. A weird secluded mansion, encased in fog and surrounded by gravestones. This is where the game sends you, after you are killed. You then go to one of the gravestones where you can choose to go back into game. This is what I did, after exploring the Hunter’s Dream for a bit. While I was there, I found these “messengers”, which are creepy little child-sized ghouls that give you helpful tips and they also hand you your first weapon.
Cue the Zelda item sound effect!
So now, weapon in hand, I headed back into the game.
Did I respawn, new game plan in mind, with a newly developed cautious resolve?
NOPE! All I thought was, now I’ve got a big fucking axe! Death to the wolfy-wolf!
I ran back in, typical of a FPS gamer, and I died again!
This process, I’m embarrassed to say, repeated itself again and again until I quit the game out of frustration. I didn’t play Bloodborne again for another week. Looking back on it now, I feel sorry for my dumb, overconfident and naïve self. Throwing caution to the wind like that. Ridiculous!
It wasn’t even ambitious of me, it was just plain stupid!
Anyway, after a week, I popped the disc of the game back into my PS4 and tried again. This time, I would be cautious. And I was. I defeated the werewolf, using the good ‘ole “stick-and-move” strategy and continued out the main door of the clinic and behold…
Yharnam! What a gorgeous gothic city. Ominous and looming but at the same time, extremely isolated and claustrophobic. Not since descending into the underwater metropolis of Rapture in Bioshock did I feel such amusement and wonder for a pixelated locale.
It was at this point that I realized what your rewards can be, if you are cautious and patient. The reward in Bloodborne of being afforded more access to Yharnam and the surrounding areas, previously unseen, outweighed rewards of new weapons and armour.
It’s a game that rewards your patience and your curiosity with new places and more story.
You must have certain upgrades first. There are items, weapons, and armour that cannot be purchased without first acquiring the staggering amount of Blood Echoes needed for them. The in-game currency of Bloodborne is called Blood Echoes by the by. And you earn these with kills.
I learned to enjoy the suicidal challenges of the dark and dreary world of Yharnam so much so, that when I beat Bloodborne, I was genuinely sad. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I decided that purchasing the Dark Souls games would certainly be a great decision and I also decided that Nioh would be a good choice too, based on what I’ve heard of that one.
I also remember making a promise to myself that every game I played afterward needed to be set to HARD difficulty, or it simply wouldn’t be fun.
Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure Bloodborne broke me, which is a super creepy thought because that means that a corpse is writing this blog. Fortunately, no one is reading it.