View Full Version : Bloodborne review

04-04-2015, 11:28 AM
From Software's Souls series is a franchise which really does separate the casual Sunday league players from the tip-top Premier League pros. Considered to be one of the most unashamedly hardcore gaming experiences ever produced, this set of action RPGs - which began with the PS3 exclusive Demon's Souls - attracts an almost fanatical level of devotion from its fanbase, and throughout each of its instalments has crafted a complex, involving lore that could easily have flowed from the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien or Frank Herbert. In short, the Souls series is something truly special - and that means that any sequel has a lot to live up to.

Despite dropping the word Souls from its title, PS4 exclusive title Bloodborne is every inch a part of the same franchise which spawned the critically and commercially successful Dark Souls 1 and 2. The setting has been updated - you're now stalking the streets of a nightmarish Victorian-style city - but the mechanics are very much the same. Death comes often and without warning; it's the game's way of making you learn. The punishing risk-and-reward setup has been carried over from the past three games, with each fatality causing you to drop your precious Blood Echoes - the game's currency, which replaces the Souls collected in previous games. Fight your way back to where you fell, and you have the chance to redeem yourself by picking up those dropped Echoes - but die before this point, and they are lost forever.

This balanced mindset is taken a step further, with Bloodborne's combat proving to be quite different from what has gone before. For many Souls players, a sturdy shield was a must, but here this defensive item is stripped away entirely; instead, you must learn to dodge and attack more often - a strategy which is encouraged by the fact you can regain lost health by quickly counter-attacking the enemy which dealt you the damage. You can also brandish a gun this time around, and this item can be used in combos to stagger tricky enemies. It's a lot to take in - even more so for seasoned Souls fans - but the new offense-focused theme makes the game more dynamic and exciting.

There's the usual online features to take into account, too. It's possible to invade another player's game - and vice versa - or, you can take the more positive route by jumping into another world in order to render assistance. Likewise, a tricky boss encounter can be made so much easier by summoning another player to fight by your side. This is one element of the Souls franchise which is pitched to perfection, and it's a genuine wonder that more games haven't tried the same trick.

The move to next-gen has helped From Software create a world which is even more harrowing and grim, with every corner of the decaying city offering something of interest. However, it will be the countless hours of gameplay which keep you coming back for more; like its forerunners, Bloodborne is a beast in terms of content, and will consume every spare moment of your life for many weeks to come. It's arguably the PS4's first truly essential game, and should be snapped up without any hesitation.

source (http://gadgetshow.channel5.com/gaming/bloodborne-review)