Bloodborne’s a thrilling coup for PS4
Start the hunt. That’s what Bloodborne’s publishers implore you to do before you slot the disc into the tray.
And some hunt it is. We’ve not had too much game time with the game but early impressions lead us to believe this could be one of the strongest titles of the year and another serious coup for Sony in the battle with Microsoft’s Xbox One.
Much of the game’s DNA has been taken from Dark Souls II, which was also created by Japanese developer From Software, but this Sony-exclusive action RPG definitely has its own personality and feel.
Bloodborne is set in the very Gothic and eerie ruined city of Yharnam, which was overrun by the plague of beasts long ago. It’s a city besieged with death, madness and beasts at every turn.
Legends tell of a hidden, powerful medical tonic which resides there – with doomed travellers coming to the city to seek it out, only to be disappointed.
According to Sony Japan’s Masaaki Yamagiwa, players have to “navigate the perilous streets of this city, fighting off nightmarish creatures, malformed beasts and deranged mobs stricken with this horrific illness” to “discover the secrets and mysteries of this dark and horrific world”.
Sounds like a laugh to me – and to make things more interesting, director Hidetaka Miyazaki has introduced a new combat and healing system, with blood vials now replenishing your health.
But, allied to this, is the regain system whereby if you counter attack in a certain amount of time, you will regain some lost health. You will die many times before you get the hang of it though.
And when it comes to attacking the roaming hordes, patience is a virtue. Running head-first into a pitched battle will only end in your demise, so dividing and conquering using the hack-and-slash combat and firearms from range is best advised.
The developers have hit the nail on the head when it comes to presentation. The dark and dreary world of Yharnam makes you feel squeamish and the howls of the monsters will send shivers down your spine.
In single player the frame-rate stands up pretty well but if there are more than one of you playing it can start to creak a little.
Load times are particularly long but From Software is reportedly working on a patch to fix this.