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Bloodborne  




Bloodborne, the bloody nightmare of your dreams photo
Bloodborne, the bloody nightmare of your dreams

8:30 AM on 06.11.2014

First preview


Bloodborne began all the way back in 2012, long before the PS4 was done. Sony approached From Software, asking them to create a title for their new platform. Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Dark Souls, began work right away.

Now Japan Studio and From Software are finally showing off what was one of the biggest surprises of E3 2014. We enjoyed a behind-closed-doors showing of what's sure to be one of the hardest and freakiest exclusive games for the platform.

Welcome to the 19th century Victorian town called Yharnam. The place is cursed, known for a plague that has transformed the townspeople into terrible zombie-like beasts, so you'd normally not want to stay for too long. The place is uniquely gorgeous in a creepy, nightmarish sort of way, but with the ongoing creature hunt, it's probably not safe to look around for too long.

But you play as one that will hunt these infected beings with two different weapons -- a shotgun and something called a saw cleaver. It's still far from safe, but from what I've seen of Bloodborne so far, you're quite capable. 

This is an action-RPG not unlike Dark Souls, but it has much more of an action feel than its nearest cousins. The hacking and slashing isn't as fast as, say, Devil May Cry, but it's certainly faster than any of the Souls series games. Miyazaki explained that they wanted to move on from passive engagement to a more active, aggressive play. He warns that players that would normally hang back would have a hard time in Bloodborne

But don't take this and assume that Bloodborne will be too easy. In fact, Miyazaki made it clear that we would have died many times in our demo if it weren't configured for ease of demonstration. After awhile, he started pointing out where we should have died, and that happened quite often! Even the staffer working the demonstration was getting his ass kicked. Miyazaki said that their goal was to have each battle so challenging that players would fear for their life. From Software wants every player to feel the terror in every encounter, so much so that they're thanking God that the battle is over.

Battles have you slashing with your mean-looking saw cleaver, which is specialized for beast hunting. While it wasn't clear exactly how it worked in our demonstration, Miyazaki explained that it can be used tactically with its three different cut positions. Its blade can be used closed, halfway extended, or fully extended, depending on the encounter type. 

Even in its alpha state, Bloodborne's dark, gothic visuals were very easy to appreciate. This is one very good-looking game. Heavy fog, particle effects, creepy moonlit streets, and shifty shadows made Yharnam look like a place that would be outstanding to explore. Fully armed, of course. It's like the darkest, grossest version of a Victorian-era nightmare town. They couldn't have made it look more creepy.

And the enemies! Yikes. These were some of the grossest, freakiest creations I've seen since the early Silent Hill titles. Seeing the lumbering infected townspeople with their slightly too-long limbs come shuffling around the corner gave me the creeps. Massive dogs and greasy, squirming giant crows were even worse to look at in motion. They really made me uncomfortable. And the sub-bosses and final boss were things of grotesque beauty. If nothing else, I want to play through all of Bloodborne just to see how messed up these enemies can get.

Bloodborne is heavy on both the scares and blood splattering. Again, even standing still, the enemies are frightening. But when they're moving -- or worse, suddenly jumping from alleyways -- they're enough to have you slashing frantically in defense.  They've made some already scary creatures move in even scarier ways. For the blood, while the splatters look great, sometimes the sprays seem a bit excessive. By the end of the demo the main character was completely coated in crimson drippings. 

Yharnam looks to be an explorer's dream with its many hidden passageways and shortcuts. It's a huge city that has many levels to work your way up and over. You'll want to make good use of these hiding places and escapes when the town's bell tolls, informing killing groups that the hunt is on.

The end of the demo had our guy going up against a massive, incredibly detailed wolf-like beast that towered over the player. His huge arms sent ground-pounding punches toward the player, and his dashes and swipes came so quickly that it looked absolutely impossible to return hits. Miyazaki said that they worked to make it so it seems like you're not supposed to beat this boss -- they wanted to make it look impossible to kill. Nice work on that, team.

Even with the shift away from defense and more toward action and attacks, Souls series fans are going to enjoy Bloodborne. The challenge they crave is certainly still there, as is the dark atmosphere and the sense of exploration. Even from the short bit we saw it's clear that this is one messed up game.

From Software and Sony are still keeping plenty of details on Bloodborne to themselves for now. Still, this is an excellent first showing for the upcoming exclusive. Let's hope we see more very soon.





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Glasses, tattoos, origins: A taste of Bloodborne's character creator photo


These first 18 minutes of Bloodborne make me feel all tingly photo


PS4 gets Bloodborne bundle in Europe, procedural Chalice Dungeons explained photo


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Bloodborne Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Bloodborne



2:15 PM on 02.27.2015
Damn, shouldn't have spoiled this Bloodborne boss

Attempting to go into Bloodborne blind? I feel you. It's not something I can pull off consistently given the nature of this job -- that's one of the big tradeoffs -- but I still try with select titles. The PlayStation Blog ha...more



3:00 PM on 02.20.2015
Start prepping right now for Bloodborne's meanest bosses

The Boy Scouts are notoriously prepared, and for good reason. Rushing into a situation makes for plans going awry. When things go off the rails, failure's usually imminent. In a game like Bloodborne, failure's part of the fo...more



4:00 PM on 02.19.2015
Bloodborne's story trailer most certainly does not have a soothing presence

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1:45 PM on 02.06.2015
Actually, there are shields in Bloodborne

There are shields in Bloodborne after all, SCE Japan Studio has confirmed to IGN. Well I'll be. Shields will seem like a comfort to Souls players who haven't yet experienced the faster, in-your-face action of Bloodborne, but ...more



2:15 PM on 02.04.2015
Glasses, tattoos, origins: A taste of Bloodborne's character creator

In this short runthrough of Bloodborne's character editor, IGN was able to create a Harry Potter lookalike now that glasses are an option in the game. That's a worthwhile addition, but it's the "Origin" (i.e., class) option ...more



4:00 PM on 02.02.2015
These first 18 minutes of Bloodborne make me feel all tingly

From Software's latest action-RPG looks to replicate the butthole-puckering tense gameplay that originated with its predecessors in the Souls series. IGN posted the first 18 minutes of gameplay (minus character creation...more



1:00 PM on 01.30.2015
PS4 gets Bloodborne bundle in Europe, procedural Chalice Dungeons explained

Here's the lowdown on Bloodborne's procedurally generated Chalice Dungeons that are different depending on what item combination you use to summon them. It's different from Dark Souls' hand-crafted precision, but it could ke...more



9:00 PM on 01.29.2015
Oh, nice, Future Press is doing a hardcover Bloodborne strategy guide

I know, I know -- you don't need a guide for Bloodborne just like you didn't need any assistance with Dark Souls or Demon's Souls or King's Field. You're that good. Or, more likely, you just wanted to go in as blindly as poss...more



10:00 AM on 01.22.2015
These Bloodborne PS4s are kind of lazily done, but I want them

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6:30 PM on 01.07.2015
Heh, Bloodborne's Messengers sure are dapper

Instead of writing messages with a soapstone like in Dark Souls, we'll rely on these spooky fellows, the appropriately-named Messengers, to communicate with other Bloodborne players and see visions of how they foolishly rolle...more




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