26 Mar 2015
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Bloodborne is very hard, yet really rewarding

By Damian Seeto

Bloodborne is the most difficult game for the PS4, although it could also be the best exclusive as well.  Bloodborne is developed by From Software who is the same developer of the Dark Souls series. If you have played the Dark Souls games before, you might know how punishing it can be. If you are new to Bloodborne, be prepared to die lots of times. There's no debate about it, Bloodborne is the hardest game to ever grace the PS4 console to date. It's a game that casual gamers are best to avoid. If you are up for the challenge, this game can be rewarding and satisfying once you get used to it.  I reviewed the first Dark Souls game three years ago, and I have forgotten what it's like to play these types of games. The first time I played Bloodborne, it was not a nice experience. I died several times at the very beginning of the game and I thought I had no chance of ever progressing any further.  However the more you play Bloodborne, the more you learn how things work. The AI in this game is arguably "easier" than those from the Dark Souls games. Enemies have a certain pattern when they attack, leaving you an open window for you to strike them. This game is also more generous with your health too. You can store up to 20 Blood Vials that become very helpful when you need them during the many boss battles you encounter.  The one thing that made this game brutally hard is how scarce the checkpoints are. At the very beginning of the game, there are only two checkpoints. In order to unlock more of them, you have to face off against a boss. Bosses are very hard, so I died lots of times and was stuck at the beginning of the game for several hours... Thankfully, more checkpoints open up later in the game but they are spread out over far distances. To makes things even harder, enemies repsawn every time you die and you also lose all of the "Blood Echoes" you earn too. Blood Echoes are important as they act as the game's currency. You need them in order to spend on upgrading your stats, weapons, armor and so forth.  Even though Bloodborne is punishingly difficult, there's a certain feeling you get from playing this game that no other games can provide. You get a since of feeling like a "winner" when you accomplish something good in this game. It felt really rewarding the first time I killed a boss. I literally screamed in joy and was happy with myself.  Bloodborne is a game where you have to be patient, persistent and skillful. Every enemy and boss has their own strengths and weaknesses and it's up to you to study them to find out how to defeat them. You could say this game is for "smart people" as mindless hacking and slashing won't get you very far. You truly have to analyse every enemy you face to see how to beat them without dying.  Graphically, Bloodborne looks excellent. Some of the huge bosses look amazing as they takes up the whole TV screen. The actual level design is also clever as it is full of surprises and hidden routes you may not have seen before. The only downside to the great visuals is that the game takes a long time to load. That being said, a new patch is set to arrive soon that will make the load times faster.  Overall, I feel that Bloodborne is an ambitious title that exceeds expectations. The gameplay is excellent and it also has nice graphics to boot. The only real downside to the game as a whole is that its insanely high difficulty may scare off casual gamers. If you feel the game might too hard, it's best to rent or borrow a copy of the game first. Trust me, I took several days just to beat the first two bosses! Verdict: 8/10  

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