Review: Bloodborne

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Only recently have I become one for a challenge. Sure, completing games on easy mode means you get that wee blast of dopamine faster and effortlessly but then you are left with a fifty quid game in front of you that you have cleared in six hours.

Bloodborne is famously, but it bears repeating, insanely hard, the simplest things like ‘What’s going on?’ ‘What are the Controls?’ these are questions that are answered but you damn well earn those answers. Here’s an example of a quest.

Kill the first boss, buy a bell, set up a password, fight your way to the next boss. This does two things, first of all takes over ten hours, and secondly unlocks a temporary co-op with your friend, where any other game would allow you to simply hit X on the co-op option this game makes you walk to frickin Mordor, I’m surprised it even let me turn my PS4 on. I died, and swore, and restarted and levelled up and died over and over again. Somehow I miraculously beat the first boss in my first go. Since then I have died another hundred or so times. This game is not easy, its frustrating, there’s no real semblance of plot, and everything that happens in it you have to drag out of it like trying to get a toddler into a hot bath. Face first. When it’s not your toddler and the police are trying to handcuff you.

The strange thing is, Bloodborne is majestic and beautiful, the atmosphere is so pungent and real, the intensity of it had the affect of interrupting someone playing Golden Axe on the Mega Drive in the 90s and showing them Skyrim. What initially feels like an unfairly balanced slaughter of your ego is actually a very precise skill to be learned, over a lot of time. Last time I checked the average completion time of Bloodborne it was roughly eighty hours, and normally I would finish a game before reviewing it, but I have barely made it out of , in Sonic The Hedgehog terms, The Green Hill Zone. It’s been roughly 10. hours, and considering Alien: Isolation took me 20 slow hours, these ten hours have surprisingly just flown by. The effort that has gone into the game proving that it doesn’t really care how you feel or what you think about it is impeccable, the most annoying thing being that every time I die it’s my fault, every single time. I knew I wasn’t gonna get in there before he hit me in the face with a magic scythe, I knew Slash was gonna shoot me if I moved then, I knew that I was being greedy and going for three hits in a row would end in my death, but I did it anyway, and now I’m dead faster than an Adventure Call with Falconhoof.

The checkpoints in Bloodborne are gates that only open from one side and therefore you must get to them in one go without dying, and they remain open once you resurrect yourself from the Wizards Sleeve or the Hunters Dream, I can’t remember which one of those is real (Yes I do hehehe) , which is where your character goes to level up and take some time off dead. These gates allow you to take short cuts back to where you got murdered in the hope of reclaiming your EXP. Bloodborne must be experienced as it is flawless for what it is there is a large possibility that the game will put off people who like to relax by playing video games instead of cultivating heart failure as it is a ruthless experience. I have only begun to scrape the surface of Bloodborne and it has already cut my finger off.