Oh, we’ve heard about Bloodborne.
We’ve heard about how its predecessors Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2 would’ve made the most hardened Candy Crush players cower in a corner. These are bonafide tools for masochism—with the PS4-exclusive Bloodborne being the newest member of this torture squad.
Sony Philippines sent us a copy recently, and we got our own personal taste—our first time to dip our toes into the critically-acclaimed series—in which we realized two things:
a. Slaughtering the orc hordes in Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor was an utter cakewalk
compared to this game.
b. The game is hauntingly beautiful with its gothic art style and truly inspired monster design.
For anyone who just wants to mindlessly hack away at villains, Bloodborne isn’t the game for you. But if you’re into strategizing long and hard as to how to take down powerful enemies (and have a tank full of patience), few games compare to Bloodborne’s fearsome world.
Which category do you think you belong in? To help you figure it out, we've screen-captured 18 moments from our first hour into the game to show some of the feelings we went through as a first-time Bloodborne and Souls player.
1) The crushing of your self-esteem
In the character-creation screen, the game makes you choose your character background, which decides your starting stats. One of the options is "Waste of Skin," which means "You are nothing. Talentless. You shouldn't have been born."
Way to build up our confidence, Bloodborne!
2) Being completely creeped out
Bloodborne isn't a survival-horror title but it does have its share of tricks to make you want to flick on that light, namely:
a. Old, hairy hermit hovering over you, telling you that all of this just might be a bad dream. (In videogames, when someone tells you that it might just be a bad dream, it almost always never is just a bad dream.)
b. Deformed maligno crawling onto your half-awake videogame self.
c. A werewolf having a jolly good time taking a bath in a pool of blood, while leering at you.
3) The fear of fighting the wolf of your nightmares...unarmed
After the intro cinematics, you take control of your unfortunate hero, who soon crosses path with the aforementioned blood wolf. Did we mention you have no weapons at this point?
In the end, we tried punching it, and found out why our lolas always told us to never bother a dog when it's eating.
4) A sense of "Okay, now, where the hell am I?"
After the wolf gives you your first taste of in-game death (don't worry, this is the first of many!) you're sent to this eerie-looking graveyard:
Half-expecting for zombies to suddenly pop out, we later discover that the graveyard acts as a hub—your ghoulish home base wherein you can level up, procure new equipment, and teleport back to the game levels. It's a creepy place, but also quite pretty in a Tim Burton kind of way.
5) "Is that thing suddenly going to come alive?" moments
While exploring the graveyard, you'll come across this...thing, sitting on the rock steps. Your videogame instincts tell you to not approach it, knowing that it's going to burst to life.
Yet it doesn't (at least not for the time being.) Apparently, it's "An abandoned doll," to which the only possible reply is a very uncomfortable "OKAAAY":
6) Feelings of victory aka "FUCK YOU, WOLF THING!"
You grab weapons from the graveyard (we chose a pistol and a bad-ass axe) and make our way back to the wolf, and play the part of, ahem, Not-So-Little Black Riding Hood.
Nothing feels as awesome as your first kill.
7) Moments of "Hey, I'm totally winning this game!"
You'll get lucky with the first few enemies simply by hacking away at the attack button. But that's hardly an efficient way to progress. Even the simply grunts like the one below can dispose of you pretty quickly if you get reckless.
There's no triangle button to press to quickly deflect an incoming enemy (Shadow of Mordor reference!) and it all boils down to knowing your enemy's attack pattern and how to exploit those.
Otherwise, prepare to look at this screen frequently:
The game doesn't let you just respawn from some in-game checkpoint. Every time you die, you'll be staring at that loading screen—itself a test of patience.
8) Amazement at its dark sense of beauty
There are games that make you want to stop and just smell the flowers. The game has scenes like that too—only this time, the only thing you'll smell is the rancid stench of burning monster fur and flesh.
9) A sense of "Oh man, what kind of creature is that?"
Beyond the regular grunts, exploring the doomed town of Yharnam will have you meeting its cast of colorful inhabitants. It's like looking for new Pokémon, except the Pokémon is sometimes a hunchback Frankenstein-mummy hybrid with a huge brick in hand attempting to reconfigure your skull.
What we're trying to say is, we like the monster design in this game. Looking at the creatures, you knew that the game's artists poured in the long hours drawing them intricately—making it even more satisfying when you successfully kill them.
10) A sense of "HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TAKE THAT THING DOWN?"
We met our first boss, the Cleric Beast:
It was a very brief first meeting though. We froze upon seeing its unkempt, hairy arm coming straight at us, which promptly smashed us—and consequently led to what has quickly become our BFF: the "YOU DIED" screen.
And this screen:
Bloodborne, everyone! A game for people who wins so much in real life that they wouldn't mind losing a lot in an imaginary game. Out now for the PS4!