Bloodborne: The First Hour

Bloodborne is here! I’m always excited for new From Software game because I am a glutton for their brand of engaging punishment. As someone who fell deep into the From Software rabbit hole with Demon’s Souls, I’m really interested to see how Bloodborne stacks up with their previous titles. I’ve tried to keep myself in the dark about this one as much as possible, so I’m stepping into this thing cold. On an atmospheric level, I have high hopes for Bloodborne and I’m really looking to see how the studio took advantage of the PS4’s tech to create the world of Yharnham.

Below are some notes I took during the first hour of the game that I’m going to use for my upcoming Darkstation review.

  • The action is fast. They weren’t kidding about forcing the player into a more offensive role. Gear no longer weighs you down and it’s freeing to move around so swiftly.
  • Yharnam is gorgeous in its goth, Lovecraftian architecture.
  • The controls take some getting used to but they feel natural. L2 attacks with a secodary weapon (the gun), L1 transforms your main weapon. Since my finger favors rest on the L2 trigger, this scheme feels normal after the first 30 minutes.
  • The health gain mechanic is great. I was expecting some twitchy, reflexive trick to be put in place (like a difficult version of the quick reload in Gears of War), but you basically have a timed window to regain health by attacking enemies. It’s surprisingly fair. What’s challenging is the fight against the Dark Souls instinct to fall back and defend after getting hit, thereby losing precious time to gain health back.
  • Jesus, the load times are killer. It wouldn’t be so bad if there was something to read in between deaths. I heard that From and Sony are working on a patch to fix this. Please get here soon! Right now that is the real incentive to not die.
  • The Hunter’s Dream is similar to the Nexus and Majula. A small slice of protected paradise to gear up and buy supplies.

I’ll be hopping back on the game tonight for more fun/punishment. Assuming Twitch doesn’t crap out on me like it did last night, I’ll be streaming gameplay.

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