I can finally say it loud and proud – I have seen firsthand how gorgeous Bloodborne is. It looks fantastic and I’m thoroughly impressed thus far. However, I’m not the one reviewing the game, so here’s what other people who are willing to give a number are saying about the game.
The finest treasures are found within the city of Yharnam and the forests, lakes, and purgatories beyond it. Only Bloodborne would be so bold as to bury an entire factional player-versus-player mechanic within an optional region, which is in turn buried within a series of oblique steps you might miss if you aren’t exploring every nook and cranny, or ignore the game’s enigmatic hints. I finished Bloodborne in less time than I did Dark Souls II, yet I treasure it more in spite of its few missteps. In death there is life, and in blood, there is redemption. More hyperbole, yes, but for a game this theatrical, only hyperbole will do.
Bloodborne is a blood-drenched horror gem that has only the faintest of cracks in its façade. Bloodborne succeeds through sparse storytelling, lush atmospheres (conjuring up notions of the best of Lovecraft’s work), and tight combat that forces you to be aggressive. While this new IP doesn’t stray far from the established Souls franchise, it is a magical, wondrous work that admirably instills both terror and triumph in those brave enough to delve into it.
While the load times are a pretty big bummer, it doesn’t change the fact that Bloodborne’s combat is sublime, its challenge is second to none, and its world is unforgettable.
Bloodborne is an interesting mix of everything From Software has learned throughout its storied developmental career. Not everything will gel with fans old and new, but for the most part, the shift towards a combat-oriented game is a net positive. From Software is still one of the only developers left that makes you work for your satisfaction, and Bloodborne is damn satisfying.
Bloodborne lies somewhere between Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2, better than the latter but not quite as good as the former. The fourth time following the same template means the master strokes, however masterful they are, are anticipated. But take nothing away from this brilliant, brooding, brutal reinvention, because almost as great as the best game ever is pretty bloody great.
Bloodborne is as glorious as it is grotesque, a harsh and unyielding exercise in getting battered mercilessly while feeling encouraged the whole painful way. While very much a Souls game through and through, the switch from methodical and slow progression to a faster, ultimately more savage environment provides just enough of a twist to give it a wholly unique feel, a more empowering journey, for both the player and the opposition. Bloodborne is something truly special – a barbaric horror RPG that will giveth and taketh away in perfect measure, wrapped up in a perverse world that will refuse to let you go.
So, fairly universal critical acclaim. Bloodborne is getting a ton of love and it seems to be deserved – if you were worried this would be another case of a lackluster exclusive, worry not. Bloodborne is worthy of its hype it seems, at least according to the critics.
Last Updated: March 24, 2015