This post is a response to Wizard Dojo’s review of Bloodborne.
Bloodborne is a game that has been so well received that many fans of the Souls series have aptly renamed the genre “SoulsBorne.” The game follows the basic structure of Dark Souls with weapons, customization, brutal and punishing boss fights, and a stamina based combat system, but it flips the typical Dark Souls game structure onto its head.
Instead of walking around with your shield up, and carefully analyzing your enemy’s attack patterns before engaging them, you are encouraged to rush into the fray guns blazing and cleaver swinging. It caused players to sort of unlearn how to play other Souls games in order to really master the combat of Bloodborne. Until the DLC came out there was only one shield in the game, and it was a small piece of wood who’s sole purpose was to tell you that there aren’t shields in Bloodborne.
The game’s atmosphere is nothing short of haunting. Dark Souls is a game that keeps the player invested because of its difficulty and punishing death system. Bloodborne borrows that, and raises the stakes by adding a gothic atmosphere filled with all sorts of Lovecraftian inspired eldritch horrors. Playing the game alone is terrifying. The visuals are stunning and the enemy design is both varied and grotesque. Blending elements of survival horror into a combat focused action RPG is something that I have only seen from the Castlevania franchise. Bloodborne truly transcends the RPG genre. Many consider it to be the best SoulsBorne game yet. I myself consider it to be the best and most challenging Castlevania game since Order of Ecclesia.