Old-school challenge gets next-gen makeover

Screenshot from Bloodborne
Screenshot from Bloodborne

‘Bloodborne’ PS4 game review

By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer


Hidetaka Miyazaki’s Bloodborne is as close to perfection as video games get. It’s the most recent entry on my increasing shortlist of best video games of all time. However, the game is not for everyone because of its challenge level.

The core combat mechanics of Bloodborne are incredibly fast-paced compared to Miyazaki’s Souls games. The gameplay is fine-tuned to the point where, except for the occasional camera issue, the only thing you have to blame for dying in the game is a lack of preparedness, experience, and skill.

In Bloodborne, you will die—a lot. While in-game death is a learning experience more than anything, it is also incredibly punishing in this game. You gain experience points by killing enemies and spending the points on items or stats; but if you die while holding said experience points, you lose them all. You have a single chance to go retrieve them from where you last died, but if you fail to do so, they’re gone. It’s painfully frustrating, but I personally welcome it.

Bloodborne takes place in a mid-20th century-themed, Gothic village, Yharnham, and its many surrounding areas. The villagers’ blood has been infected and they’ve become monsters. You wake up in a clinic and are basically sent off to learn the game as you go. This game doesn’t have a tutorial or exposition—in fact, there isn’t much lore to this massive, mesmerizing world. Whether that’s a good or bad thing totally depends on what you’re looking for in a video game. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

The presentation of Bloodborne is wonderfully realized through its survival-horror atmosphere, its detailed world, and the enemy design. Every single boss is such an abomination and every area is so fully detailed, it will make your jaw drop every time you discover a new one. Between the established difficulty of the game and the cosmic horrors that make up your enemies, every battle you win feels like a triumph.

In a time where we’re only just breaking away from the last generation of gaming, Bloodborne has established itself as the definitive next-gen gaming experience.