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Trailer teardown: Bloodborne through the eyes of a Dark Souls fanatic

Tuesday, 17th June 2014 10:29 GMT By Dave Cook

Bloodborne is coming no later than March 2015 exclusively on PS4, and our resident Dark Souls fanatic Dave Cook is more than a little bit excited by that news. He’s decided to analyse the game’s leaked early footage back when it was known as Project Beast.

So, I’ll be honest with you here: I freaking adore Demon’s and Dark Souls. I like these games so much that I treated myself to a Dark Souls tattoo on my birthday last year.

Instead of doing a Dark Souls 2 review, I wrote up my entire playthrough in journal form, and much more.

Clearly, I am mental for Souls, so imagine my excitement when Bloodborne was announced during Sony’s E3 conference. It’s essentially the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, headed up by the first Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki. This fact pleases me.

How much does it please me? This much:

So now that I’ve towelled myself off after that explosion of win, let’s have a closer, more sober look at what just happened:

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This is the world of Bloodborne. It’s focused on a big city called Yharnam that is swarming with undead residents and unimaginable beasts. The era has advanced from the medieval lands seen in previous Souls titles to a more Victorian setting. You an’t see it in the image above, but the city is full of smoking chimneys, grand clock towers and intricate architecture.

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Here’s our protagonist, seen here brandishing a shotgun and a special sword that has multiple combat states. It’s been confirmed that weapons can evolve on the fly to suit different combat scenarios, and everyone we know who has seen the game running agrees that combat is much faster than battle in the Souls series. You can also dual-wield swords.

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The very helpful back dash move will return, and should help our shield-less warrior evade danger when swarmed like this. We haven’t seen him or her use a shield yet, and From Software has suggested that trying to overly-defensive will get you killed. They want you to get right into battles up close, which is why the point blank shotgun blast seen above should come in very handy.

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Hooray for dodge rolls. It seems Bloodborne’s enemies won’t all be the same size as you, which should appears fans of previous Souls titles. Bigger is often better, but can also make you very dead rather fast. Part of the series’ beauty lies in the accomplishment felt when toppling a beast ten times your own size. bring it on I say.

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There’s the light mechanic from Dark Souls 2. It’s unclear if you’ll need to stock-pile torches in Bloodborne, but it would be nice to see it enter into puzzles and other interesting mechanics, such as burning the Earthen Peak windmill, or setting fire to oil in Sinner’s Rise.

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It’s funny I should mention oil, because this player totally just threw oil on that enemy and set him alight with their torch. Did you see that?

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Two-handed combat is back. The hero blocks that giant bird’s attack and then counters with their own swipe. The purple hue of the feathers suggests this is a spell, possibly dark magic or a Hex of some kind.

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A bell tower. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been asked to ring a bell in this series, and the text in the clip suggests that he player is cursed, just like in Dark Souls 2. Could we see players tasked with ringing bells and curing their own curse? I’d be down for that, certainly.

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I’d place good money on those statues being the new bonfires and save points. Bloodborne most certainly has a soul mechanic, in which the player absorbs souls from fallen enemies, so these statues could be the place to spend them.

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Fog gates! Though it’s scary not knowing what’s on the other side of these shrouds, that’s fear is part of the incentive to progress. Is there a big boss on the other side, or just another part of the area? That’s the mystery, and most certainly the fun of not knowing.

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You can see the player’s sword transform into a shield here if you look close. It flips closed and is held up to block this enemy’s attack.

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Hello beautiful. I look forward to killing you next year.

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17 Comments

  1. polygem

    system seller!

    #1 6 months ago
  2. The_Red

    Awesome stuff.
    Very nice points though I really REALLY hope you are wrong about bonfires. I want Nexus / Hub system from Demons back GODDAMIT!

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @The_Red I really like the Nexus system for sure. I hope there’s more space between fog gates though. I liked running those gauntlets.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. polygem

    i preferred the nexus as well. was really great to pick your areas/ levels from there. was pretty straight forward and returning always gave you a good sense of accomplishment and finally being save. was such a memorable place. had a very believable spiritual vibe to it really. in a way the nexus was the soul (ha) of the game.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. The_Red

    @Dave Cook
    Yeah. The appearance of fog gates should be rare and scary.

    @polygem
    Well said.
    For the first few days, I was solely focused on the world 1 of Demons. The giant / tower knight kept kicking my ass until I realized / understood that OMG! I CAN HAZ CHOOSE!!! Then went to 3-1 (Haunting level that later became my fave) and was destroyed by first tower guard. Returned and tried and 2-1 (Amazing level with some elements that later appeared in Dark).

    #5 6 months ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @polygem Plus, Tower of Latria, I was nervous going into that place from the Nexus every single time. Those damn bell guys :’(

    #6 6 months ago
  7. polygem

    yeah scary stuff. that area was great. that huge stairway later is burned into my memory. can´t recall why exactly but i think i always failed there eventhough there was just one of these bell monks on the middle of the stairs. took me a while to get past that sucker :D
    demons souls had just such a great atmosphere and as much as i like the dark games, something about demons just really nails it. i mean even the loading screens…perfect.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. Gheritt White

    I’ve never played a [X] Souls game because of the supposed crushing difficulty, which I’m convinced would severely hamper my enjoyment. I hope that Bloodborne isn’t quite as punishing or has an option for people who prefer not to have their in-game progress blocked too frequently.

    #8 6 months ago
  9. Wander

    @The_Red Be excited, but the less demands upon this man’s creativity the better. DS2 had a hub system and it utterly gutted the experience of exploring and adventuring. Look the the primary influences upon Miyazaki (source: interviews) if you need some validation of his method: City Of Thieves, Titan, Sorcery! etc. by Steve Jackson Games. Berserk! By Kentaro Miura. etc. All use atmosphere as a primary story-telling mechanic and allow the environment to tell the story. SO, if it’s necessary to the plot and atmosphere I’m sure he’ll stick a harp playing hub in there, but the less demands the better – or otherwise we end up with another DarkSouls-like knockoff like DS2 was.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. polygem

    @Gheritt White
    i did not pick up the souls games for the exact same reason for a long long time. i think i played demons for the first time in 2012, maybe even 2013…i can´t recall, expecting it to be a frustrating mess – but man i was wrong. once you get used to the formula it gets addictive as hell.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    I do own all the games on this series, and iam not that good playing this games, do not know why exactly, cannot point it, although i think like othet games before it, within time i will get the technique and be able to play it properly, keep in mind i do not go to the intetnet to play my games, i want to do it myself.

    But Seeing tjus glympse, i can see is more action fast oriented, which is a big plus for me, because one of the things i didnt enjoy from this seried id the slow action on the fighting, but i do love the vistas and world, so i remain confident this will be the game for me within this series. Keep fingers crossed.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. Mike W

    I hope you can dismembered the enemies in this game, that will be nice welcome edition to the series.

    #12 6 months ago
  13. Game Hunter

    @Gheritt White Dark Souls 2 is really hard and punishing but at the same time very accessible to newcomers.I played the first Dark Souls 3 years ago and after playing it for two hours,I gave up.but thanks to Dave’s DS2 journals,I’m now really far in the game and it’s both challenging and accessible and its difficulty is the most enjoyable feature of this series.I’m now level 91 and 20 hours in the game and have already beaten The Lost Sinner(after being killed by her 8 times!)and The Rotten(on my first try).I suggest you begin playing with Dark Souls 2 to become familiar with the mechanics and then start playing the first Dark Souls.I’m currently playing both of them at the same time.Duke’s Dear Freja, here I come!also read all of Dave’s 6(or 7)journal entries.they’re fun to read and very very useful.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. Game Hunter

    @Gheritt White Also,don’t forget to do this in the game,it’s essential:

    PRAISE THE SUN! \[T]/

    #14 6 months ago
  15. Hcw87

    Lets hope you can actually play this game in peace, and not be invaded by griefers all the time. It’s the only reason i haven’t picked up DS2 yet. It has to be one of the most retarded gameplay decisions ever, because DS1′s PvP worked flawlessly with no forced invasions. There is probably a fair share of cheaters as well, like in pretty much every PC game.

    Then again, the Steam sale is upon us, and i’m sure i’ll pick it up eventually. I’ll drop it quickly if i constantly get invaded though.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. The_Red

    @Wander Good point and narrative and thematic justification for the Nexus and similar elements. It really suited Demons, especially after the first death during tutorial along with introduction of blind maiden. That atmosphere… Tower of Latria is the first game environment to ever affect me emotionally. The prisoners, the silence and then the beautiful song from one of cells… Amazing stuff (The story behind Valley of Defilement was also really powerful).

    #16 6 months ago
  17. Baldy43

    But still it hasn’t been confirmed that it is the Spiritual Successor to Demon Souls?

    #17 6 months ago

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