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E3 2014 Impressions: Bloodborne

E3 2014 Impressions: Bloodborne


While at E3 I got to see Bloodborne in a more intimate setting than just the trailer. Here’s my take on it

One of the larger titles named and shown during the Sony press conference was a game called Bloodborne. The next title coming from Japan Studios and From Software for the PS4. You may know them from King’s Field and Dark Souls and it looks like Bloodborne is along the same lines here. I had the pleasure of seeing their live gameplay demo on the show floor at E3. Lucky for you I am going to break down what was shown outside of the pre-rendered trailer.

So the story takes place in a Gothic, fantasy world where it is your job to clean up the messes of the supernatural. In the demo shown the main character shows up to a city that has been cursed with some form of insanity type plague that looks more along the lines of Las Plagas. I hope that isn’t the path Bloodborne is going. None the less it is our job to kill all of these poor innocent people who have been cursed to look disfigured, act like smart zombies, and have giant versions of kitchen cutlery in their hands.

The demo began with the typical this is the world and we are only showing these two weapons: a blunderbuss and the extendable cleaver scythe that can be seen in the trailer. So technically three weapons and the blade can go from long to short and that changes the gameplay a bit. Well, by a bit I mean that it turns the whole combat into a sluggish nightmare as the extended version is just as slow to use as any heavy damage weapon attack. It just did not look to be all that fluid and for some reason it was relied on through the whole demo. The combat did not look as smooth as the trailer led us to believe.

What we were also led to believe is that the enemies would also be agile and ‘smart’. I will give them agile as they did move about and attack with greater ease than the protagonist, which led to some awkward combat balance. As for the ‘smart’, they were no smarter than your drunken friend hiding around a corner looking to scare you as you pass. I’m not kidding here. Every corner we turned had one of these ‘cursed’ enemies standing in wait to try and jump scare you as you passed on by. It happened so often that the developer driving the demo just started to attack as he came to every corner and then we would see a lifeless corpse just fall out instead.

Also shown for Bloodborne was the ‘boss’ type enemies that we will have to defeat to continue on in the story progression. Again these looked like the giant beasts from RE4 and RE5 infected with Las Plagas. You see a theme here now don’t you? They were big and slow, slow like the protagonist, which turned into a ‘let us hurt him enough so I can run past and move the story along’ ordeal instead of an epic boss battle. An epic boss battle filled with more ‘jump scarers’ at that.

Now I need to note that this was early gameplay that we were shown which means the combat could be fixed as well as the enemy AI but the visuals looked 100% done. Usually not the case in game development but they looked just as crisp as the pre-rendered trailer below for Bloodborne. It was odd to see that so polished and the combat mechanics and AI still so far off.

I am hopeful that From Software can tighten up the combat and other actual gameplay mechanics as we still have to wait until 2015 to get Bloodborne proper. If I was to be sold on what I just saw though I’d have to say that unless you want a very pretty but enraging gameplay experience, then stay away from Bloodborne. Luckily it is not time for doing reviews of this game just yet.