I never played Demon Souls, or Dark Souls. People complained about how hard they were and how much time and effort they took to really understand the game. The difficulty didn’t bother me, I grew up playing 16bit games, but the time sink of 100s of hours was just not something I had time for.
I was never going to buy Bloodborne, primarily for the reasons above, but the combat looked quicker, the setting was stunning (I love old gothic Victorian era), and frankly it looked like the sort of game I usually enjoy. I’m glad I took the step.
Story wise, I have no idea what’s going on, I’ve read little bits of in game stuff (mostly notes about the town’s history), but the story is still unfolding. Normally I’m all about the story, but so far the setting and gameplay have held my interest.
The thing about Bloodborne is that it’s hard… really hard. But not unfairly so. If I died—and I have dozens and dozens of times—it’s my fault for not taking it slowly, for doing something stupid, or for being bad at the game. Those first few hours of death after death, slowly inching forward in the game’s opening level were occasionally frustrating, but more with myself than the game itself.
Every time you kill something, you get echoes, the more kills, the more echoes. But if you die, you lose it all, and the only way to get them back is to get to the place you died, and either find the stack of echoes on the floor, or track down an enemy who wandered off with it. So, there’s a big risk vs reward part to it, and several times, I died before getting back somewhere, losing those echoes forever.
Then something clicks. The combat, the heavy and light attacks, the gun to parry, the dodging, it all comes together. The fact that you have to take on enemies one at a time, avoiding large groups, separating your enemies for easier pickings, is a bit weird coming from someone who played Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden, but once you get used to it, it’s glorious.
I’d played about 5 hours now, and gotten to the first boss a few times (even unlocking a short-cut, which is a godsend. And the ability to level up, which is even more of one). I’m yet to beat the boss, and there’s still a danger that if I’m not concentrating I could get killed by anything, but I can see me getting better and better. I’m getting used to the controls, to the world, to taking things slow. But more than that, I’m loving every second I spend in the dark, disturbing world of Bloodborne.