Bloodborne Is Victorian Dark Souls - Hands-On Preview

Bloodborne Is Victorian Dark Souls - Hands-On Preview

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You'll need help to get through this demo of Bloodborne - thankfully they left a note.

During Sony's keynote at the PlayStation Experience, I didn't catch the Japanese word for "roguelike" from Hidetaka Miyazaki's during his presentation. Whatever it is, we'll likely be hearing a lot of it from designers as they mimic the nature of an action game in which you are expected to die quite often. Miyazaki may have had a hand in popularizing the term "roguelike" his designs of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, but he'll damned if he's not going to let it ride. Bloodborne has an intricately designed setting and a wonderful look and feel, but it's the small touches like the notes left behind by other players and the specters of their death that will likely make the experience unique to many.

The demo allowed me to choose my character - I went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol. I don't know why, but that long hook nose look is irresistible to me. The description said this hunter was agile and fast, and the animations certainly appeared that way as I tested out the controls. Even though this was an early build, it felt incredibly polished.

Scattered around the little area I started in were some old broken down wagons, and a few piles of bones. Ordinarily, those bones would just be window-dressing, but in Bloodborne they signal something else - a short message left by another player. You can open these to reveal what the player had deemed important enough to leave behind. Because this was a build likely only touched by the game's designers, the notes near me all had something cryptic to say instead of the usual string of "poop" or "caca" that would be there. There was a rudimentary voting system, wherein the more silly notes could be filtered away, so hopefully that's what was happening here.

You can also find specters on the ground. Interacting with these will bring up an outline of a player's character being killed. You can't really see what killed them, or why exactly, but you can infer a lot from their motions. This is how you'll be able to hopefully guess the right course of action from the"wrong" way your predecessors approached the challenge. You see, very Dark Souls.

The gameplay itself seems bog standard with light and heavy attacks, dodging, etc. needed to take down the creepy enemies. It looks like Bloodborne aims to be pretty difficult. You can be overwhelmed by foes in a flash so you'd do well to pay attention to the signs left behind. If that sounds fun to you, then Bloodborne is your bag. I played enough of it to know that it wasn't really mine.

Bloodborne is set to drop on the PS4 on March 24, 2015.

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Greg Tito:
I didn't catch the Japanese word for "roguelike" from Hidetaka Miyazaki's during his presentation. Whatever it is, we'll likely be hearing a lot of it from designers as they mimic the nature of an action game in which you are expected to die quite often.

If you're talking about the Keynote, he actually said Rogue-like in English (and his translator said the same). And the rogue-like comment was nothing to do with dying a lot and everything to do with the procedural generation (where each run is a uniquely constructed experience using a set of randomized elements) found in a newly announced dungeon area of the city. It is certainly a bit of a buzz word as of late given how popular rogue-like (or rogue-lite if you're being anal) games have become in the past couple of years, but it's also something that many Souls fans are very excited about being introduced to BloodBorne even in this limited way, myself included.

Unlike some games (Hey, The Order), the more I'm seeing of BB, the more I'm getting excited for it. It's looking to be a very worthy successor to the Souls series of games.

i really really really hope this gets ported to PC some point down the line, everything i've seen of it looks like it'd be a lot of fun

suitepee7:
i really really really hope this gets ported to PC some point down the line, everything i've seen of it looks like it'd be a lot of fun

It's being published by Sony...so just like pretty much every Sony game in the last generation, it will never be ported. It's pretty much the only reason I went out and got a ps4 on Black Friday.
It being a ps4 exclusive is probably the driving force behind the remastered Dark Souls 2, to keep xbox and pc users busy until dark souls 3.

Greg Tito:

"The gameplay itself seems bog standard with light and heavy attacks, dodging, etc. needed to take down the creepy enemies. It looks like Bloodborne aims to be pretty difficult. You can be overwhelmed by foes in a flash so you'd do well to pay attention to the signs left behind. If that sounds fun to you, then Bloodborne is your bag. I played enough of it to know that it wasn't really mine."

I can already see the review "The games pretty difficult" 6/10 - The Escapist.

I really like the idea of the Chalice dungeon making a section of the game in which there will be no perfect guide for how to beat online. Its a clever idea and the fact that there will be so many of them will really give the game replayablility.

"but its the small touches like the notes left behind by other players and the spectres of their death that will most likely make this experience unique to many" (slightly paraphrased)

By 'many,' do you mean anyone who hasnt played dark souls 1 & 2? (Maybe demon souls, i havent played).

OT. That character looks...brilliant! This game...brazilliant!

42:

Greg Tito:

"The gameplay itself seems bog standard with light and heavy attacks, dodging, etc. needed to take down the creepy enemies. It looks like Bloodborne aims to be pretty difficult. You can be overwhelmed by foes in a flash so you'd do well to pay attention to the signs left behind. If that sounds fun to you, then Bloodborne is your bag. I played enough of it to know that it wasn't really mine."

I can already see the review "The games pretty difficult" 6/10 - The Escapist.

Having the one guy who hated Dark Souls play the Bloodbourn preview. Brill. No offense to Mr. Tito or nothing, but uh...

yeah.

Rednog:

suitepee7:
i really really really hope this gets ported to PC some point down the line, everything i've seen of it looks like it'd be a lot of fun

It's being published by Sony...so just like pretty much every Sony game in the last generation, it will never be ported. It's pretty much the only reason I went out and got a ps4 on Black Friday.
It being a ps4 exclusive is probably the driving force behind the remastered Dark Souls 2, to keep xbox and pc users busy until dark souls 3.

ah, didn't realise sony were actually publishing, thanks for clearing it up! shame really, it seems to be one of the few exclusives that really interests me, just not for the price point of a new console. personally i'd prefer bloodborne over DS3 (not that i'd turn down either) just for a change of setting

You know I've not actually seen much of Bloodborne and yet its still a guaranteed buy from me. Its in that category like Yakuza 5 where I don't need previews, impressions, reviews, or any such things to get it.
The little I've seen looks good of course.

suitepee7:

ah, didn't realise sony were actually publishing, thanks for clearing it up! shame really, it seems to be one of the few exclusives that really interests me, just not for the price point of a new console. personally i'd prefer bloodborne over DS3 (not that i'd turn down either) just for a change of setting

You're not the only one as that always comes up. You'll still be able to pick up Dark Souls 3 or whatever they decide to call it and they are very similar as everyone is aware.

If this is a Victorian take on Dark Souls, does that mean we can sit down with the monsters, have a cuppa and actually behave like civilized gentlemen? Maybe, I dunno, agree to a duel instead of trying to murderize one another on sight?

Monster: "HAVE AT THEE, PUNY HUMAN, WAAAAAUGH!"
Player Character: "What the Devil-?! In what way have I offended you, my good man?! One does not simply assault passerbys as they are enjoying their evening constitutional through a blighted graveyard! Step back, or I shall land off-color remarks on the shape of your skull as per the tenets of Phrenology, or on your obvious roots in the darkest and least evolved parts of Her Majesty the Queen's Empire!"
Monster: "NO, PLEASE! DON'T TALK ABOUT MY CLEFT PALATE OR MY SLANTED FOREHEAD; NOOOOO!"

Console: "Critical Hit to Monster's Immigrant Ego! Rule Britannia!"

StriderShinryu:

Greg Tito:
I didn't catch the Japanese word for "roguelike" from Hidetaka Miyazaki's during his presentation. Whatever it is, we'll likely be hearing a lot of it from designers as they mimic the nature of an action game in which you are expected to die quite often.

If you're talking about the Keynote, he actually said Rogue-like in English (and his translator said the same). And the rogue-like comment was nothing to do with dying a lot and everything to do with the procedural generation (where each run is a uniquely constructed experience using a set of randomized elements) found in a newly announced dungeon area of the city. It is certainly a bit of a buzz word as of late given how popular rogue-like (or rogue-lite if you're being anal) games have become in the past couple of years, but it's also something that many Souls fans are very excited about being introduced to BloodBorne even in this limited way, myself included.

Unlike some games (Hey, The Order), the more I'm seeing of BB, the more I'm getting excited for it. It's looking to be a very worthy successor to the Souls series of games.

I'm cautiously optimistic, since Miyazaki is working on it, but I feel like its contradictory to the nature of Dark Souls. The souls games were brilliant because of how well constructed and intricate they were. Proceduraly generated environments fly in the face of that. That said, I was skeptical about multiplayer as well, and he knocked it out of the park. Either way, I'm sure he knows what he's doing. I'm curious if he could make it fit with player messages somehow.

This is a terrible article. Missing words and grammatical errors aside, (Did an editor even glance at this?) nearly half of it is wasted up on a jokey preamble that attributes the popularity of the term "roguelike" to two games utterly unconnected with that genre. The phrasing also leads me to wonder if the writer actually speaks the language in which the presentation was apparently delivered.

The remainder of the article goes on to describe in detail systems identical to those already present in said two previous games and raise a concern that was already successfully addressed in both of them, while ignoring the differences that people might actually want to know about. For example, he "went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol." There were no pistols in Dark Souls. How did the pistol handle? I'm guessing a lot of people are more interested in that than in hearing about specters of dead players described as if it were an entirely novel system.

And why the brief closing remark about not caring for the game? The title says "Bloodborne is Victorian Dark Souls," so does the writer dislike Bloodborne in comparison to Dark Souls, or does he dislike the Souls series as a whole? If the latter, why was he assigned to cover Bloodborne in the first place? It's not as if this is a review of the finished game - it's a news article that will appeal primarily to people already looking forward to its release. So why wasn't it written by someone who would know what kind of information those people would want to know and provide it?

And why has someone on the first page of comments already provided more information about what was said at the event than the actual article?

OtherSideofSky:
This is a terrible article. Missing words and grammatical errors aside, (Did an editor even glance at this?) nearly half of it is wasted up on a jokey preamble that attributes the popularity of the term "roguelike" to two games utterly unconnected with that genre. The phrasing also leads me to wonder if the writer actually speaks the language in which the presentation was apparently delivered.

The remainder of the article goes on to describe in detail systems identical to those already present in said two previous games and raise a concern that was already successfully addressed in both of them, while ignoring the differences that people might actually want to know about. For example, he "went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol." There were no pistols in Dark Souls. How did the pistol handle? I'm guessing a lot of people are more interested in that than in hearing about specters of dead players described as if it were an entirely novel system.

And why the brief closing remark about not caring for the game? The title says "Bloodborne is Victorian Dark Souls," so does the writer dislike Bloodborne in comparison to Dark Souls, or does he dislike the Souls series as a whole? If the latter, why was he assigned to cover Bloodborne in the first place? It's not as if this is a review of the finished game - it's a news article that will appeal primarily to people already looking forward to its release. So why wasn't it written by someone who would know what kind of information those people would want to know and provide it?

And why has someone on the first page of comments already provided more information about what was said at the event than the actual article?

I was half-way writing something on those lines when I saw your post, so I gave up writing. But if you don't mind, I would point out that you, sir, are using too much logic and common sense. If you keep this up, someone will probably ban you from the internet.

I really wish this would get a PC port.

If anything is going to make me get a PS4, it will be this and Infamous: Second son. Maybe in a few years when the price has gone down but until then I will have to look at screenshots and yearn.

Rednog:

suitepee7:
i really really really hope this gets ported to PC some point down the line, everything i've seen of it looks like it'd be a lot of fun

It's being published by Sony...so just like pretty much every Sony game in the last generation, it will never be ported. It's pretty much the only reason I went out and got a ps4 on Black Friday.
It being a ps4 exclusive is probably the driving force behind the remastered Dark Souls 2, to keep xbox and pc users busy until dark souls 3.

Sony Studio Japan is also co-developing it. :)

OtherSideofSky:
This is a terrible article. Missing words and grammatical errors aside, (Did an editor even glance at this?) nearly half of it is wasted up on a jokey preamble that attributes the popularity of the term "roguelike" to two games utterly unconnected with that genre. The phrasing also leads me to wonder if the writer actually speaks the language in which the presentation was apparently delivered.

The remainder of the article goes on to describe in detail systems identical to those already present in said two previous games and raise a concern that was already successfully addressed in both of them, while ignoring the differences that people might actually want to know about. For example, he "went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol." There were no pistols in Dark Souls. How did the pistol handle? I'm guessing a lot of people are more interested in that than in hearing about specters of dead players described as if it were an entirely novel system.

And why the brief closing remark about not caring for the game? The title says "Bloodborne is Victorian Dark Souls," so does the writer dislike Bloodborne in comparison to Dark Souls, or does he dislike the Souls series as a whole? If the latter, why was he assigned to cover Bloodborne in the first place? It's not as if this is a review of the finished game - it's a news article that will appeal primarily to people already looking forward to its release. So why wasn't it written by someone who would know what kind of information those people would want to know and provide it?

And why has someone on the first page of comments already provided more information about what was said at the event than the actual article?

Pretty much this. I wish the Escapist assigned somebody who actually cares about this game and the souls series in general.

Fox12:

The souls games were brilliant because of how well constructed and intricate they were. Proceduraly generated environments fly in the face of that.

This is only the case of one area, so I don't see the problem. It seems like an interesting experiment.

jhoroz:

Fox12:

The souls games were brilliant because of how well constructed and intricate they were. Proceduraly generated environments fly in the face of that.

This is only the case of one area, so I don't see the problem. It seems like an interesting experiment.

It's also worth noting that we don't really know how "deep" the procedural elements are going to be. Given that the game is a fully 3D world, it's unlikely we're going to see anything fully randomized but more something built from building blocks that fit together in various ways (and the footage from the Keynote pretty much bears this out with the clearly delineated entry hall, trap hallway with giant ball and pit trap, tar swamp room, etc.). It's very possible that the enemy placements within these rooms are not randomized but also either predetermined based on the chosen room or chosen from a set of a handful of designer selected options. This sort of approach could maintain the rogue-like approach of making each run of the Chalice different while still allowing for carefully selected and balanced enemy encounters. And heck, maybe these questions could have been asked of the development and/or presenters on the show floor during hands on time.. but I guess we'll never know about that (here at least).

OtherSideofSky:
This is a terrible article. Missing words and grammatical errors aside, (Did an editor even glance at this?) nearly half of it is wasted up on a jokey preamble that attributes the popularity of the term "roguelike" to two games utterly unconnected with that genre. The phrasing also leads me to wonder if the writer actually speaks the language in which the presentation was apparently delivered.

The remainder of the article goes on to describe in detail systems identical to those already present in said two previous games and raise a concern that was already successfully addressed in both of them, while ignoring the differences that people might actually want to know about. For example, he "went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol." There were no pistols in Dark Souls. How did the pistol handle? I'm guessing a lot of people are more interested in that than in hearing about specters of dead players described as if it were an entirely novel system.

And why the brief closing remark about not caring for the game? The title says "Bloodborne is Victorian Dark Souls," so does the writer dislike Bloodborne in comparison to Dark Souls, or does he dislike the Souls series as a whole? If the latter, why was he assigned to cover Bloodborne in the first place? It's not as if this is a review of the finished game - it's a news article that will appeal primarily to people already looking forward to its release. So why wasn't it written by someone who would know what kind of information those people would want to know and provide it?

And why has someone on the first page of comments already provided more information about what was said at the event than the actual article?

Agreed it would have been nice to see a discussion of the currently available class choices as well. From one video I have seen of the Alpha build in play it appears that atm you can only select 4 different templates. I am still wondering if that's how it will remain in the full version or if greater customization will be in the full version.

Come on guys, pick a fellow who actually knows what he's talking about in regards to the Souls series to write about the fucking preview. This is big stuff.

OtherSideofSky:
This is a terrible article. Missing words and grammatical errors aside, (Did an editor even glance at this?) nearly half of it is wasted up on a jokey preamble that attributes the popularity of the term "roguelike" to two games utterly unconnected with that genre. The phrasing also leads me to wonder if the writer actually speaks the language in which the presentation was apparently delivered.

The remainder of the article goes on to describe in detail systems identical to those already present in said two previous games and raise a concern that was already successfully addressed in both of them, while ignoring the differences that people might actually want to know about. For example, he "went with the plague doctor guy with dual swords and a pistol." There were no pistols in Dark Souls. How did the pistol handle? I'm guessing a lot of people are more interested in that than in hearing about specters of dead players described as if it were an entirely novel system.

And why the brief closing remark about not caring for the game? The title says "Bloodborne is Victorian Dark Souls," so does the writer dislike Bloodborne in comparison to Dark Souls, or does he dislike the Souls series as a whole? If the latter, why was he assigned to cover Bloodborne in the first place? It's not as if this is a review of the finished game - it's a news article that will appeal primarily to people already looking forward to its release. So why wasn't it written by someone who would know what kind of information those people would want to know and provide it?

And why has someone on the first page of comments already provided more information about what was said at the event than the actual article?

The pistols are just like the other guns that each class start with. They are not really like guns, you don't really aim them, no scoping. They are point blank weapons used only to disrupt the enemy attack in order to give you a chance to melee attack. Sort of like a more complicated backstab. They don't really do any damage, and you have to be close enough to stab the disrupted enemies with your melee weapon before they recover. Worse is that you have to time the shot perfectly to work, and you can only carry 20 shots. So you have only 20 tries to even make the attack, and its not even a one hit kill when you do land it. Even the normal larger walking around enemies can take 3 or more of that crit attack. To say nothing of the bosses. Its a horrible trade off for giving up the shield, the alpha also had no magic. So its possible there is no range attack in this game. It makes the game WAY harder than dark souls. Its like playing dark souls without using any armor, shield, or magic, just rolling around with a giant sword. No blocking just dodging. Theres people who do that, but thats not the way I play those games.

There are enemies that have guns that can shot you all the way across screen and do heavy damage,

Raziel:

OtherSideofSky:
snip

The pistols are just like the other guns that each class start with. They are not really like guns, you don't really aim them, no scoping. They are point blank weapons used only to disrupt the enemy attack in order to give you a chance to melee attack. Sort of like a more complicated backstab. They don't really do any damage, and you have to be close enough to stab the disrupted enemies with your melee weapon before they recover. Worse is that you have to time the shot perfectly to work, and you can only carry 20 shots. So you have only 20 tries to even make the attack, and its not even a one hit kill when you do land it. Even the normal larger walking around enemies can take 3 or more of that crit attack. To say nothing of the bosses. Its a horrible trade off for giving up the shield, the alpha also had no magic. So its possible there is no range attack in this game. It makes the game WAY harder than dark souls. Its like playing dark souls without using any armor, shield, or magic, just rolling around with a giant sword. No blocking just dodging. Theres people who do that, but thats not the way I play those games.

There are enemies that have guns that can shot you all the way across screen and do heavy damage,

Huh. Thanks for the information. Not what I was expecting, although I guess it's sort of true to how shitty pistols of the type I've seen in the trailers actually are (which still doesn't make it sound especially fun). I really hope there's significantly more variety of and uses for them in the full game.

OtherSideofSky:

Raziel:

OtherSideofSky:
snip

The pistols are just like the other guns that each class start with. They are not really like guns, you don't really aim them, no scoping. They are point blank weapons used only to disrupt the enemy attack in order to give you a chance to melee attack. Sort of like a more complicated backstab. They don't really do any damage, and you have to be close enough to stab the disrupted enemies with your melee weapon before they recover. Worse is that you have to time the shot perfectly to work, and you can only carry 20 shots. So you have only 20 tries to even make the attack, and its not even a one hit kill when you do land it. Even the normal larger walking around enemies can take 3 or more of that crit attack. To say nothing of the bosses. Its a horrible trade off for giving up the shield, the alpha also had no magic. So its possible there is no range attack in this game. It makes the game WAY harder than dark souls. Its like playing dark souls without using any armor, shield, or magic, just rolling around with a giant sword. No blocking just dodging. Theres people who do that, but thats not the way I play those games.

There are enemies that have guns that can shot you all the way across screen and do heavy damage,

Huh. Thanks for the information. Not what I was expecting, although I guess it's sort of true to how shitty pistols of the type I've seen in the trailers actually are (which still doesn't make it sound especially fun). I really hope there's significantly more variety of and uses for them in the full game.

It's just a shift of focus in terms of combat flow and movement, and the game is going to be designed around it. I play absolutely nothing but no-shield runs / SL1 runs in Dark Souls now, so this is an exciting direction for me. It's going to make the game much faster, more exciting and more dynamic to play rather than just inching forward and tanking every attack with a shield, even against the largest bosses.

Industrial Gothic Dark Souls eh? That's a setting just cool enough to overwhelm the boiling, game selling rage I experienced with the earlier entry! Throw in some weapons that don't look like rejects from a Hellsing anime rip-off and you have a deal Mr Miyazaki!

 

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