Warning: The following articles on why a Bloodborne remaster on PC isn’t what fans actually need contains spoilers for the game.
Yharnam: Its hauntingly bewitching Gothic architecture yawning over its people, the grimy streets stained in sickly blood as wild laughter erupts from homes, and at its peak, a blushing moon.
Bloodborne could snap you into a setting and masterfully paint its history in the cracks and violence of its environment, all the while delivering a vicious combat system where speed and deliberate timing meant life or death against nightmarish creatures. For many FromSoftware fans and myself, Bloodborne was the pinnacle that has long deserved a remaster on PC and consoles, but truthfully, this isn’t what we, as fans, actually need.
Remaster/remake culture around beloved video games launched a decade ago (or surprisingly even less) has gotten out of control. I admit to adding fuel to the rumors of a Final Fantasy IX remake because twelve-year-old me had a blast as Zidane and Vivi, and why wouldn’t I want to play a graphically impressive version of a childhood banger? To that same point, Bloodborne was the first FromSoftware game I couldn’t stop playing and had to finish. Sure, it’s 30 FPS, lacks a respec feature, and you can cheese some boss encounters, but the spectacle of the sights and characters you’ll greet and the nuances of trick weapons blew my mind.
Nostalgia is a slippery slope, though. I’m biased because I want my favorite game from the FromSoftware catalog to get all the recognition and technical tweaks. The developer knows how highly-regarded the game is, and they also know you guys won’t stop talking about it at every game showcase on social media. It’s easy to feel snubbed of an opportunity to relive your frustrating battle with Orphan of Kos in 60 FPS or to see some new exciting mechanics with Chalice dungeons in a Bloodborne remaster on PC. I get that, but that’s not what we need.
Last year, FromSoftware dropped Elden Ring, one of its most lucrative games. Say what you will about Elden Ring, that success gave the studio room to explore its past with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, a return to its roots after years of making mistakes and learning. FromSoftware never forgot where it came from, as evident in the old King’s Field games building to the culmination of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.
Like an artist, the developer is brushing up titles with a dynamic range of colors and adopting styles to benefit its success later – curving together shapes and scenery and flicking the brush to spray paint from top to bottom. Should we beg the developer to bring back Bloodborne as a remaster on PC and consoles to satisfy our wish lists or give them a wide berth to continue experimenting and doing what it does best?
The art is done. FromSoftware poured its soul into the project, and it shows.
Now, you can find the closest imitations of Bloodborne through games made by other studios, like Lies of P, and feel the dark and dangerous ripples of Yharnam throughout its combat and characters. We’ve kept Bloodborne alive for almost a decade, and other studios are trying to chase that high because we are craving more like it – to feel lost again in an oppressively dank world oozing with toothsome lore and thoughtful design. The fact developers are getting so close to nailing the Bloodborne formula many years after release speaks volumes about its impact and loyal audience.
Whether FromSoftware brushes the dust of Bloodborne and does something with the IP is not within our power, and we should stop riling ourselves up and having this expectation that the developer should bring a remaster to PC and elsewhere. Remasters and remakes are crutches for studios. Nowadays, we pay a higher amount for the same content and little adjustments that might make a remaster/remake look and feel worse than the original, ruining a past memory and causing consumer confusion about which one to purchase.
Not to say FromSoftware would do us dirty like that with Bloodborne, but is it even necessary? We don’t need Bloodborne; we need more games like it, either from FromSoftware again or a brave indie team. Fans calling for Bloodborne to get remastered or remade drives the studio backward and doesn’t encourage them forward. It was a masterful and artistic statement of, arguably, the team’s highest accomplishments to date, and should stay in the past untouched.
Now, a Bloodborne sequel? I’d love to play that.