Please sell a first time "Souls" player on Bloodborne

Avatar image for laxbro19
#1 Posted by laxbro19 (406 posts) -

I'm about to take the plunge on Bloodborne. Before I buy it off PSN, I wanted to make sure I know what I'm getting into and maybe wanted some myths dispelled. I've never played a "Souls" game and I wanted to have a better idea of why I should play this game other than blind recommendations. So, as best you can, please layout some solid reasons why I should play this game as someone who hasn't been keeping up with these games and is starting fresh. Thanks for your time.

Avatar image for poveren
#2 Posted by poveren (318 posts) -

One of the best games for feeling accomplished as you progress as it requires skill. Otherwise, it's solid as an RPG. Loot, leveling up, looks great, etc.

Avatar image for alucitary
#3 Edited by Alucitary (408 posts) -

I can't say exactly what playing Bloodborne as your first souls game will be like, but as a veteran souls player I consider it the second best right after the original Dark souls. It may be a bit harder to learn with the trick weapons, but if you can find your footing it will be an extremely enjoyable ride. The best part of Bloodborne is by far the world, which I rank far above Dark Souls and Demon's Souls, Although they are very interesting in their own right. Without spoiling anything, the story plays with your expectations in a lot of fun ways and has a much more solid and contained world than any other game in the series. It has many of the best bosses in the series, and characters that stick with you far more than the faceless knights and merchants of Dark Souls. Bloodborne was the first Souls game that I ever beat in under a week just because I was so compelled by where it was headed, and I guarantee it does not disappoint.

Avatar image for justin258
#4 Posted by Justin258 (15647 posts) -

I haven't actually played Bloodborne, so I can't really speak to it. It's a lot like the other Souls games, though, so it's going to be difficult, sometimes obnoxious, but thrilling and satisfying when you finally start overcoming challenges that seem insurmountable at first. If you're willing to rise to the game's challenge, then yeah, play it. I think everyone should give at least one of the Souls games a shot.

But really, there's so much video content and so much discussion about all of the Souls games that nobody really needs to try to sell you on it here. Seriously, there's several hours worth of content here on Giantbomb alone.

Avatar image for byrjun
#5 Posted by byrjun (219 posts) -

Second everything said. Next to DS1, my favourite Soulsian.

And the best interpretation of the Lovecraftian horror I've ever seen, refer to the Extra Credits video on this subject if you want to..

Avatar image for tobbrobb
#6 Edited by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -

It has excellent lovecraftian/Bram Stoker atmosphere, stylish and pretty as all fuck. The world design is fantastic and connects into itself in some very neat ways. Exploring and existing in Bloodborne landTM is just super fun to me. Tickles a similar area that Castlevania games do.

That combat is very fastpaced, if you are brand new to action games it might be too overwhelming. I'd liken it to a fast character action game like Bayonetta, with RPG mechanics surrounding it. The game is balanced in a way where you pretty much have to stay in the bosses faces and react to their moves. Running away is largely not a great option, without super specific character building your ranged damage options are very limited to the point of uselessness. The combat demands that you stay close to danger and react, react, react. Some people find it stressful, or in my case engaging.

However if you are used to similar games, you might notice that Bloodborne isn't quite as harsh as games in the same vein. The dodge is forgiving in both distance and invulnerability, you have plenty of fast healing options and enemies are generally made to have obvious (albeit fast) tells for their big attacks. If you can get in the right state of mind, and have the focus/reaction to play it as intended, it's not too hard. It's more intimidating than anything. I'd personally consider Dark Souls to be much more punishing when played normally, though those games can be cheesed/broken in a 1000 more ways than Bloodborne can. Because of Bloodbornes smaller scope and laser focus on the combat mechanics, it's a lot tighter on the balancing side. Basically the tradeoff for not having any legitimate magic/archer/tank builds.

If you have the chops and the will to roll with the combat, I highly recommend it. It's a super fun game, and I can't praise the world enough. There's some good stuff in there.

EDIT: I've played all the souls games, and Bloodborne is my personal favorite.

Avatar image for frostyryan
#7 Posted by FrostyRyan (2920 posts) -

Bloodborne is my favorite souls game and one of my favorite games.

You already know what everyone says about the challenge and difficulty so I'll add something I can't stress enough- this is a FASCINATING handful of lore, story, and atmosphere to see unfold. You will be engrossed in that world. It'll be a while until VR games have anything on the immersiveness of Bloodborne.

Avatar image for ares42
#8 Posted by Ares42 (4343 posts) -

The Souls experience is an adventure, and not the typical sanitized spectacle style adventure, a real adventure. It's scary and exciting, you'll meet road blocks and make discoveries, and after getting through it all you won't want it to stop. Now this all comes at one condition, that you're ready to explore, learn and persevere. Don't listen to all the people that says the games are all about the difficulty, there's so much more to it. The challenge is just necessary to make you stop and re-examine things, instead of blasting through the content and making it just a grind.

So ye, if you're ready to dig deep into something "meaty" and satisfying it's gonna be amazing, but if you're looking for some light instantly gratifying entertainment it's gonna suck. This might all sound a bit vague, but it's because so much of the enjoyment of the games is the exploration and discovery of the unknown. That's not to say you shouldn't go looking for help though, but you'll have a much better time if you go looking for answers when you have questions instead of getting all the answers up front.

Avatar image for cav829
#9 Posted by Cav829 (827 posts) -

@laxbro19: Bloodborne is my personal favorite "Souls game" after the addition of the Old Hunters DLC. While these games are hard, keep in mind they are "hard" in comparison to AAA games. It isn't as hard as say Nuclear Throne or any of those numerous Roguelikes. So don't get too worried about that part. Bloodborne is a little more action focused than the other Souls games, though there's still plenty to explore. There just aren't as many equipment options to find, and you need to purchase the DLC unfortunately (or the Game of the Year edition with the DLC) to get access to a bunch of the weapons.

Avatar image for _brojangles_
#10 Edited by _Brojangles_ (134 posts) -

I'm gonna be the first (and maybe only) one to say this.

Bloodborne is my least favorite souls game. Specifically for its lack of variety compared to the other games. It's good enough, but it doesn't really have a hold on me like the other 4 games do.

Avatar image for tobbrobb
#11 Posted by TobbRobb (6582 posts) -

@_brojangles_: Are you a big PvP guy? Liking Bloodborne less for the limited build options is pretty common among hardcore players, but I feel like a lot of it comes from the PvP being so samey. That's just guessing from my side though.

Avatar image for onemanarmyy
#12 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4320 posts) -

I always feel like Souls games are as hard as you want them to be. Like there are times when those games feel extremely hard, but there's always another way to go to get stronger. And eventually, those really hard parts are becoming reasonable or even easy encounters. So you can sort of decide what kind of difficulty you want to play at. The difference between a boss being able to one shot you, and having to hit you 3x is huge. But even if you are overleveled, you still have to learn the boss patterns and get the right amount of damage in, which will never stop being satisfying.

Avatar image for matatat
#13 Posted by MATATAT (1225 posts) -

I think it depends what aspects of the Souls franchise you enjoy.

Avatar image for random45
#14 Edited by Random45 (1807 posts) -

Ok, here's how it's going to go:

You're going to hate the game for the first hour. You'll make a good amount of progress into the first area, you'll be playing it safe, and then you'll run across two werewolves that are incredibly hard to take out on your first run through the game. You'll die, and be irritated that you'll have to do 20 minutes of progress all over again. You'll die the second time because you're impatient and want to move on, and then the third time you'll die even sooner because you are getting upset. The fourth time you die because you've run out of health vials, and the fifth time you'll die because you're just out of everything. Finally you'll just give up after a few more lives, and walk away.

The following day you'll pick it up and restart. This time you'll know what to do, how to use the items effectively, and you'll make progress much easier. You'll make it to the annoying werewolves, and this time you'll pass them. You'll be on the edge of your seat, exploring the area, and then you'll feel a massive sense of euphoria as you find a shortcut that cuts down massively on the amount of time you'll have to travel next time you die. You'll probably manage to beat the first boss on your first or second try, and really start to get the hang of things. Then the second boss comes and you hit a massive roadblock. This boss requires you to know the game intimately, it requires you to know when the invincibility frames are active, it requires you to get the riposte attack down to an art form, and it requires you to be calm when you're facing odds stacked against you.

Eventually you'll beat it, and after that the game is awesome and a breeze because the game is a dick and forces you to pretty much master its controls on the second boss.

That's pretty much my first experience with the game. Your mileage will obviously vary. Either way, Bloodborne is without a doubt my favorite Souls game, and I seriously hope they make a sequel to it sometime in the future.

Avatar image for shindig
#15 Posted by Shindig (4913 posts) -

Yeah, its a game (and a series) you need to keep one foot in and chip away at. Its worth the dedication and there's always a way to succeed. Usually its a combination of getting better with the combat and understanding more of the systems.

Avatar image for cheetoman
#16 Posted by Cheetoman (525 posts) -

Dude just buy it. It goes on sale for around $10 bucks now

Avatar image for kingbonesaw
#17 Posted by KingBonesaw (1400 posts) -

Bloodborne is as close to a good 3D Castlevania game that you're going to get.

Avatar image for ajamafalous
#18 Posted by ajamafalous (13816 posts) -

I'm gonna be the first (and maybe only) one to say this.

Bloodborne is my least favorite souls game. Specifically for its lack of variety compared to the other games. It's good enough, but it doesn't really have a hold on me like the other 4 games do.

I feel exactly the same way, so you're not alone!

Avatar image for humanity
#19 Posted by Humanity (18729 posts) -

@laxbro19: As your first Souls like game it's a perfect entry point because there is no real weight management and your weapon and build choices are somewhat more limited. These are all things that long time fans heavily critique but newcomers might find a welcome reprieve compared to the stacked systems found in the other entries. Probably has the best atmosphere out of all the games in the series with some awesome aesthetics that aren't another re-tread of medieval knights with various swords and shields. If you're into Lovecraft and that brooding undertone of madness hidden behind the shadows then you'll really enjoy it.

Overall a really solid entry in the series that dared to be different for better and worse. In the end it really wasn't all that different, but it was enough to shake off the ol' cobwebs and dust that came back full force in Dark Souls 3. If you enjoy Bloodborne you should really check out Demon's Souls if you have the means to do so in order to see where it all started. It's kind of downhill from there but DS3 picks it up a bit. Unfortunately to get literally anything out of DS3 you'll need to have played Dark Souls 1.

Of course keep in mind that I am in the super, super tiny minority that thinks DS1 is the worst game in the series, so take all my advice with a huge grain of salt. Plenty of Souls fanatics will tell you about the amazing open world design of that game and how it beautifully all loops together and so on and so forth. Maybe you would likewise find it a masterpiece, who knows. Bloodborne is pretty good though and like I said, a nice place to jump into for newcomers since it is so completely divorced from those other games, while still adhering to a lot of the gameplay conventions you encounters throughout the franchise. So if you play Bloodborne and want to try the others, you will more or less know how to play those type of games, those basic tenants of combat and exploration really don't change all that much.

Avatar image for csl316
#20 Posted by csl316 (14959 posts) -

I didn't really like the other Souls games, never got more than a few hours in.

But Bloodborne was my game of the year. From the faster gameplay, to the atmosphere and music, I just loved everything about it. The DLC is no slouch, either.

Avatar image for ghost_cat
#21 Posted by ghost_cat (2256 posts) -

I guess if you've seen enough videos of Bloodborne and Souls game, and Bloodborne is tickling your wallet, go for it. These games will hit any newcomer like a brick, but keep at it, and the sweat will be sweeter than wine.

Avatar image for lawgamer
#22 Edited by LawGamer (1481 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@_brojangles_ said:

I'm gonna be the first (and maybe only) one to say this.

Bloodborne is my least favorite souls game. Specifically for its lack of variety compared to the other games. It's good enough, but it doesn't really have a hold on me like the other 4 games do.

I feel exactly the same way, so you're not alone!

Make me three!

I think it might help to know more about your gaming tastes first. The reason being that a lot of people who like Bloodborne don't really like the other games in the Souls series and visa-versa. If you're like me and you don't necessarily like twitchy combat and prefer deeper stat systems and more varied weapons, armor, and environments, then you might like the actual Souls games more than you'd like Bloodborne. Don't get me wrong - I thought Bloodborne was a fine game, it just didn't stick with me in the same way the Souls games proper did, and I'd likely skip a Bloodborne 2.

If you like simpler, faster gameplay though, I'd say go for it.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.