Bloodborne is an upcoming video game being developed by From Software and published by Sony Computer Entertainment solely for the PlayStation 4. It is being directed by Demon's Souls and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki.
The game takes place in the gothic, ruined city of Yharnam which is rumored to house a potent medical remedy. Over the years, many travelers make pilgrimages to the city seeking the remedy to cure their afflictions; the player takes the role as one of these travelers.
Upon arriving in Yharnam, however, it is discovered that the city is plagued with an endemic illness that has malformed most of its denizens into bestial creatures. The player must navigate the streets of Yharnam and overcome its violently deranged inhabitants and horrifying monsters in order to survive.
So will it play out like Demon Souls or Dark Souls?
Despite featuring similar action RPG elements to Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, there are some significant differences in the overall gameplay of Bloodborne. Combat has a much faster pace and requires more of an offensive approach in order for players to survive denser hordes of enemies. The player is also much more agile and is even able to perform sweeping dashes around enemies while locked on.
The new risk vs reward style of gameplay is emphasized through Bloodborne's health regain system which allows players to, within a small window of time, recover portions of lost health by striking back at the player's attacker.
The game's arsenal is considerably more dynamic than the conventional medieval-fantasy design of weaponry seen in the Souls series. Melee weapons can transform into two alternate states, and each state encourages a different approach to combat.
The cleaver, for example, in its initial state can be used to quickly dispatch enemies in cramped areas, but when transformed into its secondary state it becomes an extended blade more suited for crowd control. While shields are not available in Bloodborne, the player can instead wield a firearm in their left hand that can be used to stun enemies, which can then be followed up with a critical attack from the player's melee weapon.
The visual presentation for upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne is "off the charts," according to PlayStation executive Scott Rohde.
"The way it looks; just off the charts to me," Rohde said about Bloodborne. "It has, I've said this before ... there's a certain, like, wetness to that game. I don't know what other word to use. It just feels like everything is dripping and oozing with whatever it is--it's water, it's blood, it's whatever it is; and it just looks gorgeous."
According to a Famitsu report from June, the final version of Bloodborne is aiming to run at 1080p/30fps.
The online setup looks to be similar to the previous 'Souls' games, with players aiding or invading your game. This wasn’t in the alpha build but has been alluded to. The online player ghosts are still present though, as is the messaging function (now displayed by skeletons breaking up through the ground to display a scroll with a message on it).
Some of the UI is a bit clumsy still, as picking up items or reading messages toggles a window that then has to be toggled off. This can be a problem once you enter combat and a big UI window is still present. This is very likely a simple early implementation issue though, so not a real issue as yet.
Overall then from what we’ve played, Bloodborne is a more technically demanding and brutally challenging game. The game still produces the same kind of elation on surviving a difficult encounter, like the previous games did, but it is doubly satisfying as the technical requirements mean you are more invested in the outcome.
Bloodborne’s February 2015 release cannot come soon enough.