Even though this year has seen the release of Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3, for me, FromSoftware's Bloodborne is Game of the Year. It has a beautifully consistent world, superb gameplay, and some of the best AI and level design you can find. Now, the game just got even better with the release of the first DLC expansion for this modern masterpiece: The Old Hunters.
As I ventured through these nightmarish new lands, I couldn't help but think of the conclusion to the Souls franchise. Dark Souls 3 is to be the last game in this celebrated series, but if it's going to succeed on its release date, it needs to learn from this exceptional piece of DLC from Hidetaka Miyazaki.
Dark Souls 3 - Learn From Bloodborne: The Old Hunters DLC
The reason that Miyazaki feels that FromSoftware need to move beyond the Souls series and games like Bloodborne, is simple: he doesn't want the idea to become stale. With Dark Souls 3, he feels that the developer has exhausted the concept, and in order to keep things fresh and exciting for fans, he's glad to be wrapping up the series and moving on to something completely new following 2016.
But Dark Souls 3 may already feel stale for some of us. I played the game earlier this year at Gamescom, and while I enjoyed my time with it, everything felt very familiar. If the game is to succeed on release date, it needs to do exactly what The Old Hunters is doing for Bloodborne. Let's examine its accomplishments.
- The new weapons in The Old Hunters infuse the game with a sense of wonder and excitement.
- New enemy types in Bloodborne keep me on my toes in a way that the rest of the game couldn't.
- The difficulty level is far higher than any other section of the game. This challenge is deeply rewarding and will satisfy fans of the Souls series.
- The level design is superb, and introduces a new game mechanic; one where other hunters in the game will attack enemies around them. They're fighting you and the other enemies in the game.
- Boss battles are terrifying and ridiculously hard. The feeling that beating one brings is beyond compare.
The Old Hunters DLC is indicative of everything that we love about the gameplay that FromSoftware created for this game and the Souls series. It's challenging, surprising, beautiful, and deeply rewarding. After you play a lot of Souls games, you can lose that initial sense of pride upon passing sections of the game. This returns with vigor in The Old Hunters and it's everything that I want Dark Souls 3 to be on its release date.
For those that love Bloodborne, know that this DLC expansion is possibly the best part of the game. This masterpiece just got a whole lot better.