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Bloodborne

is an action role-playing video game directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, developed by FromSoftware. Officially announced at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014... read more

7.1
Platforms PlayStation 4
Themes HorrorFantasy
Engines
Status: Released
Release: 04-Mar-2015

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is an action role-playing video game directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, developed by FromSoftware. Officially announced at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 conference, the game was released worldwide for the PlayStation 4 in March 2015.

Bloodborne follows the player character, the Hunter, through the fictional decrepit Gothic city of Yharnam, whose inhabitants have been afflicted with an abnormal blood-borne disease. Upon mysteriously awakening in Yharnam during the night of "The Hunt", the Hunter seeks out something known only as "Paleblood" for reasons unknown. The Hunter begins to unravel Yharnam's intriguing mysteries while hunting down its many terrifying beasts. Eventually, the Hunter's objective is to locate and terminate the source of the plague, and escape the nightmare to return to the 'real world', known as the "Waking World".

The game is played from a third-person perspective, players control a fully customizable protagonist, and gameplay is focused on weapons-based combat and exploration. Players battle beastly and varied enemies, including bosses, using items such as swords and firearms, and journey through the story, exploring the game's different locations, interacting with non-player characters, collecting key items involved in the story, and discovering and unraveling the world's many mysteries. Another trait of the game is its notorious difficulty, with some gaming publications calling it "brutal", while others said it was "difficult, but fair".

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Bloodborne began development in 2012 under the working title of Project Beast. Bearing many similarities to the Souls series of games, Bloodborne was partially inspired by classic H.P. Lovecraft and Dracula novels, and the architectural design of certain real world locations in places such as Romania and the Czech Republic. The decision by FromSoftware and director Miyazaki to create a new intellectual property (IP) and not another Souls game was made because Miyazaki wanted to create something "different"; at the same time, Sony wanted a new IP to be made exclusively for the PlayStation 4. An expansion for the game, titled The Old Hunters, was released on November 24, 2015.

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Having been highly anticipated before being released, Bloodborne was met with critical acclaim upon release. Many critics applauded the game's atmosphere, detailed environments, and the overall visuals, the interconnected world design, the design of the characters, particularly that of the enemies, the fast-paced gameplay, the storyline and lore, and the soundtrack, which some touted as "glorious". Frame rate issues and long load times at launch did, however, cause the game to draw some criticism. By September 2015, the game had sold over two million copies.

Plot

The game's story takes place in an ancient, abandoned city called Yharnam which was known for housing a medical remedy. Over the years, many travelers made pilgrimages to Yharnam seeking the remedy to cure their afflictions; the protagonist is one of these travelers. Upon arriving in Yharnam, however, it is discovered that it is overrun with a terrifying curse which has rendered most of the city's population violently deranged. The player must navigate the streets of Yharnam and defeat its insane inhabitants and horrifying monsters in order to survive.

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Gameplay

Bloodborne is played from a third-person perspective and features action role-playing elements similar to those found in the Souls series of games. Gameplay is particularly similar to director Hidetaka Miyazaki's other games, Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. Players make their way through different locations within the decrepit Gothic world of Yharnam, while battling varied enemies, including bosses, collecting different types of useful items that have many uses, interacting with the strange non-player characters, opening up shortcuts, and continuing through the main story. Combat is fast-paced and requires an offensive approach in order for players to combat dense hordes of enemies. The player character is agile and is able to dodge attacks by strafing around enemies while locked on. The new risk-and-reward style of gameplay is emphasized through Bloodborne's Regain system, which allows the player to, within a small window of time, recover portions of lost health by striking an enemy. A New Game Plus mode is also present; after the player has finished the game, a new game will immediately be started. New Game Plus is optional, players retain all their equipment, and the game is harder than the previous play through.

At the beginning of the game, the player creates their character, the Hunter. The player determines the basic details of the Hunter; gender, hairstyle, name, skin colour, body shape, voice, and eye colour, are some of the details the player determines. The player also chooses a starting class, known as an 'Origin', which provides a basic backstory for the Hunter and sets the player's starting attributes. The Origins allow the player's Hunter to have a distinct play style, which, along with physical appearance, give the Hunter a unique personality. For example, one Origin may describe the Hunter as a cowardly weakling, which would indicate the player prefers to avoid conflict, while another Origin may describe the Hunter as being a ruthless, killing machine, which would indicate that the Hunter prefers to engage in combat. Another way the player defines their Hunter is by choosing what brotherhood they are a member of. These religious societies, known as 'Covenants', each have their own views on the world of Yharnam.Image title

Players can return to a safe zone, known as the Hunter's Dream, by interacting with lanterns spread throughout the world of Yharnam. Doing so replenishes health, but repopulates all monsters in the game world. Lanterns also serve as the game's checkpoints; the player will return to the last activated lantern when they die. Positioned away from Yharnam, the Hunter's Dream delivers some of the game's basic features to the player. Players may purchase useful items, such as clothing, from the Messengers using Blood Echoes or Insight, level up their character by talking to the Doll, or upgrade their weapons in the workshop, among other things. Unlike Yharnam and all other locations in the game, the Hunter's Dream is considered completely safe; there is no way for the player to die whist in the Hunter's Dream and it is the only location in the game not to feature enemies. However, the last boss battles of the game take place in the Hunter's Dream.

The player may only wield two melee weapons and two secondary weapons at one time. Most melee weapons, called Trick Weapons, can transform into two alternate states; each state encourages a different approach to combat. For example, the Hunter Axe in its initial state is wielded with one hand and can be used to quickly dispatch enemies in cramped areas, but when transformed into its secondary state, it becomes an extended two handed weapon more suited for crowd control. With most Trick Weapons, one state is usually a slower, bigger weapon, that deals heavier damage per hit, while the other state is smaller, faster, and deals its damage in hit streaks. The player's main secondary weapon is a firearm; the firearm, usually a pistol, can be used in a traditional sense, as well as a way to stun enemies. When an enemy is stunned, the player can perform a Visceral attack; Visceral attacks cause a large amount of damage in one hit and can also be performed after the player strikes an enemy from behind. Other secondary weapons include a torch, cannon, and wooden shield, while other main melee weapons include a hammer, sword, two-handed gun, which serves as the melee and ranged weapon, and a whip. The player can carry other offensive weapons, such as molotovs, throwing knives, and rocks.

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Bloodborne's world of Yharnam is a large map full of areas that are connected. Some areas of Yharman are not connected to the main locations and require the player to teleport there. Players are usually presented with multiple options when progressing through locations; usually there is a main path that the player uses to progress through the story. When traversing the main path, the player will encounter paths that lead to completely different locations that are optional. Each path also eventually leads back to the central area the player started in. This provides the player with shortcuts, useful for when they die. There are many locations in the game; Forsaken Castle Cainhurst, a large, intricate castle situated away from Yharnam in a snowy environment; Upper Cathedral Ward, a cathedral that is home to one of the game's Covenants, The Choir; Abandoned Old Workshop, the 'real' location of the Hunter's Dream; Yahar'gul, Unseen Village, a location the Hunter may be forcibly taken to that features some of the most dangerous enemies in the game; and Hemwick Charnel Lane, a forest clearing full of the game's witch enemies, are some of the game's locations.

Similarly to the previous Souls games, slaying enemies grants the player Blood Echoes, which doubles as the player's experience points and the game's currency. Should the player die, their Blood Echoes will be lost at the location of their death. If they are able to reach that point again, they can regain them. However, should the player die before they can retrieve their lost Blood Echoes, they will be lost forever. Sometimes, the player's Blood Echoes may be captured by an enemy, typically identified by glowing blue eyes; defeating this enemy will return the lost Blood Echoes. If an enemy does not hold the Blood Echoes, they will be on the ground near the location of the player's death. Insight is a secondary form of currency; they can be spent to purchase items and depending on the players Insight level, the world will change in many different ways. When the player reaches a specific Insight level, some NPCs or enemies might no longer be present, the sky and moon may change colour, the player may start hearing different sounds (such as a crying baby and mysterious whispering), or enemies' attack patterns may change. The world also changes as the player progresses through the main story. Insight can be gained by finding and defeating bosses or using items that grant Insight.

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When enemies are defeated, they drop useful items for the player, such as Blood Vials, which are used as healing potions, or Quicksilver Bullets, the main ammunition for ranged weaponry. Players can also sacrifice health to create Blood Bullets for their ranged weaponry. Blood Bullets cause slightly more damage than standard Quicksilver Bullets and the Regain system still applies to the lost health. Players may find useful items hidden in the environment as well as being dropped by enemies. The items hidden in the environment usually require the player to go on a different path than the path they were initially travelling. Other items the player may find include Coldblood Dew, which grants the player Blood Echoes, Antidote, used when the player has been poisoned, and Hunter Badges, items that allows the player to purchase more items in the Hunter's Dream. The player may equip Blood Gems, Blood Shards, or Caryll Runes that, when discovered and equipped, give the player's weapons or the player themselves specific bonuses. For example, if a player has equipped a Caryll Rune, it may reduce the overall amount of stamina that is consumed; similarly, if a Blood Gem is fortified with a weapon, it may give the weapon a poison or fire effect, thus increasing the damage.

Multiplayer is present in Bloodborne as well, though it functions differently from its counterparts in the Souls series. By expending a consumable item and one Insight point, players can summon other players into their world to help with boss battles or large groups of enemies, and progress through areas of the game cooperatively. This leaves the player vulnerable to invasions, in which another player may invade the victim's game world and attempt to kill them, unless the player can find and defeat a specific enemy before an enemy player invades. Multiplayer summons are limited by proximity; players can only be summoned within a specific distance of each other to prevent players being summoned too far away to be of any assistance. Players can only summon other players that are around the same level as them to prevent the game from being too difficult, or too easy, for one of the players. What Covenant a player is a part of affects multiplayer as well. Players can summon an NPC to help them in addition to getting help from other players. The NPC serves as an AI companion to the player, that helps defeat enemies. Players can only summon specific NPCs that they have met throughout their journey. Another way players may interact with each other is by leaving notes. A player may leave a tip for defeating a boss, tell the reader where to go, fool the reader by purposely providing incorrect information, or just leave a meaningless message to others. Players may rate a message as 'Fine' or 'Foul', which will indicate to future readers whether the note is useful or untrustworthy.

A new feature that differs from the previous Souls games are Chalice Dungeons. Chalice Dungeons are randomly generated dungeons that vary in depth and difficulty, which can be reformed by performing a ritual with a Chalice and other certain materials in the Hunter's Dream. Chalice Dungeons are optional and provide additional content to the player. Gameplay is much the same as the main story in that it contains various areas and enemies that the player journeys through to complete the Dungeon. Each Chalice Dungeon contains multiple bosses that the player must defeat to progress through the Dungeon's levels. Special types of lootable chests that are not found in the main story are hidden throughout the Dungeons, providing the player with the materials to generate more Dungeons. One major difference between the main story and the Chalice Dungeons is the world design. In the main story world of Yharnam, the design is open ended, more spacious, and is a mixture of indoor and outdoor environments. Chalice Dungeons are only indoors, cramped, and contain many traits of a typical dungeon. The branching paths features in the main story are still present in the Chalice Dungeons. Another main difference is the objectives; in the main story, players journey through many different locations with many different objectives. In the Chalice Dungeons, the player's basic objective is to locate a door, then find the lever to open the door, which is located elsewhere, and then battle the boss behind the door. After the boss is defeated, the player enters the next area, which will be completely different, and completes the same goal. The cycle repeats at least three times before the entire Chalice Dungeon is cleared. Chalice Dungeons, like the main story, can be played alone or cooperatively with other players.






This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Bloodbourne, which isreleased under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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