On the 24th of March, 2015, From Software released the PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne. Helmed by auteur game designer Hidetaka Miyazaki, the spiritual successor to his famed Dark Souls was met with universal critical acclaim. Moving away from the medieval fantasy setting of the Souls franchise, the action RPG is a gothic and Lovecraftian twist on the studio’s punishing but rewarding formula.
The only problem I have with the dark and atmospheric exclusive is its technical state. From a rarely stable sub-30fps on the base PS4 to load times that can often exceed a minute, Bloodborne could be improved. These issues remain on Sony’s next-gen console despite the PS5’s massive increase in power. So, with that in mind, here are some reasons why the famed PlayStation 4 exclusive deserves to be the next product to receive an upgrade for next-gen, and why these changes would cement the action RPG as one of the games of a generation.
1. A Great Game for a New Generation
Of all the PlayStation exclusives still waiting to receive an update, why Bloodborne? Firstly, I think it would benefit more than most from being brought into the current gaming landscape. Its technical state often detracts from what I would call a masterpiece. Unlike The Last of Us Part 2, for example. Be it the low framerates or painfully long load times, it could certainly use an update six years on from its release.
Furthermore, it deserves to be introduced to a new generation of gamers. Be it those who never owned a PS4 or players whose first Souls-like was the new Demon’s Souls remake. The 2015 release expands on the Souls-like formula in wonderful ways. Its eerie story told through ominous dialogue and item descriptions make for a truly unique horror experience. On top of that, the combat takes the best aspects of Dark Souls, making it quicker and even more challenging. Overall, it is a wonderful piece of art that is often let down by its technical side. A PS5 update could dramatically change this.
2. Yarnham in 4K
Your journey takes place in the city of Yarnham. Besieged by a beastly plague, the streets are littered with coffins and the belongings of citizens who rushed to lock themselves inside their homes in time to escape the night. The moon casts shadows across the land, and hunters patrol the streets with torches, searching for the next beast to slay. Yarnham is densely packed with detail. Even more so than some of From Software’s more recent projects. Yet, on the PlayStation 5, it is presented in a variable resolution that sometimes dips below 1080p. Because of this, much of the detail and gorgeous environmental design are lost.
Improving the RPG’s resolution to 1440p or even a native 4K could launch the RPG into looking almost next-gen. In turn, all of the city’s details would pop, and the atmosphere would be dramatically enhanced. Indeed, while Yarnham is already a striking and dramatic visual experience, the doubling of resolution that the PS5 has proven it can provide would no doubt enhance the game even more.
3. Improved Framerates
One of the biggest selling points of the next-gen consoles is the promise of 60fps gaming. Days Gone and Ghost of Tsushima have seen vast improvements in this regard. In fact, two of From Software’s more recent projects have already seen an upgrade in the framerate department. Both Dark Souls 3 and Sekiro now run at a smooth and consistent 60fps on the PS5 and are vastly better experiences for it. Sekiro especially sees a big improvement by the doubling of its framerate. The fast and frenetic combat is all the more satisfying, thanks to the changes.
Bloodborne, would also benefit in this regard. With its much more attack-focused gameplay and faster combat, it would be a sight to behold in a smooth 60fps. Be it in the frantic boss fights, where dodging at the last second is vital. Or, simply exploring the beautiful yet horrifying world of Yharnam, an improved framerate would undoubtedly bring the PlayStation exclusive closer to the modern-day. In fact, one modder has already managed to achieve this using a PS4 dev kit, and as seen in the video below, the results speak for themselves.
4. Faster load times
In this punishing journey, you die… a lot. Over and over, you will be sent back to the nearest lantern. When this journey can include over a minute of loading times, it can become rather frustrating. The PS5’s next-gen SSD, if properly utilised, could completely remove this frustration. This has already been seen in the Demon’s Souls remake, in which the load times are essentially nonexistent. This would vastly improve the experience for new players.
Indeed, one of the best aspects of the lack of load times in the PS5 exclusive is the distinct impact it has on immersion. Being transported to a very ‘gamey’ loading screen every time an angry NPC kills you for the 100th time can often take you out of the experience. Thus, in an experience where the world is centre stage and every tiny detail works to improve immersion, a loading mechanic on par with other PS5 titles would be a game-changer.
5. Elden Ring Is a While Away
From Software’s next project, Elden Ring is at least a year away. Despite a recently leaked trailer, there is no sign that the next franchise in the Souls-like genre is anywhere near release. Thus, now is the perfect time to give the famed action RPG the facelift it so truly deserves. Releasing an update now will both drum up hype for their next release and bring in legions of new fans for the upcoming Elden Ring.
Bloodborne is very special to me and thousands of gamers across the globe. Its dark take on gothic horror and Lovecraftian themes is something unique in our medium. The gameplay is frenetic and heart-pounding, and the bosses are something to behold. It truly was one of the best of the last generation. With all this in mind, an updated version of From Software’s classic should surely be in the works. Seeing it in higher resolutions, with a smooth frame rate and reduced loading, can only bring more players into Yarnham’s decaying streets.
(60 FPS video by Lance McDonald.)
It deserves a full remaster alongside a PC port, that’s for sure.