Bloodborne Demo: First Impressions – PAX Prime 2014
Bloodborne has been showcased since E3 last June, but this will be our first time getting our hands on the anticipated game from Japan Studio and From Software, the teams behind the Dark Souls series and Demon Souls. Having played both Demon Souls and Dark Souls, I was curious to see what they had in store for us.
Luckily I came in blind going into this demo, having not seen too much of the gameplay demo making the experience fresh. As soon as I started playing, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful landscape and night sky. I found myself stopping and panning the camera around to check out every alleyway, building, crevice, and anything else I can see. With that said, Bloodborne succeeds in creating an ominous and immersive atmosphere for players to venture through. Unlike it’s predecessors, Bloodborne touts guns as a secondary weapon alongside the usual slice-and-dice weapons. For my play-through, I went with the blunderbuss and scythe. Another choice was wielding a pistol and great axe, but I just couldn’t shy away from a shotgun. When it comes to hardcore action-RPGs such as Bloodborne, you have to be patient as a player when it comes to confronting enemies. I’ve learned that taking on mobs of enemies is the worst move you can make unless you are the almost invulnerable ‘God of War.’ For that reason, I took it slow throughout the level. There was a moment where I came upon a long street where zombie-like creatures were parading further down in front of me. I knew I had the opportunity for a surprise attack, so I took out my handy molotov and threw it into about half of the dozen that were grouped together. Weirdly enough, some of the zombies kept moving, not noticing that their fellow peers were burnt to a crisp. It wasn’t until I got closer to try a back attack that they noticed me. At the end of the street, I came upon a locked door that was being pushed from the other side by what sounds like a large enemy. Coming around the side, I saw a goliath, about one and a half my size, that came at me. Thankfully there was a fountain positioned in the courtyard, which allowed me to lead the monster around leaving gaps for attacks.
As I continued, I was met by demonic dogs who were quick to attack unlike their zombie counter parts. They definitely caused issue when I accidentally aggravated some nearby enemies. When I arrived at a bridge, there was a mysterious man, with weapons like mine, just brooding in the corner. I chose not to attack him from experience, since NPCs can attack back and kill games like this. So I continued onward to immediately be routed by two humongous wolves (almost four times larger than the smaller ones that I encountered before). My instinct was to back away, and then I ended up by the mysterious man who then began attacking the wolves. I did not think I would have some sort of companion helping out, but I’m glad he did. There was another goliath down the street that I wanted to bait into the hunter NPC, but there was an invisible wall that didn’t let the goliath progress any farther (Darn). I took him out eventually, and then found myself at the end of the bridge. From the side of the bridge, a big mangled tree-like demon climbed up and and started lumbering over to me. It had especially large wood arms, which meant a lot of punching was about to come from this monster. With the narrow space of the bridge and the huge arms swinging around, this battle was not easy. Since ammo is scarce, moving in for melee attacks is the only way to take this guy down. Unfortunately, my dodging and attacks were not enough after having used up all of my healing potions. I did lose, but I wanted to jump in and try it again. The feeling of almost achieving victory, made me want to come back again and again till I obliterate the beast.
Bloodborne is challenging as much as its predecessors, but I like the environment that Japan Studio and From Software has created for this game even more. The ambiance just reeks of demonic activity lurking around every corner. It’s disgustingly perfect! I’m quite impressed with Bloodborne, and I look forward to the game’s release in March 2015.