The Dark Souls fans among you are probably acutely aware that this Wednesday marks the release of Bloodborne, the PlayStation-exclusive title from the studio behind the Souls games.
Before the game hits store shelves, I thought I’d share a few things non-fans may not know about it.
Links to other Souls games
Firstly, Bloodborne is not a sequel to the original Demon’s Souls that came out for the PS3 back in the day, and nor does it follow on from either of the Dark Souls games.
When asked by Mstarz.com about the ties between Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne, director Hidetaka Miyazaki explained, “…it carries the DNA. It carries the DNA of Demon’s Souls and its very specific level design. And even in Bloodborne, the upper maps, the maps above ground, are all along the lines of Demon’s Souls and very specifically designed.”
Unlike previous From Software games, Bloodborne isn’t all about the melee combat; it also features guns, allowing players to take on enemies from a distance. Guns won’t ever replace melee weapons, but they’re intended to complement them and add a bit of tactical variety to the game’s combat. Think “Dark Souls with shotguns”.
There is both head-to-head and co-operative multiplayer. Players can host games that support up to four people (friends and strangers alike) and take on bosses co-operatively, as well as invade the games of others for some player-versus-player action.
When co-op games are hosted, the host opens their session up to being invaded; as in the Souls games, whoever wins the PvP battle earns themselves a reward.
Gamers can find their friends’ games by exchanging passwords, which should make playing together a lot easier than it was for Dark Souls.
Players will also be able to leave messages for others via the game’s “asynchronous multiplayer”, warning other players of their impending doom, hidden treasure and other useful snippets of info as in the Souls games.
Completely new to a From Software game is the addition of Chalice Dungeons, multi-level dungeons found beneath Yarnham’s ruined streets that are procedurally-generated and full of monsters and loot. The idea being, should players get bored of the static above-street world, they can always tackle these dungeons and see something new.
Perhaps the most interesting change to the combat – other than the addition of firearms – is the possibility of regaining lost health by being aggressive.
When you get hit, your health drops but a small marker appears on your health bar, and should you retaliate in time, your health will return to that marker.
It’s a subtle encouragement to stay in the fight rather than hitting and running as so many of us did in the Souls games.
Bloodborne is out on Wednesday for the PlayStation 4, and sells for R899.