It’s surprising that Bloodborne’s reveal, codenamed Project Beasts, was leaked prior to E3, especially considering that none of the gameplay snippets were found at E3. Instead, From Software and Sony showed off different sections of the game, featuring a quick look at the combat system and the world itself. Very reminiscent of Dark and Demon’s Souls, From Software is playing this one close to the chest, but at the same time, creating something different enough from its predecessors to justify your attention.
The story is that a plague has hit the world and has turned most of the inhabitants into mindless, crazed psychopaths. This is essentially From Software’s replacement for the undead from their last couple of games. As per usual, their attack patterns are something to get down and perfect, otherwise you’ll be taking some unnecessary hits on the way. The world itself is living without you. In the past, it was mainly just creatures and enemies standing idly by, waiting for the player to get in their cone of vision. While that’s still somewhat the case, with enemies lurking around corners to get the jump on you, the infected will now go about their own paths. This means, even if the player is walking over a bridge, he’ll see the enemies below divert their attention to something else. There will be even non-infected individuals in the world that will be fighting their own fights, and if you help them with their survival, they may tag along with you until the boss is defeated in the area. It really gives off the sense that the world is a living, breathing entity just ripe for exploration and probing.
Unfortunately, as big as this game will surely be, the demonstration was only ten to twenty minutes long, giving us only a taste of what to expect in terms of gameplay. The trench-coated character was equipped with a fancy giant transforming blade that has a traditional slashing blow with the heavy attack, and a more stunning, short-ranged strike with the regular attack. This was equipped onto one arm while in his other was something new to the formula. While in Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls we had projectile weapons such as crossbows and longbows, this time we have a shotgun. This is a much more closed ranged weapon, as it should be, and can do strong damage to anyone taking the blast within the spread.
Bloodborne also seems fairly difficult. While the presenter didn’t die during his quest, and there was no HUD to indicate how much health was being lost, he did have to consume something every time he was struck, giving off that these infected hit hard. Other than the humanoid infected, the last enemy that was shown before the demo concluded was a giant creature, about the size and broadness of the Taurus Demon. By just the scale alone, this enemy could have easily been mistaken for a boss, as this hulking beast was able to grasp the player in one hand and throw him across the bridge. Suffice it to say, there will be some rather creative, yet grotesque creatures to fight.
Bloodborne is by far one of the best games at E3 2014. Honestly, it was surprising they even demoed it in this fashion considering how very far off it seems to be, but it did not disappoint. It’s everything we’ve come to love with the Souls series, all neatly wrapped up in a Victorian era-esque setting and spectacular visual fidelity. If this was any indication what we’ll be getting next year, it’s definitely a good sign.