Video Game Review: Bloodborne


Gabe Allegretto, Staff Writer

Have you ever read the work of H.P. Lovecraft and thought to yourself, “I’d really like to be one of the people in these novels?” Well, luckily, there is a game which may interest you. This game also happens to be my favorite game of all time, and it is called Bloodborne. Bloodborne was released in 2015 by Fromsoft Studios, the creators of the Dark Souls franchise, and it has remained a beloved favorite by fans ever since. In the remainder of this article, I will be going over the basic plot of the game while also reviewing it. So, I highly recommend that you play it before possibly spoiling it for yourself.

The plot of Bloodborne is one which is not easily explained. In all of Fromsoft’s video games, the player has to decipher the story through world exploration, which has led to a lore as deep and intricate as other series such as Lord of the Rings. Basically, you start the game as a “hunter” in this mysterious, Victorian-like world, where everything is gloomy and gothic in architecture. It all seems beautiful for a few seconds before you realize there’s a horrible plague that’s turning people into creatures of darkness! This is where the Lovecraftian aspect comes in.

The game gets its name from this special type of blood that’s frequently used throughout the game. The blood has mystical healing properties, but if used too much, it turns you into a nightmarish beast. That’s where our character comes into play. The hunters are individuals who are bound by a contract to slay these beasts because their lives were saved. Our character is no different. We received a “blood-transfusion,” which saved our lives, but also resulted in us becoming hunters.

As your character progresses through the game, cutting down more and more monsters, you start to realize that there’s even more at play than what you originally thought. Not only are there abhorrent beasts lurking, but there are Eldritch horrors that are also skulking about. So, as it turns out, the person who turned us into a Hunter worked in conjunction with a group of people who sought supreme knowledge. They were known as the “Healing Church.” And where did they look to find this knowledge? What they believed to be “gods.” Except, these gods were a lot less anthropomorphic like we tend to visualize, instead boasting tentacle-like appendages and even dozens of eyes.

The game reveals the dark secrets of the hunters and the Healing Church through some dialogue between the very limited amount of characters which you encounter. The bulk of what the player will discover comes from descriptions of items you pick up throughout the game. To give you a gauge of how deep the lore of Bloodborne is there are numerous YouTube videos averaging about an hour in length that just explain the plot of the game. Hearing that number may deter you from learning more about the game, but I can promise you with certainty that for anyone who enjoys gritty, dark games, this is near perfection.

In regards to the actual combat within the game, it’s extremely fast paced. The player’s reflexes must be ready for any slight movement that comes from their opponent. When facing off against otherworldly foes or rampant beasts, you might think that it’s best to attack from a distance. Well, not for the hunter. The game is comprised of almost entirely melee weapons which all have some sort of “trick” ability. The trick ability allows the melee weapon to transform in someway. This could be by extending the weapon to give it more reach, adding magic to it, or even making it into a completely different weapon. This adds a level of replay ability to the game, as no two weapons are alike, and each one offers a different experience.

I will end just as I began, this game is by far my favorite of all time. In my opinion, nothing will ever come close to replicating the experience a person gets from this game, and my only complaint is that there isn’t a second game. It is worth mentioning that the game is unfortunately only on the PlayStation, so it isn’t accessible to everyone. However, I still find that watching people play through the game is also highly entertaining. So, now that you’re well-versed in the esoteric game that is Bloodborne, happy hunting.