Bloodborne is… fantastic?
I have mixed feelings, to be entirely honest with you. On one hand, the game looks visually fantastic. I just love the gothic atmosphere, and the enemy design is amazing.
The difficulty is something that I’m currently uncertain about. Now, I’ll admit that the game is hard, and if you’re outnumbered by enemies, odds are death will be with you soon.
However, I also find that the game is generally quite easy. Once you’ve figured out what to do, you can easily clear out entire areas with little to no risk to your well being. In fact, the first time I went to fight against the earliest boss, I got him down to his second form without taking any damage myself. Sure, I ended up dying rather quickly after that bastard transformed, but that was mostly just because I was screaming “what the fuck!” at my television in total and complete shock, which affected my reaction time. (I also didn’t use my gun, cause I hate my gun)
So, yeah; I’m confused. The game somehow blends hard with easy, while never quite falling into either category. It’s oddly perfect, actually. Yet, it has also caused a few embarrassing deaths, mostly caused by my ego and cockyness, where I’d go into what I assumed was an easy area, only to die because I misjudged my awesomeness.
My one and probably only major complaint with Bloodborne, is the lazy level design. There are a few areas that are void of all life, yet still require you to traverse a fair distance to arrive to these areas. These aren’t even hidden areas, but are just off to the side of a main path. For instance, there’s a medium sized room located in the Central Yharnam sewers. I went in there while exploring, and was surprised to discover that there was nothing at all inside. I expected some type of hidden monster to jump out at me through the darkness, or perhaps an environmental trap. Honestly, I expected something, but got nothing.
The levels are also fairly predictable. Like, do you see a ton of destructible objects? Break them, as they’re probably hiding a hidden path or short cut. I mean, it’s a cool concept, sure; but it’s just predictable. The levels seem to be designed in a very logical way, which is both a good, and a bad thing. You can also clearly see where the different ‘pieces’ connect to each other, almost like they used a very high quality level asset from Unity.
Perhaps it’s just me, as I’ve had experience with video game engines and level design. Most games aren’t so obvious, and try to hide the repeating assets by spacing them out, but Bloodborne just doesn’t seem to care. They reuse textures and full assets, and they do so with their heads held high. They know that the game is still addictively fun, and can therefore put less effort on level design, and more on shear gameplay.
What are your thoughts on Bloodborne? Let me know in the comments below.