Bloodborne Is Ruining Other Games For Me

Last weekend, I tried to jump into some video games. I spent a couple of minutes with the very flawed Anthem, briefly glanced at the Tales of Vesperia remaster on my Switch, and even started a new file in Final Fantasy IX, one of my favourite classic role-playing games.

All of these games had one problem in common: They weren’t Bloodborne.

Not long ago, I knew very little about From Software’s 2015 action game. I had played a few hours but gave up shortly afterward, thinking it wasn’t for me. Then, in January of this year, a lost Kotaku Splitscreen bet got me begrudgingly restarting Bloodborne from the very beginning, and now I realise I was about as ignorant as Micolash thinking he could contact the Great Ones by putting on a Mensis Cage.

Bloodborne is incredible. It’s mind-blowingly good. From the terror of a surprise Hunter attack robbing thousands of your blood echoes to the glorious satisfaction of killing Martyr Logarius after 50-something tries, Bloodborne is a game full of emotional moments that burrow deeply inside of your brain and never come out.

This is a masterpiece, a game that’s dripping with lore and texture, one that’s always challenging but never cheap or insurmountable.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint exactly what makes Bloodborne feel so special, and I don’t know if that’s really possible. It’s a combination of everything—the way it feels to swing a giant axe down on the head of a squishy monster, the way it rewards careful exploration and play, the way its story takes work to uncover and then is all the more satisfying when it finally clicks.

The way you can read online that everyone thinks Ludwig is one of the game’s most difficult bosses, then defeat him in just a couple of tries. (Eat it, Ludwig.)

And it’s ruining other games for me. I’m currently in the thick of Bloodborne’s downloadable content, having already beaten most of the game’s normal bosses, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s all over. What’s going to compare to reaching the Nightmare Frontier for the first time?

What could surpass my feeling when I finally realised that the way to beat Vicar Amelia was to turn off target locking? What other game has the weight of Bloodborne’s sword swings and the thrill of its Visceral attacks?

It’s gotten to the point where when I’m not playing Bloodborne, I’m watching Bloodborne lore videos and reading Bloodborne wikipedia pages to try to wrap my head around the story of Master Willem and crew. Obsession might be an understatement.

My next boss is the lovely Maria, and I’ve heard I’ll be in for one hell of a ride when I get to Laurence and the Orphan of Kos. But I’m already dreading what’ll happen after that. I’ll feel hollow inside, like nothing else can compare. At least there’s New Game Plus.


Comments

    Sekiro is out soon, buddy. Take these few weeks to reconnect with friends, shun alcohol and enjoy a life of quiet moderation.

    Last edited 27/02/19 10:35 am

      I'm really worried what the internet reaction to Sekiro is going to be. I know it's the internet and that taking anything it says seriously is looking to die early of an aneurysm but I can't help but people are going to say "This isn't mah Soulsborne!" when everyone should be well aware by now that FromSoftware has been channeling games like Tenchu and Bushido Blade when designing it.

      But who cares. DMC 5 will whet my appetite and then Sekiro will be my feast.

        Yep. Who gives a shit. I'm cooked when it comes to souls mechanics. DMC5 and Sekiro are God's own gaming country and I will be a proud citizen.

    LOL, it's hard to believe we were once so wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about Bloodborne. Brings back memories...

      ...or bright-eyed, even. I'm half-asleep...

        Grant us eyes, so that we may see this game anew... if only it were possible to experience it for the first time more than once.

    It's so bizarre to me that Bloodborne is almost 4 years old! Surely the GOAT game for me. Nothing will ever surpass it and the Soulsborne series has just ruined all other games for me.

    For me BB and the Souls games are examples of great creative art, whether that be games, movies or books. They are 100% complete in themselves, 90% which is revealed to the user, and 80% is explained. They leave you satisfied with what you’ve seen, but a sense that there is more there to be explored.

    I never finished the game but the Vicar fight still plays in my mind now. Those shrieks were ungodly.

    What a great game, but Nioh absolutely trumps it, that game has ruined other games for me.

      Playing the first few levels of Nioh was the game that finally made the formula for these types of games click for me and made me buy DS remaster, I will go back to it after I finish BB and play through DS3 and DnS.

    Best thing about games like Bloodborne is they raise expectations, so we have more masterpieces like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, and recently Metro Exodus.

    I felt the same way. Till I went on holiday right after beating Rom. When I came back I just was not interested anymore. Nothing about Yahargul appealed to me. N the bell ringing maidens respawning enemies every few seconds annoyrd me even more.. n just like that I gradually stopped playing.

    See I didn't find Bloodborne that great. It was good, and I did play it through to completion, including all the optional areas, and got the "good" ending. The world it created was excellent. But there were a lot of things that felt off about it.

    1. The game does a piss-poor job actually explaining vital game mechanics to the player. Stuff like insight, or how certain weapons do more damage to certain monster types, for example.
    2. The boss difficulty is all over the place, with most bosses getting easier as the game progressed rather than harder. In fact the path to the bosses was more difficult than the bosses themselves most of the time.
    3. Lantern placement is similarly all over the place, with either multiple lanterns within a small area or being overly sparse.
    4. Unpredictable and cheap environmental kills that you can't possibly see coming unless you're playing online and you see messages from other players, such as logs falling on your head or visible hands crushing you for trying to open a door.
    5. There's zero gameplay reason to ever change your armour because your armour is almost purely aesthetic. I played the the entire game using the armour I purchased at the beginning for a few hundred blood echoes and never found a set that was overall better.
    6. UI is poorly designed - you can't compare things in the shop to stuff you already have, text is small, and you can't fugging pause the game even while playing single player offline. Wtf.
    7. Lore is convoluted and confusing and makes even less sense if you don't find a few vital items that help you to put the pieces together. Hell even the "experts" that I've seen try to explain it still have no idea about a lot of things.
    8. RPG elements in general are VERY lacking. In fact I wouldn't really even call it an RPG, more like an action game with some RPG-like stuff shoved into it.

    Overall, it was good but by no means a GOAT or even close to it.

      Oh and one more thing, the game discourages exploration with how the blood echoes drop when you die. If you want to collect those blood echoes, you don't have a choice but to follow the same path back to where you died to try to collect them again. If you died again before you got there, those blood echoes would be gone forever. Sure you can try exploring another path anyway and just accept you'll never see those blood echoes again and some players are fine with that but to me that was a pretty stupid system.

        Git gud.

          Figured someone would say that and totally miss the part right at the beginning of the post where I mentioned I finished the game plus all optional areas and got the good ending. Also the part where I said most of the bosses were disappointingly easy. But sure go ahead and use that term if it makes you feel better.

      Everything you dislike is why it's GOAT. It's just not for you and that's fine.

        This post doesn't make any sense. How does a poorly designed UI, unexplained mechanics, lacking gameplay elements, up and down difficulty, a superfluous armour system etc equate it to being GOAT? You actually like the game's awful UI? You like not being able to pause the game if you need a toilet break? You like the astronomically long loading times? You like needing to look up a wiki to learn about even basic mechanics? I guess it's fine if you do but a GOAT is it definitely not.

          Didn't have PC access and couldn't be bothered posting on phone

          1. The game does a piss-poor job actually explaining vital game mechanics to the player. Stuff like insight, or how certain weapons do more damage to certain monster types, for example.

          The insight mechanic remains unexplained for a reason and is a lore device. The lore also explains weapon damage in roundabout ways. You can also just try hitting things and learn what does what. If you really want this information everyone in the first world basically has internet.

          2. The boss difficulty is all over the place, with most bosses getting easier as the game progressed rather than harder. In fact the path to the bosses was more difficult than the bosses themselves most of the time.

          You might have been over leveled if you were playing well and not dropping echoes. Did you play Old Hunters? There's no way you can tell me that was easier. My only beef is the same as with other FROM games in that the big enemies are sometimes hard for the camera to track effectively.

          3. Lantern placement is similarly all over the place, with either multiple lanterns within a small area or being overly sparse.

          Some of the runs are harder than others but there are always shortcuts to unlock. The only place that's a real pain o me is frontier, which sucks compared to most of the other areas for sure.

          4. Unpredictable and cheap environmental kills that you can't possibly see coming unless you're playing online and you see messages from other players, such as logs falling on your head or visible hands crushing you for trying to open a door.

          You only die to these things by being careful, there are really loud audio cues and visual cues to all the traps. Amygdala is a plot device.

          5. There's zero gameplay reason to ever change your armour because your armour is almost purely aesthetic. I played the the entire game using the armour I purchased at the beginning for a few hundred blood echoes and never found a set that was overall better.

          It's great to wear what you like. The sets are mainly about mitigating damage types (specifically frenzy). Did you not find something you thought looked cool? It's not a loot game.

          6. UI is poorly designed - you can't compare things in the shop to stuff you already have, text is small, and you can't fugging pause the game even while playing single player offline. Wtf.

          I never noticed the text and not pausing is a time honoured thing in souls. I never got bothered by it and always play online.

          7. Lore is convoluted and confusing and makes even less sense if you don't find a few vital items that help you to put the pieces together. Hell even the "experts" that I've seen try to explain it still have no idea about a lot of things.

          This is wonderful. I love it. I've been arguing with my friends about the church and stuff for years now.

          8. RPG elements in general are VERY lacking. In fact I wouldn't really even call it an RPG, more like an action game with some RPG-like stuff shoved into it.

          It's an action RPG with build preference. Sekiro will be more streamlined again since it's just character action, but I enjoy the FROM system generally.

          The game is about how deep you want to go into it and it's refreshing not to have tool tips and bullshit in the way. I wish they'd pare it down even further and it looks like Sekiro is that wish.

    You will always have the Chalice Dungeons to do Jason!!

    I mean, these are pretty much all part and parcel of the "soulsborne" formula, and so while you're not really wrong, the post is kind of redundant because all these elements are expected by anyone who has played one before. Just sayin

    never understood the soulds game, I had tried 2 when it came out, and then bloodborne, and nothing clicked... then I played Dark Souls remastered... iv finished that and DS2 on ps4. I played the first 5 or 6 hours of demon souls when my ps3 broke (I have a new one and will get back to it and yakuza 3 soon), Currently Stuck on Orphan of Kos, and im brick walled, I can brearly even get him to phase 2.

    So far I feel like I love BB less than DS1, and probably on par with DS2 (I hated DS2 till about the 1/2 way point and only realised how much I was into it by the end), it has so much going for it lore wise, but the combat isnt as fun for me and at this point I just want it to be over. I might change my mind over time like I did with DS2

    Haven't played souls or bb but I remember having this experience with castlevania sotn. Friends made me play it after initially thinking it wasn't for me. It's one of my all time favourite games now. Being a huge fan of Tenchu I'm looking forward to Sekiro though.

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