Bloodborne Review

Bloodborne Review
Where to Buy Best Buy
Price MRSP $59.99
Release Date 03/24/2015
Bottom Line Everything good about the franchise comes back, but some may be disappointed by the lack of magical abilities.


We review Bloodborne the latest game in the Demon Souls / Dark Souls series. Bloodborne keeps the soul crushing difficulty but adds in fresh new features.

Advice: Below is our ongoing review of Bloodborne. We discuss how it compares to other Fromsoftware games and provide a few tips and tricks. You won’t find true spoilers, but we do give insight (pun intended) into the Bloodborne universe. So if you want to go into the game fresh consider putting off our review until you’ve sunk a few ours into the game.

Overview of Bloodborne and other Fromsoftware games

Whether you have played Demon Souls and the Dark Souls games or not, if you like a challenge and you like action RPG games then you will love Bloodborne.

Like all of Fromsoftware’s previous titles, the beauty of Bloodborne isn’t limited to it’s graphics, sound, depth, or lore, but from the core gameplay mechanics and level design. Every inch you move forward in Bloodborne feels like a well won victory.

TIP: The souls games, including Bloodborne, are meant to provide a challenge. That being said, once you have explored a level feel free to make a run for it. You can run past almost every enemy in the game aside from a few select bosses. Consider finding a nice “grinding” spot to catch up leveling up your character.

Before Fromsoftware came into the limelight for modern gamers, they also produced the successful Armored Core games and the spiritual successor to the souls games King’s Field (remember that one 30-something plus? King’s Field was one of the first RPG’s for Playstation in Japan. King’s Field 2 was confusingly named “King’s Field” in America.)


You Died.

Bloodborne isn’t for the faint of heart, anyone who is familiar with the series should know that the point of the games is to push the limits of your sanity.

There are no cheap deaths in Bloodborne, but you will die and you will die often. When you die you keep your items but lose all experince points / currency called “blood echoes”. You get one chance to make it back to your “bloodstain” and reclaim your blood echoes, die along the way and lose it all. It’s actually more frustrating then it sounds, but the challenge and the risk /reward is addicting in all the right ways. The sense of discovery and fear is hard to compare to any other video game.

TIP: If you feel that the game is “too hard” you probably skipped over a portion of the game. Bloodborne is arguably more open ended than the souls games. If the Boss is breaking your spirits, there is a good chance you are under-leveled.


Simple Makes Different

Unlike almost all other Fromsoftware games, Bloodborne is fairly simplified. There aren’t hordes of items, there is no magic in the traditional sense, and shields have been replaced with guns.

There also isn’t a complex upgrade system and there are no armor upgrades. What it lacks in variety and crafting it makes up for with all weapons being very cool and upgrade resources being scarce enough to force the player to favor a play style for most of the game.

TIP: Upgrade your weapon early and often. You’ll get more than enough resources needed to make weapons +1 to +6 mid-way through the game. Upgrading your weapon is the single most effective way to increase damage.

Trick Weapons

The new trick weapons are F’n awesome, they each get their own sets of attacks and can be transformed into another weapon (hence the trick). So for instance you’ll get a cane that becomes a whip, or a short medium-quick axe that becomes a long range axe when you press L1.

TIP: There is less to upgrade in Bloodborne and less weapons and armor to play with. In turn, there is no one right weapon or armor set. Each enemy, boss, and sometimes level is designed to be strong against certain weapon, armor item, combinations and be weak against others. You’ll find yourself in an uphill battle if you try to use the starting weapon for the whole game.


Guns are sort of like a mix between the old games bows combined with a parry system. They are cool, but very technical. Your average player won’t use the gun much outside of PVP, while a hardcore souls veteran will most likely use the gun for every battle. The gun has a high risk and high reward, it’ll stun your enemy opening you up for a critical hit, but the base damage is pitiful.

No Magic (ish)

While there is no “magic” in Bloodborne you will run across a few items that use bullets that function like traditional spells. We won’t spoil it, but about mid-way through the game arcane starts to become somewhat viable.

Tip: If something does elemental damage it is scaling off of arcane. This isn’t always obvious. You’ll be able to switch the damage types of weapons making arcane more useful as you progress in the game.

Stats Simple

Stats are also simplified as well. Instead of a complex web of stats that even veterans still are kind of unclear about, there are only a few straightforward stats.

All the simplification is a slight burn to those of us who liked the complexity of the old games, but it doesn’t feel like a letdown. Bloodborne isn’t Dark Souls III, it’s Bloodborne.

TIP: Don’t expect to max out strength, skill, bloodtinge, and arcane (the stats that boost weapon damage). Instead either balance your build, or for new timers focus on strength and skill. Strength and skill will provide the most options and raw damage and be more useful early on in the game. Don’t ignore vitality and endurance either.

Open World Equals You Are Missing Lots

Bloodborne is far from linear. As we mentioned before it’s very easy to skip over large chunks of the game and bosses. This is very cool, but just be warned you can easily find yourself way ahead of where you should be for your level. Go back to all the previous levels and dig through corners, there is almost no instance where revising an old level won’t turn up a new secret. Sometimes going back is actually the only way to move forward.

Less Bosses

In Dark Souls II you would see a “fog wall” (bosses are behind fog walls) what felt like every five minutes. In Bloodborne the focus is more on levels and less on boss fights. It’s bad or good, but it certainly is the case.

Jolly Cooperation

The key to survival in Bloodborne and the other souls games is multiplayer. Don’t make the mistake of playing the game offline, “a hunter is never alone”. Sometimes that means someone invading your game, but more often than not the notes other players leave and the occasional summoning of a cooperator will the only real path through the game. You can have up to two other hunters join you for any given level or boss. The game is meant to be played with others, you’ll get plenty of “insight” (the stuff you use to summon other players” so don’t hesitate to use it.

Tip: Set your network settings to “worldwide”. You’ll need to be within 10 levels of a person to get help, the game just came out so you could find yourself waiting for what seems like forever to match up on a local server. You can also set a password to meet up with another hunter who is your level range.

It’s Not All Good

The lamest thing about the game are the load times and the back-step of not being able to warp around from save points. In the last game when you rested at a save point you could pick another save point to warp to. In Bloodborne you oddly have to go back to home base and then warp every time. The load times are longer than the souls games so it can actually get a little frustrating.

The only other real compliant about Bloodborne is that your “blood viles” (the things that recharge health mid-level) don’t refill. Instead you have to farm more or pay a rather steep price to recharge. This means that there is a little more necessary grinding in Bloodborne.

But Bloodborne is Still Great

The best thing about Bloodborne outside of the gameplay is the atmosphere and the story. We won’t spoil either but suffice to say it is unlike any other game you’ll ever play. You may go into the game thinking you are getting standard gothic warewolves versus hunters fare, but you would be vastly underestimating the web of darkness and dispair underlying Bloodborne. It’s darker than dark souls, and ugh. Ok I won’t spoil it… but “you are in the know right…?”

Go play Bloodborne now and show that trick weapon who is boss.


Author Rating

Total average


The Details

Where to BuyBest Buy
Price MRSP $59.99
Release Date03/24/2015
Bottom LineEverything good about the franchise comes back, but some may be disappointed by the lack of magical abilities.



Bloodborne Review
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