I had huge trepidation even as the title screen came up. Despite a growing curiosity, I only picked up Bloodborne when I did because it was essentially free with the console. Otherwise, I was going to wait until somebody else could buy it for a birthday or something, to take away the regret if I hated it.
14 hours in and this is already shaping up to be one of my favourite games of all time.
Let me explain. I am a coward at hard action games. I could never play a Resident Evil game at any setting higher than Easy. I tried Devil May Cry as a teenager and struggled a whole lot. I hate having to learn complicated combos or enemy patterns before you can become successful, and I especially hate artificial or cheap tactics to make a game harder.
Bloodborne though, hard as it is, is a game with immense respect for the player. Not a single enemy has jump-scared through a window at me, nor (at least so far) has an enemy spawned out of nowhere behind my back when entering a room. The only times I’ve been snuck up on were due to my own negligence. Same for death, which happened a lot at first, but surprisingly a lot less as I’ve progressed (several hours into the Catherdral Ward and not a single death! Yet.).
This respect for the player is really empowering, and the confidence with which I find myself adventuring through this exceptionally deadly, beautiful world is astonishing to me, the former action coward.
It also helps that the combat isn’t at all padded or overly complex for the sake of it. No silly combos to learn through trial and error. Each button on the controller does one thing, and using this limited, direct toolset based on my own intuition within a situation enriches the sense that I’m the one doing the fighting, pulling off the impressive moves instead of pressing a series of buttons in an arbitrary way that doesn’t match up with what’s going on on screen.
So, just getting started as I may be, Bloodborne has already earned my respect.
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