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E3 2014: Bloodborne

Posted on June 11, 2014 AT 10:00am

Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer From Software
Platform PS4
Release Date Q2.2015
You can read the rest of our Opinionated Guide to E3 2014 or head to our E3 hub for even more coverage.

The Rundown

After Sony Computer Entertainment passed on publishing Demon’s Souls outside of Japan, the company soon learned just how big of a mistake that was. Sony went back to the game’s developer, From Software, and struck up a deal to produce a second brand-new IP together—Bloodborne. This time around, the team at From is taking its trademark style of gameplay to a gothic Victorian era-style world filled with monsters and mystery.

The Verdict

I don’t like the name Bloodborne. Given the developer the game is coming from, it’s too generic and videogame-y for my tastes.

And, really, that’s about the only negative thing I have to say at this point. I’ve only seen a taste of From Software’s first outing on the new generation, and I already want more. There’s no question that I enjoyed the developer’s PS3/Xbox 360 projects, but whenever playing them, you could tell that From’s ambitions were bigger than the hardware they were built on. While Bloodborne definitely has a ways to go before it’s ready for primetime, the slice of the city of Yharnam on display was overflowing with personality, atmosphere, and architectural flair. For those who wondered if Dark Souls II’s weaker world design was because the Dark Souls team were off working on another project—a theory I definitely felt had some merit—what I saw of Bloodborne looks to reinforce that belief.

Don’t think this is just a new Souls title under a different name, however. The game’s director Hidetaka Miyazaki explained that Bloodborne is built around three principles: Exploration of the unknown, unique online concepts, and truly perilous combat. Miyazaki showed off that final element in a few ways, one of which is shifting combat to a more offense-oriented style. Shields are a thing of the past, baby—if you want to keep a hideous creature from taking a chunk out of you, you’ll need to blast them back with the firearm your characters wields in their left hand. Sometimes, change scares me, and I’ll admit that I’m a little scared of this change. I’m also curious and interested, though, as I am about whether we’ll see more transforming weapons like the revealed Saw Cleaver (a giant straight razor-esque blade that can be used either opened or closed).

I left the E3 presentation for Bloodborne with far more questions than I got answers and the harsh realization that it’ll be almost a year before I can get my hands on the finished game. Then again, it’s an awesome-looking next-gen adventure from one of my current favorite developers within the first two years of the PlayStation 4’s life.

Seriously, though—that thing where Cartman froze himself so that he didn’t have to wait the long months until the Wii’s release. Does that actually work in real life?

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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