Bloodborne may not have had dedicated stage time at Gamescom last week - in fact it actually appeared before Sony officially began their press conference - but it still stole some limelight with its atmospheric gameplay trailer.
Wrapping up a number of trailers for upcoming PlayStation games that debuted prior to Sony’s Gamescom press conference, Bloodborne offered two full minutes of brand new footage from the dark fantasy action-RPG. Overlaid with haunting melodies and a mysterious, unsettling voiceover, Bloodborne‘s newest trailer reinforces its gothic horror setting while at the same providing fans with the first official glimpse of bloody gameplay.
“Dear friend, take heed. The blood is foul; And when night falls the hunters return…And so the nightly hunt begins.”
As with all of From Software’s Souls titles, to which Bloodborne is loosely tied, the game is still somewhat wrapped in mystery, but that is to be attributed to an unconventional story and setting rather than a lack of information: We know that Bloodborne takes place in an ancient town called Yarnham, which has fallen under a curse, turning its inhabitants into monsters. We know that the player arrives in Yarnham on a pilgrimage, but soon has to fend off the diseased residents by the hundreds. The joy of Bloodborne (and the rest of Miyazaki’s games) is in discovering the nooks and crannies of each environment and finding new, more horrifying monsters to kill. Both activities flesh out the story and build the world’s palpable atmosphere, but we expect that this latest entry in the extended Souls universe will be just as cryptic and hauntingly beautiful as all the others, if not more. This trailer certainly paints a gorgeous picture of what’s to come.
Gamescom has also shed some light on the more technical aspects of Bloodborne‘s gameplay, now that journalists have been given an opportunity to go hands-on with a closed demo. Supposedly the game is looking to do away with the Souls series’s dependence on slow, defensive-driven combat. Rather than circling with shield in hand, waiting patiently for an enemy to open a window to strike, Bloodborne is making sure players will take the offensive. This is going to be a much quicker, aggressive-focused combat system. For one, it’s been repeated often that standing still and waiting for an opening will often lead to being swarmed. You can’t rely on patience to seal a win anymore. Now it’s also been revealed that Bloodborne features a health ‘regain’ system, which rewards players for being the aggressor – When taking damage, a portion of your health will be recoverable within a small window of time. If you manage to strike back and damage the enemy, you’ll gain back that amount of health. If you wait too long, all that damage will take permanent effect. It’s a clever way of leading the player from within the game’s design, and should remedy the slow and methodical strategy that so often becomes the bread and butter of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.
Perhaps the most exciting thing of all to come from Gamescom is the announcement that Bloodborne is promised to launch within the next six months. That puts the latest possible release date somewhere around the first weeks of February 2015, which is actually earlier than some rumors – which claimed a Spring 2015 release – have been suggesting.
Bloodborne is being developed exclusively for PS4.
Images: From Software