E3 2014: Bloodborne Spiritually Succeeds Demon’s Souls Exclusively on PS4

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Just as Demon’s Souls was considered a spiritual successor to the old King’s Field series, From Software’s PlayStation 4 exclusive action-RPG Bloodborne, previously known by the codename Project Beast, is a spiritual successor to the PS3 exclusive Demon’s Souls. The game reunites From Software, SCE Japan Studio and director Hidetaka Miyazaki on an intriguing new project that carries over many familiar concepts from the Souls games while transporting players to a new setting that sheds the dark fantasy theme for sort of a gothic Lovecraftian horror vibe.

Bloodborne isn’t scheduled to release until sometime next year and as a result the game’s showing at E3 seems to be rather low key, because there isn’t a whole lot of information being revealed at the moment. Piecing together details from various sources, this is what we know.

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The game is set in Yharnam, a city which was once home to some kind of powerful medicine but has since become cursed and overrun by nightmarish monsters. From the PlayStation blog:

Bloodborne takes place in an ancient, forgotten city called Yharnam, known for an old medical remedy. Over the years, many hopeless and afflicted people have made long pilgrimages to Yharnam in search of help. As the main character, you are one of these travelers. However, you find that Yharnam is also cursed with a horrible endemic illness. You must navigate the perilous streets of this city, fighting off nightmarish creatures, malformed beasts and deranged mobs stricken with this horrific illness. Face your fears as you discover the secrets and mysteries of this dark and horrific world where danger, death and madness lurk around every corner.

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Concerning gameplay, the core mechanics definitely appear very Souls-centric judging by a short clip of demo footage posted by GameSpot (see below), however the combat is being shifted in a slightly different direction to deemphasize slower sword-and-board tactics for more offense-driven combat using weapons like guns and saw cleavers. An early example commonly used to describe the combat talks about the player being able to blast enemies with a shotgun to knock them off guard, and then taking the open opportunity to strike. This should open up a whole new style of strategy for dealing with foes and avoiding death.

Also from the PlayStation blog:

In Bloodborne, the combat is based on intense life-threatening battles. One of the ways we are bringing that sense of danger to life is by keeping the deep strategic elements from Demon’s Souls, while also transitioning from the passive and block-and-attack style of Demon’s Souls to a quicker, more offensive and active combat style with close-range weapons and guns.

From the beautiful and melancholic architecture to the debris lining the street, Bloodborne will deliver an extremely rich and detailed world, all thanks to the power of the PlayStation 4 system. In addition, the PS4 system has allowed us to have an expanded draw distance, so we can show more of the world at any one time. New lighting effects allow us to add more atmosphere and tension to the game, making the horrifyingly detailed beasts and giant boss enemies you’ll be facing even more frightening.

I hope to be able to share more about our online features later this year, but I can say that we are developing new kinds of online experiences that allow users to share their adventures. We also look forward to giving fans new ways of playing and sharing thanks via the PS4 system’s Share capabilities.

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And Director Hidetaka Miyazaki has even issued an early message:

“Creating Bloodborne as a completely new game on the new PlayStation 4 hardware has allowed us to really push the envelope in myriad ways. That being said, in more ways than one, it also very much retains our distinct, signature style. As has been at the core of our development philosophy since Demon’s Souls, we make true games for people who love games. Please watch for more to come on Bloodborne, and thank you very much for your support.”

Finally, here is a video interview from Sony’s E3 booth combined with the game’s reveal trailer (fast forward to around six minutes in if you just want to see the trailer):

So, bits and pieces of information are slowly rising to the surface, all of which looks and sounds incredible. I imagine Sony and From Software are saving up for a more thorough Bloodborne presentation at the Tokyo Game Show later in the year, but as soon as additional details come to our attention we’ll be sure to let you know.

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Source: E3 2014: Bloodborne Gameplay Demo [GameSpot]
Source: E3 2014: New Bloodborne Details and First Screens Released [IGN]
Source: Bloodborne Coming Exclusively to PS4 in 2015, New Details [PlayStation.Blog]
Source: Bloodborne [PlayStation.com]

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!