For the record, I remain firm in my belief that there are some basic mechanics problems with Bloodborne .

However, aside from all that, everyone is talking about the game's difficulty. I've been thinking about it for a while and in some ways, you could argue that Bloodborne is what this industry desperately needs.

Make no mistake, it still isn't quite my cup of tea. I was once a diligent, determined player who embraced challenges and reveled in surviving and conquering. But honestly, it was more of a phase and I'm past it now. Hence, a game like this will never fully appeal to me; I have other interests and my gaming has significantly changed over the years. That all being said, there's something about From Software's effort that goes beyond the standard realm of higher difficulty. It's not just about making a game for the hardcore, nor is it about brutal difficulty for the sake of inciting frustration and anger. No, this is something else…

What's most important, and what stands out most to me after my time with the game, is the fact that we have so few games today that require our full attention. Let me explain that: What I mean is that as the industry has become more mainstream, the products have had no choice but to become more accessible. And I'm okay with that; in fact, I like it, because it means I can enjoy myself without spending countless hours trying to overcome a particular obstacle. But when we progress in Bloodborne , we experience a feeling very much unlike the feeling we get when beating a relatively easy title. It's not better , mind you, it's just different . And we have so little of it today.

Furthermore, it doesn't revolve entirely around the concept of ultimate success. It's the experience; it's the adventure you traversed to reach that lofty plateau. Every step is riddled with anxiety and a thrilling sense of urgency and fear. It's because we know death means something; it's because the world the developers created is having a big impact on us. How many games keep us emotionally invested – and when I say "emotionally," I mean chemically; i.e., focused eyes, a faster pulse rate, etc. – throughout? Thing is, with Bloodborne you never look away. You can't for two reasons: First, you know you can't because if you relax your guard for a second, you could be dead. Second, you don't want to look away. It's this combination that permeates and leaves a lasting impression.

I probably wouldn't play more games like Bloodborne . I'd try them, marvel at how good they are, realize they're still not for me, and put them away. But at the same time, I'd appreciate the effort because we really do need experiences like this in the industry.

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DemonNeno
DemonNeno
5 years ago

We do need more games like bloodborne in a sense of immersion. The game could be easy and maintain it. No button mashing. No step by step tutorials. No save points to spare you when it gets difficult to figure out movesets. Now, dial down the difficulty and you can still experience a lot of that without it requiring most of us two dozen attempts to get past an area.

Personally, I torment myself through the get go in order to get past the combat barrier. I'll pass on the details, but let's just say that I'm kind of stuck. Do I like that? Initially, no. I don't think I'll ever enjoy dying. I enjoy progress of skills the same way I can deal with being horrible at sports. Winning isn't as humbling to me as learning from your weaknesses. Since no one really dies in bloodborne or the basketball court, I'm all good with it.

I say bring it on. Would venture to say that it reminds me of Castlevania 2.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
5 years ago

As I age and spare time becomes rarer and important I keep asking myself "Why am I playing this?" It's important, because if the answer isn't good or doesn't match what the game is providing then I have better things to do.

And I think developers need to ask that too. In this case, Bloodborne is for people who want to walk that hard, or if you like, smart, path to victory. Why they do that I don't know, but I bet they know. It provides something they need.

It's a mistake to assume gaming should just be about having fun. I just got two injections of modern Final Fantasy and they are both problematic. I asked myself, "Why did I play FF in the past?" It wasn't to have fun, it was for the big emotional ride. These new FF's are trying to be fun games only. Missions and action packed flashiness. Sure it might be fun, but I'm not there to have fun for an hour or two I'm there for something that used to periodically change my life and the way I thought about things.

We need more games like that. Beyond Two Souls had it's troubles, but we need more games that you play for those deeper experiences. Cuz they are being killed in favor of bite sized 140 characters of fun time.

My opinion.

Axe99
Axe99
5 years ago

A good opinion, very thoughtful – deep is good :).

vatoloco47
vatoloco47
5 years ago

Exactly right! 🙂 Reason why FFIX is one of my favorite games of all time is the fact it was a journey and not just a game. You actually connect amd feel and care what happens to its characters. Games don't have that connection anymore.

Beamboom
Beamboom
5 years ago

" I'd try them, marvel at how good they are, realize they're still not for me, and put them away. But at the same time, I'd appreciate the effort because we really do need experiences like this in the industry."
That's exactly, to the letter how I feel about the too linear games. 🙂

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
5 years ago

Yeeaaaaah, but I think we all get the sense that you sincerely believe they're inferior. 😉

Beamboom
Beamboom
5 years ago

That is how you like to see it, yes. 🙂
But I don't see them as inferior more than like when I don't want to spend time on driving simulators or fighting games. Are they then inferior? Well, maybe in relation to my preferences.

But it doesn't mean I want simulators, fighting games or linear railway adventures to go away. I want more diversity, not less. To say "no thanks" is a luxury.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/28/2015 12:47:01 PM

mk ultra
mk ultra
5 years ago

Yes we do. Only a couple hours and a few dozen deaths in but I'm hooked. I find this much more accessible than my attempt at Demon Souls. Never tried Dark Souls. It's hard, but it almost always feels like my fault when I die.

Rachet_JC_FTW
Rachet_JC_FTW
5 years ago

yeah i agree most definatley we need more of these types of games and no affence ben and i know for good reason you don't have time but sometimes i think that games have gotten too easy at times not all games but quite alot which does bother me cos games used to be more challenging and i've always like that and the sense of accomplise ment you got from them. for arguments sake a good example have is that rachet 2 was way easier in alot of respects to rachet 1 but then rachet 3 is back up a notch and i know some series are like that but i don't like to feel like a game was a walk in the park then its almost not enjoy able for me i like a bit of a challenge personally as part of the fun factor i think ive always kinda been like that. but i digress and i know i probably will change that a bit when i start working but atm nah i like the game to be challenging other wise isn't almost not fun cos then i just get bored theres nothing to keep my attention like you say "focused eyes, a faster pulse rate, etc. – throughout" thats my ideaof a good game, so yeah i will agree to disagree with you in this article ben.

but to finish of here on this one we did need a bloodbourne i think and it was something different which i think is what i was getting to agree with you on its was much need in amongst all the big shooters that crowd the days gaming horizon that means a nice change of pace so to speak.

happy gaming

Gabriel013
Gabriel013
5 years ago

I came here expecting to disagree Ben but I can't. Granted I will not buy Bloodborn nor any similar title BUT to keep a certain type of gamer engaged I can see a reason to make sure that successors to Bloodborn are created.

I however will stick with my story driven, wine in one hand, controller in the other titles 🙂 There should be games for very personal taste 🙂

Axe99
Axe99
5 years ago

Great article Ben, and +1 from me. Bloodborne and its ilk are most definitely not for me, but gaming is and should always be a broad church. For example, I play plenty of strat games that make Bloodborne look like a mainstream, mass-market product (which in some ways, difficulty aside, it still is), and I don't think any less of other people for not playing them, but I'd be very sad if they went away.

Shams
Shams
5 years ago

While it is true challenging gameplay can be rewarding, it also shows, at a more basic level, attention paid to detail, and evokes the gamer's curiosity and keeps them engrossed in the same way detailed visuals or interesting storyline does. Reinventing new mechanics and gameplay is not a trivial matter especially at this generation in gaming. Halfway through Gears 3's sp, I realized i had enough of the series. I almost felt that way about Uncharted 3 were it not for mind bending visuals and creative level and physics design of some of the later levels.

JackieBoy
JackieBoy
5 years ago

No, we don't need "games like Bloodborne".
We need GOOD games like… Bloodborne-good 🙂


Last edited by JackieBoy on 3/30/2015 3:01:19 AM