Bloodborne PSX Demo Impressions

Once again, Bloodborne has us intrigued. Everything we see about it makes us long for its dark and horrific milieu, and the PlayStation Experience’s live demo last week was no exception. This time around, we were given a better look at the game’s co-op play, a host of new and frightening monsters, and a view into its procedurally generated dungeon that will change and adapt to your preferred play style.

The demo begins with a long, long elevator ride into the depths of the Chalice Dungeon. The player and his partner (a white-robed Hunter) traipse their way into an underground dungeon, an area that appears to be vastly different from anything that we’ve seen before from Bloodborne. Deep under the city of Y’harnam, a series of sprawling tunnels are filled with dangerous traps and enemies. At one point, a large boulder rolls its way down a stony corridor, sending the player scattering for cover; only to fall into a crevice, and deeper into the abyss.

As the demo progresses, the black Hunter arrives in a more open space: a large swamp-like area with crawling beasts that emerge from the murky-brown water. Due to this area’s procedurally generated nature, it appears that anything could spring out at you in a place like this; keeping the tension high while also promoting excitement as you venture into each section. The surprise nature of this dungeon is quickly evidenced when a humongous creature creeps into view around a large rock formation; a creature that stands head and shoulders above the player, and has a serious bad back problem. Well, not so much a problem, more of a horrible disfigurement from the dripping of wax of multiple lit candles. Burny!

It looks like a formidable foe, with its blades growing red hot and spewing fire towards the player in clouds of hot fury; Bloodborne clearly isn’t going to be a game filled with generic zombie-like enemy types. One protagonist clearly isn’t going to be enough for this bad boy, but luckily the white Hunter is on hand to dish out some serious damage with his giant hammer. Tag-teaming that candle thing seems like the preferable option, as it is vanquished soon after the second player’s arrival. The co-op here definitely doesn’t seem to be a tagged-on extra; it looks like a necessity.

The player is then able to progress and unlock an activation point, which takes him on a shorter path towards the stage’s boss battle. The boss on show here is a dog that appears to been the lovechild of a crocodile, a corpse, and whole load of fire; this thing is seriously ugly, and continues the theme of organic looking monsters from the Alpha Test (we remember the Cleric Beast looking distinctly vine-y). The players don’t actually defeat the dog, but this battle has us wondering: are the boss battles also going to be procedurally generated? If so, we can only imagine the horrific possibilities that await us in the game’s finished Chalice Dungeon. Giant squid/whale/fire extinguisher crabs? We hope so!

This truly seems like a great addition to an already fabulous looking game. By no means do we think Bloodborne will be a short experience, but procedural generation could add to its replayability considerably. If that is the case, there will be no end to the nightmarish ride that will grace us on March 24, 2015. We can hardly wait (we think).

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