What Is Bloodborne About? (Bloodborne Explained)

Let her sleep.... please

Fromsoftware released Bloodborne in 2015 as an exclusive for the Playstation 4, a Japanese action-horror game in the Souls series. Set in the Gothic, Victorian-era city of Yharnam that is plagued with a horrible Bloodborne illness, the game thrusts the player into this horrific and dangerous world with the goal of unraveling what is going on.

What starts your journey off in this Gothic, Industrial-age nightmare slowly opens up to a cosmic horror hell straight out of the mind of HP Lovecraft. This change is gradual. It opens up so many new avenues of gameplay and even story implications as you slowly delve deeper and deeper into the heart of this game!


1. Fashion

Everyone who is anyone realizes the true importance of fashion in an RPG. Bloodborne takes the mix and match fashion approach from Dark Souls but differentiates it slightly, in the sense that none of the pieces of clothing in the game are much better or worse than others. Since armor doesn't mean much and the entire point of the gameplay is to be fast and agile, all the pieces in this game serve to give fashion to the player over anything else.

Since Bloodborne is a Victorian-era action horror game, all the clothing is super aesthetic and looks really cool, with the iconic headwear and capes of the age. This is truly what makes the fashion of Bloodborne so unique and memorable, and also so important.


2. Setting/World

Yharnam itself is a horrifying city with dangers around every turn and horrible beasts prowling the streets. The player has to survive the night and the beasts that are out to kill them. They have to survive and find out the cause of what is wrong with the city and its residents.The story itself, however, doesn’t only keep you in the heart of the city.

You go to many different places, even those outside of the main city itself, such as nightmare realms, a horrid forest, an abandoned and haunted castle etc. All these places are connected thematically and all fit the setting of the overall game really well.


3. Gameplay

Bloodborne is a very difficult game, with gameplay emphasizing fast paced, aggressive and tactical combat. Players have the option of choosing between many weapon options which are all super unique and offer a new way to play the game. The player also has to collect items and explore the world to learn how to survive.

All the different facets of gameplay come together seamlessly. The combat, exploration and acquisition of items are all integral to the gameplay and the developers really made the game in a way that none of these things should be skipped out on. The complete experience comes from playing the game fully the way the developers intended.


4. Combat System

As stated before, the combat of Bloodborne is fast paced and aggressive and focuses on you attacking rather than staying defensive. In this sense, Bloodborne is the opposite of Dark Souls where the name of the game is to hit and dodge and block. Bloodborne also features a brand new mechanic in the series called the rally mechanic, which allows the player to regain health after being hit if they keep attacking the enemy. Aggression is key.

This is very similar to Dark Souls combat, but far quicker. The healing items in this game are scarce and can’t be restocked upon respawning, so they play perfectly into the combat system where players have to be mindful to not get hit too much. Since the weapons are more limited here than in other Souls games, they are all entirely unique and all play differently.

This is also coupled with the option for the off-hand weapon, which is the player's choice of either a pistol or shotgun. The different combinations that can be made are all amazing and are unique to each player and their playstyle, as well as the different builds they can make for the game.


5. Boss Battles

When it comes to boss battles, Bloodborne is in a league of its own. These battles are the best way for the player to put all their skills to the test and to fight with all the tools and tactics that they’ve learnt up to that point. Every single boss in this game has a unique moveset and attacks so there isn’t one single way that works for every boss. The bosses in Bloodborne are considered by many fans to not only be the best in the series, but some of the best in gaming!

The overall design, setting and quality of almost all of the boss fights in the game are just impeccable. Fromsoftware really hit it out of the park with the music, as the boss themes are just jaw dropping and add so much to the overall fight and story for each boss. The arenas for many bosses are beyond perfect.

The bosses in Bloodborne are my personal highlight of the game besides the music, with each and every boss having so much impact with their entire fight so as to be as memorable as possible.


6. Exploration

Bloodborne greatly encourages the player to look around in the world and explore all the areas. This is because the game is huge and has tons of secrets, hidden paths and mysteries waiting to be discovered. Exploration is essential to the overall experience as it also tells us about the world and its inhabitants.

If you are the type of player that loves being in a mysterious world with secrets everywhere and you have an itch to know as much as possible about the  world, then the exploration in this game is right up your alley. The exploration and all the side content is key to the overall experience of Bloodborne, so take your time with it!


7. Character Customization

The players are able to completely customize their characters as they see fit, including choosing the best combinations of weapons, clothes, spells etc. The progression system in this game works very similar to that of Dark Souls, though it is not as fleshed out. It’s just very refined and perfectly fits the kind of game that Bloodborne is.

Want Nigel Thornberry to slay beasts and eldritch, cosmic gods? Well, the varied character customization of Bloodborne allows you to do that! The build system is just a tweaked version of the one from Dark Souls, meaning that you can have any build that you want, be it a strength, skill or sidearm focused one.


8. Online Features

Bloodborne also offers a variety of online components, such as summoning for bosses and even summoning to help in other worlds and areas. This also includes PvP, where people can go to certain hotspots and summon other players in order to fight them.

These are fun aspects to the overall package of the game that adds replayability to the game where people can make amazing and powerful builds and go head to head with others online or help them in certain areas of the game. Experienced players can also make builds specifically for helping lower level players at difficult parts of the game.


9. Blood Echoes

The blood echoes in this game act like souls from Dark Souls, in that they are both the main currency of the game and act as experience points. The main way that players obtain these echoes is by killing bosses and enemies, and they’re used to level up the character as well as to buy items from the shops.

These work the same way as souls in the Dark Souls games. They can also be gained by selling items at the shops and are the main way to purchase anything in the game.


10. Blood Gems

The blood gems in bloodborne essentially act as additional power ups to your weapons and give buffs to them. These can include things like fire damage on your weapons or just inflicting more damage overall. These gems can be found all over the game and can be upgraded, adding depth and layers  to the combat in the game.

Each different kind of gem has its own special abilities and perks that can benefit the kind of build you have. Also, gems with certain similar characteristics can be stacked, allowing for your build to be as efficient as possible. For example, different gems that give some sort of fire damage can all be stacked to give maximum fire damage output.


11. Chalice Dungeons

Chalice Dungeons are features of the game that are procedurally generated dungeons that players can delve down for extra loot that they won’t find in the main game. These are really neat because no 2 dungeons are the same, making each foray into them different from the last one. Though the assets are reused and the dungeons can get very repetitive, it’s an entirely optional feature that can keep the player playing.

The dungeons contain the most powerful gems in the game, making it worthwhile to go into them. Some dungeons are unique, in the sense that they include items and enemies that the main game doesn’t even have. Though it isn’t too crazy of a feature, it keeps players interested in it longer. Hell, there are even many unique bosses in the chalice dungeons.


12. Story

Bloodborne’s story is much deeper than what it seems initially and more is unveiled through exploration and speaking to the diverse cast of characters in the game. The vibe of the story is very dark and mysterious, with a bunch of twists and turns waiting for the player. The players have to work their way through the story and they have to unravel for themselves what is truly going on behind the scenes.

The story is initially framed as very cut and dry and straightforward. However, the more you play and traverse the land, the more you realize that things aren't nearly as simple as you first thought. There is something far more sinister afoot, and it is your job to find out what that is.


13. Themes

The game has very dark and mysterious themes and also tells of the consequences of conformity. Bloodborne talks about the struggles between faith and reason as well as the dangers of obsession. The main gameplay requires for the player to blindly kill beasts all over the city, but over the course of the game, the players will have to see things that make them wonder if that was ever the right thing to do.

You really start to wonder who the real monster actually is. This is most clear in the story of the fan favorite character, Lady Maria, who was one of the most skilled hunters in all Yharnam. One day, she realized what her actions truly wrought upon the world, causing her to take her own life.

This shows that while it’s an action RPG, the themes are very deep and psychological, really making the player think about who they are and what they’re doing.


14. Main Character

We play the game as a hunter, a specialized group of warriors that serve to rid Yharnam of the beast scourge and illness. All the choices that the players make over the course of the game come together and influence the ending.

Any and all decisions that you make in your journey shadow the kind of player you will be and how your outlook on the game will be. Since it is a silent protagonist, you are essentially yourself thrust into this game.


15. Supporting Characters

The characters in Bloodborne are very diverse and range from other hunters, old people, women of the night, scholars etc. All these characters feel right at home in the game and offer valuable insight to the player as well as explaining things for the world. They’re all here to help you wherever you feel that help is needed.

Many of these characters can be summoned to help you in boss fights and the way this game works is that siding with certain supporting characters will turn some others hostile to you. Since they stay this way, it adds a ton of replayability to the game to see how things would turn out if you were on the other side.

These characters also serve to give you some very powerful items that can help in many boss fights. They all have certain side-quests tied to them which may or may not end in tragedy, so finding this out is up to you and your involvement in the story!


16. Audio

The atmosphere that is achieved in Bloodborne is impossible to getwithout the amazing audio. A really creepy and dark atmosphere is achieved from the perfect mix of creepy audio to haunting music and the perfect way to switch on when to use them.This is coupled with the game expertly knowing when to disperse both quiet and loud moments with each other.

Some areas have nothing but atmospheric and dark, distant sounds that really sell the tense and eerie atmosphere whereas other areas have ghastly choirs playing in the background playing upon entering them. It is all marvelously done.


17. Graphics

Bloodborne is absolutely gorgeous, with the graphics and art direction coming together to bring the perfect Gothic, Victorian nightmare. Everything is made better at a decent and stable 30 fps, which stays even during the most intense and hectic battles.

Bloodborne’s graphics still hold up to this day despite being almost 10 years and one whole console generation old. Though the stable 30 fps may seem dated to some, the whole experience is also made much better by the stellar art direction.


18. Blood-borne Illness

The bloodborne illness is the titular aspect of the game and is very much at the forefront. The illness itself is one that is spread through the blood and turns the infected townsfolk into beasts, so the players have to destroy traces of it wherever they see it. This illness is essentially a character of the game itself, as it is the thing that causes the player to begin their journey and the source of the entire conflict.

19.The Healing Church

The Healing Church is the central organization of the game that disperses the healing blood to the populace to heal them. However, as you play the game you realize that not everything was as good as it sounded and you find out the role of the Church in what’s happening in the city. This church is the focal point of the story and most things within the story can be traced back to it.

This is essentially the central and most important entity in all of Bloodborne and the more you play, the more references and leads to the Healing Church you will find.


20.The Nightmare

This is a completely opposite realm as that of the waking world inhabited by terrifying and horrific creatures. The nightmare realms can be accessed through many portals around the world and are integral to finding the truth. It’s a realm filled to the brim with secrets and possible connotations to the story.

Through the access to the nightmare, you will find many things linking its very existence to that of the waking world. The roots of all the secrets in the game go further than you realize at the start of the game.

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Being naturally attuned to magic and bearing the strength of a thousand men, it's safe to say I'm used to adding a creative flair to my stories, always striving to tell engaging tales.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Whatever I can get my hands on
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dark Souls 3

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