Do you dream?
Okay, So I know it’s been a while since I posted. There is a simple reason for this. Bloodborne.
A week or two after it’s release I decided to treat myself to Bloodborne. It received a lot of good reviews but I was undecided. because I had never played any of the “Souls” games by From Software. Would I be able to do this? I’m known in my friend group for traditionally not being a finisher of games. (Although due to lack of disposable income this has changed in recent years) Will I get too frustrated and waste my money? and so on and so forth…
After some deliberation, my brain said, “Go for it”. I hadn’t had a new game for the Playstation in a while, and figured it was time I treated myself.
I am glad I did.
This game has taken over my Playstation, I make sure I have time to play this every night, at every opportunity I can get. and it is the single most frustrating and rewarding experience I’ve played on any platform.
I’m not going to write a huge amount about the risk/reward thing, or the gameplay, (because they have been discussed by the internet at length) nor am I going to discuss the story (I’m not very far) but I am going to talk about my experience, and what an experience.
The game opens and throws you in at the deep end. Forcing you to learn about the mechanics of the game, utilising dodges and the like. I saw the “You Died” message an awful lot that night. But eventually managed to defeat the first monster, and progress to the first Lamp.
*Lamps allow you to travel from the game world to the “safe” world, where you can shop and level up*
YES! Success! So feeling pretty good about myself, I trundle off down the next path, and died.
The difficulty level, which I already thought was quite high, didn’t so much as curve but hit a brick wall. The game throws a number of enemies in quick succession at you and forces you to die, and plan, and die and tweak your plan, and die and try something else. Over and over again. Oh and each time you die, three things happen
1. You lose all the currency you’ve collected by killing enemies
2. When you respawn, *all* the enemies are back.
3. You curse and swear, because it’s usually your own fault you died.
So, killing enemies gives you currency (Blood Echoes), which you use to buy, ammo for your gun, new weapons and ‘armour’, items and are also used to level your character up. When you die, these echoes are left either near where you died, or held by the enemy that killed you. After a respawn, get back to that point, and collect them again and you are good. Die before you get them, and they are gone forever. Start again.
The game toys with you, makes you think you have got it, then throws a twist at you and you know exactly what you should have done… so you try again, and do that, then you try again and do it better… and again, each time with a tweak and an improvement, and each time you die, you learn a little more..
This bonfire was the bane of my gaming life for far longer than I would like to admit…
However, as the enemies (at this point at least) appear to behave with a specific pattern, it is possible to plan, and develop a system and a method for progressing through this section. Which I did. and when I finally defeated the final enemy in this section I felt like I had beaten any other game.
Riding a wave of euphoria, I progress to the next part of the map, carefully…step by step into the new area… slowly… oh… he’s big…. aaaaaand I’m dead.
Eventually, after much dying and nearly as much farming and leveling up, I managed to progress regularly to the next area, and defeat the monster that killed me. Yelling in success to an empty house. Then… yup… I died.
The “safe” area, the Hunter’s Dream
After one last run to collect the lost echoes, I very carefully put the controller down and walked away.
This is a game I can either spend hours playing (when things are going well) or about an hour (before I throw the controller in frustration – which I haven’t yet, but mostly because I’m concerned about the cost of replacing it).
My relationship with this game is complicated, it’s an amazingly frustrating experience, but, when you work out how to beat a section, purely through trial and error it is amazing.
I love it.
I have to say at this point, that it is possible, as you may have read on other sites, to request help from other players, through the use of an in-game item, pulling another player’s character into your game to help (or not – it does have both PvP and PvE), but I have refrained from doing this. I want to do this on my own, my skill versus the game.
Which is why I have taken so long to post recently. Every spare moment has been trying to beat the games second boss. Yes, I know, I said second. I didn’t want to write about my experience until I had progressed further than the first area.
Now that I have, and I know that the mechanics, so far have remained the same, and I feel like I am getting to grips with it (for the time being) I felt like I could take the time to share my experience.
I’m pretty sure that I will be playing this for a *very* long time, and I know that I have got my money’s worth already, but I refuse to let this game beat me. I will beat the next part, the next boss, and move on… eventually. but it will *not* be through a lack of trying.
A door to an unexplored area. The scariest thing in the game so far.
Right, I’m off to go and die some more… See you in the dream…