Bloodborne vs Dark Souls: Looking at What’s Better and Worse About Bloodborne

If there’s one thing you should know about me when it comes to From Software’s games, it’s that I take them seriously. The roster, from Demon’s Souls to Bloodborne, is one of the best in RPG history. Having beaten all four of its latest games, I am a fan without question.

Bloodborne has just released, and it deviates more from the proven From Software formula than it ever has in the past. So, I decided to compare it to what many consider to be the best of the best: Dark Souls.

I’ve broken the comparison down into 10 major elements of both games. At the end, we’ll see how they stack up.


From Software’s games have always had solid controls where it counts most, while feeling sub-optimal in others. Things are better in Bloodborne. Not only is attacking and dodging as smooth as ever, some quality of life changes have improved on Dark Souls‘ weak points.

For one, running and attacking on the move feels better. Dark Souls could feel a bit wonky when running around, especially during boss encounters. In Bloodborne you have confidence in your ability to perform accurate running slashes. For a game that emphasizes mobility so much, this is a great thing.

Locking on and camera control can still be unreliable at times, but it’s improved enough that you can feel that it’s been given a good look by From Software. It’s less common that the game lets you down when attempting to dodge while backed against a wall. This means fewer times that you die because of the game rather than a mistake you made.

Put simply, Bloodborne is the best handling game by From Software. By far.

Winner: Bloodborne


The Regain mechanic is Bloodborne‘s greatest asset. Alone, it encourages and rewards players for playing aggressively, differentiating it from Dark Souls.

Transforming weapons is also a great concept. Whereas using two different weapons was extremely common in Dark Souls, you can get away with using a single dynamic weapon in Bloodborne.

Bloodborne’s Regain system is one of its best new mechanics.

As great as those two new mechanics are, Bloodborne makes a couple missteps in others. As much as its firearms have been marketed as a huge element of the game, they’re underwhelming. Their damage, even when many points have been placed in Bloodtinge, is unremarkable. More importantly, their offensive parry is unreliable. You’re better off just dodging in most situations.

But where Bloodborne‘s mechanics falter most is with its Blood Vials. They aren’t replenished upon death like Estus Flasks, and therefore you’ll find yourself having to revisit lower level zones to farm them. It’s frustrating, and a step back for the series.

Winner: Tie


From Software loves minimalist storytelling, and both Bloodborne and Dark Souls showcase that. They’re both dark and difficult to interpret, but have an interesting tale to tell if you pay attention.

Related: Bloodborne Survival Guide

However, Bloodborne has the more well-presented story of the two. Its cutscenes tell its subtle tale in a beautiful fashion. If you finish the game without knowing what was going on, you’ll quickly become interested by the time the final cutscene ends.

Winner: Bloodborne


Difficulty is a very important part of From Software’s games, and Bloodborne is no stranger to it. Though, it isn’t as well balanced as Dark Souls.

In Bloodborne you’ll find yourself cruising through zones, and then encountering bosses that deviate radically in terms of challenge. The second boss fight of the game is one of the three hardest, and is a significant jump in difficulty that players usually aren’t prepared for. In the grand scheme of things it feels out of place.

There is no substitute for Dark Souls’ carefully crafted difficulty.

There are several bosses that just aren’t all that exciting. As a matter of fact, I killed half of the boss cast on my first try. They may have been visually impressive opponents, but nothing that I’ll remember a month from now.

Bloodborne isn’t just less challenging overall, its challenge isn’t designed as well as the finely tuned Dark Souls.

Winner: Dark Souls


Bloodborne comes with the advantage of running on the latest console hardware.  It’s a well-presented game that at times looks downright spectacular, taking advantage of the PS4’s powerful hardware with optimized code.

However, as with Dark Souls, it has technical issues. The framerate can be inconsistent, making you wish that From Software spent a little more time on it. But where Bloodborne falls behind Dark Souls is in loading times. Averaging at around 40 seconds a pop, and with there being no way to teleport between locations, you end up spending a great deal of time staring at a black loading screen with an off-center Bloodborne logo. It’s a shortcoming that directly impacts the enjoyability of the game.

It’s unfortunate, because Bloodborne‘s world is absolutely spectacular, going above and beyond the astounding Medieval world of Dark Souls.

Winner: Dark Souls

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