What I Learned During My Completion of Bloodborne

Having completed Bloodborne on Monday, I was one of the first people in the world to conquer the game. I learned a lot along the way, and decided that I would share some of this information in a dedicated post about what I learned.

It took me 32 hours. I was actually quite surprised when the credits rolled since I went in expecting a 40+ hour game. I didn’t speed run it, and I did spend some time farming and exploring. In contrast, Dark Souls took me 50 hours and Dark Souls 2 required 45 hours.

Chalice Dungeons are important for long-term appeal. This is the shortest game of the Souls library. Thankfully, Chalice Dungeons are fantastic. These will keep players invested for a while as they provide decent rewards and group-oriented design.

I beat the game with my starting weapon. All the weapons are relatively balanced in stats from the get-go. So, I have a feeling a lot of players, like me, will finish Bloodborne with a single weapon.

The level design is fantastic. I was very happy with how From Software implemented shortcut routes and the overall structure of the world. It felt less confusing and more balanced than any of its previous titles.

I prefer this theme over Dark Souls. Medieval is cool, but Gothic is even cooler. Some enemies and areas remind me of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

There is hardly any good treasure. I found maybe four armor sets, all of which were a downgrade from the set I bought from the store two hours into the game. Some of the Runes and Blood Gems were handy, but I never found anything worth being excited about.

Some bosses are too easy. I killed six of the bosses on my very first try. More importantly, I beat them all alone. Father Gascoigne, the second boss, required twice as many tries for me versus any other boss.

A video of myself destroying the final boss of Bloodborne.

Insight is a great system. I like that the world changes slightly as you gain Insight. I think it’s a much better format for multiplayer than the Humanity system.

Yes, there’s a “secret” mechanic. It’s not that crazy, but it has to do with the Arcane stat.

New Game Plus is tough. Any complaints I have about difficulty are rendered meaningless when it comes to New Game Plus.

There are no mimics. I swung my sword at every treasure chest, but was never surprised by a Mimic.

Actually, there are no traps. The game is 100% focused on combat, rather than making the levels part of the challenge.

The firearm is underwhelming. Offensive Parry can be great against some enemies, but it isn’t 100% dependable. Dodging is. So, I avoided using the firearm in most situations during the second half of the game.

Running from some enemies was a good idea. I usually feel compelled to kill everything I see, but there were a few sections where I identified that the enemies were simply way too much of a nuisance. I skipped them, and was better for it.

Regain is the game’s best new mechanic. I’ve always played my Souls games passively, but that strategy didn’t work for me in Bloodborne. Having to get used to playing aggressively was tough, but very rewarding.

Farming Blood Vials is annoying. I miss being able to just keep trying a boss back-to-back without having to teleport to a lower level area and farm Blood Vials. I think the Estus Flask system is a lot better.

If you have any questions, or could use a hand, let me know in the comments below.


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