Nothing can prepare you for the seditious trauma inflicted by Bloodborne. With the possible exception of the “Souls” series, “Sekiro” and perhaps “Busby the Bobcat”. Bloodborne is the gaming equivalent of stepping on one of your child’s stray “shopkins”. Shocking. Painful. With both often requiring a private little weep. When I attempted to play Bloodborne a couple of years ago, I just couldn’t get into it. The combat seemed slow. Dodging incoming enemy attacks felt unresponsive. With a barely perceptible delay that enabled combatants an unfair advantage. I just couldn’t adapt. As a result, I gave up. Believing Bloodborne to be just another sadistic fetish popularised in gaming culture.
But I always regretted my impetuous decision. There’s a very Lovcraftian aesthetic to the creatures and architecture that was just so compelling. It’s like “Bram Stokers Batman”, with the masochistic city of “Yharnam” reflecting the same vintage ambience depicted in Gotham City. As well as the questionable sanity of it’s inhabitants that would choose to live there! I think I’ve been so sheltered by asinine tutorials and the obnoxious hand holding that accompanies most lenient adventures. Coddled by a pampered simplicity, into an endeavour so challenging, that it can’t be placated by reducing the difficulty to match your own languorous vigour, which is rather jarring. And it wasn’t until I returned to Bloodborne that I truly appreciated the risk and reward style.
My own personal inhibition is equating “death” with “failure”, when really failure isn’t necessarily the opposite of success, but adjacent. You have to learn from these habitual mistakes. With the games emphasis on gruelling boss fights, it’s imperative that you adapt to the specific methods of your opponent, to ensure that you’re not on the back foot before you’ve even begun. Bloodborne rewards those that are aggressive, utilising resources when necessary without the player becoming reliant on they’re commodities. Of course you can’t just expedite the battle by charging in and hammering the attack button, depleting all of your stamina in the process and leaving you more vulnerable than a black man in a horror movie. There’s a nuance to it. A balance. As well as a great deal of tenacity required.
Sadly the ability to modify attack pattern has been my greatest weakness. I’m interminably debilitated by trepidation. Hindered by an inherent penchant to over think things, stalling any momentum in combat. My Google search history is now littered with serial killer search terms like “How to kill….” and “What’s the best weapon to….”. Only elevating my own apprehensions in defeating a cunning enemy, when you’re watching someone dispatch the “Blood Starved Beast” with ease using a dance mat! It’s very disheartening.
But I’m trying. With a renewed determination, an extensive library of expletives at my disposal and a Rocky IV style training montage, I am confident that within the next 100 attempts I will vanquish thine enemies! Though at this point the “Blood Starved Beast” has indulged in enough of my crimson fluids that I’m suprised it hasn’t slipped into a blood induced coma. Seriously, fuck that thing!