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Bloodborne - gameplay trailers, screenshots, release date & news

Tom Morgan
12 Nov 2014
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Everything we know so far about Dark Souls developer FromSoftware's Bloodborne, including trailers, screenshots and release date

Having introduced gamers to the punishing world of Dark Souls, Developer FromSoftware is gearing up for a brand new, PS4-exclusive title inspired by the incredibly challenging RPG. Bloodborne looks set to pick up where Dark Souls left off, with visceral melee combat, a crushing difficulty curve and plenty of mystery and lore to explore and get your head around as you progress.

We've got all the information released about the game so far in one place, so you don't have to trawl the web for the latest trailers or juicy news stories. Read on if, like us, you can't wait to put Hidetaka Miyazaki's latest and greatest through its paces.

Bloodborne Release date - delayed until March

Sony originally confirmed that Bloodborne would be released on Friday 6th February 2015 in the UK and Europe, one day after it launches in Japan on the 5th. Unfortunately, Sony later confirmed via the official PlayStation blog that the initial release date had slipped in PAL territories including the UK.

Bloodborne producer Masaaki Yamagiwa explained the reason for the delay, saying "We were really grateful for all the player data and feedback we received from those who took part in our recent limited alpha test, and this extra development time will allow us to better integrate these learnings into the game."

The new release date for PAL regions will be the 25th of March. The UK and Ireland will follow two days later on the 27th. US gamers will be able to pick up a copy on the 24th of March, one day earlier than Europe.

Yamagiwa apologised for the delay, but told gamers to "look out for some exciting Bloodborne news in early December" - hinting at a further reveal ahead of launch, and possibly a first look at the game's hotly anticipated multiplayer mode.

Sony America has also confirmed the contents of the collector's edition of the game, which will include a digital soundtrack, a steelbook game case and a premium art book, but the company's European branch has yet to confirm it will get a release on this side of the Atlantic. The collector's edition is available for pre-order now and will also launch on the same day as the regular retail version.

Bloodborne Gameplay

Although it wasn't shown off during Gamecom itself, FromSoftware released a direct feed gameplay video of the behind-closed-doors demo once things had wrapped up in Cologne. The footage reveals what is very much a work-in-progress, with similar menus, assets and onscreen elements to the Dark Souls games. Even some of the sounds seem a little too familiar, but the locations and more importantly the gameplay look fresh.

Bloodborne is a third person action RPG, where light and heavy attacks have to be mixed in with dodges, rolls and counterattacks in order to prevail in battle. Unlike Dark Souls, which practically encouraged defensive play with a large selection of shields,  Bloodborne will instead force players to take a more aggressive stance if they want to surive. Not only are enemies faster, more agile and able to chase you down should you miss a heavy attack, but with a weapon in either hand you can't simply block and soak up damage.

To balance this, players wil be able to use te risk vs reward Regain system, which restores a portion of your health if you strike an enemy right after taking damage. The amount recovered appears in yellow on the health guage and drains rapidly, so you'll have to hit back quickly in order to get the most back. The Gamescom gameplay video shows a huge amount of health being recovered with every hit, but because that demo was balanced to let players finish it relatively easily, we're expecting the final game to be a lot less generous with health.

As the Regain system is able to keep you alive for longer, it's unclear whether there will be an Estus Flask-style health item available for healing up outside of battles like there was in the Dark Souls games.

Whereas Dark Souls players mainly used melee weapons, with only a few ranged magical abilities and crossbows to attack from a distance, Bloodborne will include firearms. The shotgun shown in the reveal trailer is still best used up close, however, as it can stun enemies and drop them out of their attack animations, leaving them vulnerable to a rapid slash or heavy attack. Bullets appear hard to come by though, so you'll still have to be precise with your shots.

"Trick" weapons will have transforming properties, like the saw cleaver shown in the Gamescom gameplay reveal trailer. When folded up, it can be used like a large dagger, but when flicked open the player has more reach and can attack from a greater distance. The transition itself is even an attack, letting you combo multiple attacks into one stylish chain.

You'll often be able to sneak past groups of enemies that haven't spotted you yet, which can help you avoid getting overwhelmed, or use pebbles to distract one opponent at a time to avoid large battles.

Other aspects still have yet to be decided, including the levelling system and general character progression, although players will be able to customise their avatar in great detail. There will still be a punishment for death, but it probably won't be as severe as it was in Dark Souls; Miyazaki explained that death will still come frequently to players that aren't always alert to approaching enemies and the hazardous environment.

Bloodborne Plot

Based on the few early glimpses we've had of the game, Bloodborne will be a much darker, more foreboding game than any of the Dark Souls titles, with lots of gothic, victorian London-esque locations to explore. Players will take up the role of a traveller on a pilgrimage to Yharnam, an ancient abandoned city legends tell of being home to a medical remedy that can cure all afflictions. Once you get there, however, it's clear the city has been overrun with a curse that has turned the city's inhabitants into deranged and violent monsters.

Bloodborne Multiplayer

One of Dark Souls' most intriguing features was the way players could invade other gamers' worlds, becoming a terrifying spectre that could end an unwary player's journey in a flash. Although game director Miyazaki has priomised Bloodborne willl also have a unique approach to online gameplay, the development team hasn't yet talked about the specifics and it's uncertain how the game will play against other gamers.

 

If Sony's latest Tokyo Game Show trailer is anything to go by, though, it looks as though Bloodborne will have a friendly co-op mode where two players can work together to take down enemies. In the trailer below, we can see two warriors fighting alongside each other as they battle a gruesome-looking new foe, but whether your attacks will be able to hurt your companion is still unknown.

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