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IGNBY COLIN MORIARTY
Earlier this month, an interesting rumor emerged. Screenshots from something called Project Beast leaked on the Internet. The screens showed a shotgun-wielding man roaming around various environments -- like a temple and a cemetery -- and the game looked distinctly like a From Software experience, the developer behind PlayStation 3's Demon's Souls and both Dark Souls games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
The footage, which comes in at only 19 seconds long, shows a man who appears to be the same shotgun-toting character seen in the screenshots that leaked earlier this month, as well as a small variety of scenes showing off some environments, enemies, and combat situations. It sure looks like a From Software game in the same vein as Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2.
The "Souls" franchise began in early 2009, when From Software released Demon's Souls in Japan, exclusively on PlayStation 3. Demon's Souls was funded by Sony -- and the IP is owned by Sony -- but the company declined to publish it in the west. Niche Japanese developer and publisher Atlus brought it to North America later in 2009, while Namco Bandai (now Bandai Namco) brought it to Europe and other western territories in 2010. We absolutely loved it.
Namco Bandai continued its relationship with From Software following Demon's Souls' surprise success, funding and publishing Demon's Souls' unofficial sequel -- Dark Souls -- which came to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011 (and to PC in 2012). We loved that game, too. And finally, just a couple of months ago, Dark Souls 2 came to those same three platforms by way of the same developer/publisher combination, and -- you guessed it --we loved that one as well.
It was clear that Sony didn't anticipate Demon's Souls' success, especially in the west, allowing Namco Bandai to seize control of the series under a different name. Still, with the Demon's Souls name owned by Sony -- and with Sony's long-running relationship with From Software intact (the company has been making PlayStation games since PSone launched in Japan in 1994) -- it was long assumed that Sony would try to get From Software to make another PlayStation-exclusive Souls game. This might just be it.
Now, it's important to note that this footage is unsubstantiated. This footage, as well as the screenshots that leaked earlier, could be real, but we just don't know for sure. So file this as a compelling rumor for the time being. We reached out to Sony for official confirmation. However, the company declined to comment.
A really steep learning curve but a very fun and rewarding game, you'll put loads of hours into it and it really isn't that hard once you get the hang of it and learn the little tricks and stuff. At least that's how it is for dark/demons souls.
Introducing Bloodborne, the latest Action RPG from renowned Japanese developer FromSoftware, exclusively for the PlayStation®4 system. Face your fears as you search for answers in the ancient city of Yharnam, now cursed with a strange endemic illness spreading through the streets like wildfire. Danger, death and madness lurk around every corner of this dark and horrific world, and you must discover its darkest secrets in order to survive.
- A Terrifying New World: Journey to a horror-filled gothic city where deranged mobs and nightmarish creatures lurk around every corner.
- Strategic Action Combat: Armed with a unique arsenal of weaponry, including guns and saw cleavers, you'll need wits, strategy and reflexes to take down the agile and intelligent enemies that guard the city's dark secrets.
- A New Generation of Action RPG: Stunningly detailed gothic environments, atmospheric lighting, and advanced new online experiences showcase the power and prowess of the PlayStation(R)4 system.
Hello, PlayStation fans. This is Masaaki Yamagiwa from Japan Studio.
I am here to talk about a new Action RPG, Bloodborne, which will launch early 2015 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 console. Bloodborne is a new collaboration for us, being developed by FromSoftware and produced by SCE Japan Studio. This game will transport players to a dark and terror-filled gothic world, a world full of deranged beings and nightmarish creatures.
Bloodborne takes place in an ancient, forgotten city called Yharnam, known for an old medical remedy. Over the years, many hopeless and afflicted people have made long pilgrimages to Yharnam in search of help. As the main character, you are one of these travelers. However, you find that Yharnam is also cursed with a horrible endemic illness. You must navigate the perilous streets of this city, fighting off nightmarish creatures, malformed beasts and deranged mobs stricken with this horrific illness. Face your fears as you discover the secrets and mysteries of this dark and horrific world where danger, death and madness lurk around every corner.
In Bloodborne, the combat is based on intense life-threatening battles. One of the ways we are bringing that sense of danger to life is by keeping the deep strategic elements from Demon’s Souls, while also transitioning from the passive and block-and-attack style of Demon’s Souls to a quicker, more offensive and active combat style with close-range weapons and guns.
From the beautiful and melancholic architecture to the debris lining the street, Bloodborne will deliver an extremely rich and detailed world, all thanks to the power of the PlayStation 4 system. In addition, the PS4 system has allowed us to have an expanded draw distance, so we can show more of the world at any one time. New lighting effects allow us to add more atmosphere and tension to the game, making the horrifyingly detailed beasts and giant boss enemies you’ll be facing even more frightening.
I hope to be able to share more about our online features later this year, but I can say that we are developing new kinds of online experiences that allow users to share their adventures. We also look forward to giving fans new ways of playing and sharing thanks via the PS4 system’s Share capabilities.
Special message from Director Hidetaka Miyazaki:
“Creating Bloodborne as a completely new game on the new PlayStation 4 hardware has allowed us to really push the envelope in myriad ways. That being said, in more ways than one, it also very much retains our distinct, signature style. As has been at the core of our development philosophy since Demon’s Souls, we make true games for people who love games. Please watch for more to come on Bloodborne, and thank you very much for your support.”
From what people who read the leaked Famitsu have said it's going to be kind of a side game to the Souls series and more low fantasy compared to high fantasy. They are replacing magic with gadgets, guns and such. Main mechanic seems to be related to blood and blood is also used to regain your HP and gain various other benefits. You get blood sucking it from corpses or items. Sucking too much blood will turn you into a beast which I suppose is this game's Soul/Hollow form. The game will apparently become a lot harder to play/control when in beast mode. To become a human again you need human blood and is where the online component comes into play.
BY COLIN MORIARTY
When Demon’s Souls came to PlayStation 3 in 2009, it sounded like a game that wasn’t only up my alley; it sounded like a game that ran directly up the middle of it. A third-person action-RPG set in a medieval world with a grueling level of difficulty? Count me in.
But after playing Demon’s Souls for a few hours, I soured on the experience. I’m a glutton for punishment – just take a gander at some of my favorite games of all-time -- but the game simply felt too slow and stiff for me. For as much as I loved how much it kicked my digital ass, and for as enjoyable as it was to overcome the seemingly impossible just to move on to something even harder, I just didn’t like the way Demon’s Souls played. When its unofficial sequel Dark Souls came out, I went in with an open mind and felt the same way. I was looking for something just a tad quicker and a bit more arcadey.
After seeing an extended demo of the upcoming PlayStation 4-exclusive game Bloodborne, it seems like my wishes may have been answered.
Bloodborne is under development at famous Japanese game developer From Software, the company responsible for Demon’s Souls and both Dark Souls projects, and it’s being supported by Sony-owned developer Japan Studio. While it lacks the “Souls” moniker in its name, it’s still very much a Souls game. It retains the series’ quintessential difficulty, brutality, and scope, but it adds just a little more speed while spinning the combat system into something a little bit different. And for me, that’s all the Souls franchise needed to get me on board, even under a different name.
Sitting in a lengthy behind-closed-doors session conducted by none other than famed game director Hidetaki Miyazaki, I not only got to enjoy a presentation setting up the game and the ideas within it; I also got to see the game being played in pre-alpha form. Bloodborne, Miyazaki made clear, “should not be considered a sequel to Demon’s Souls,” aswe reported yesterday, but rather a third-person action-RPG – like Demon’s Souls – with a similar feel to the game that so clearly inspired it. Its core is the same; it just has some different trappings adorning it.
Miyazaki explained that Bloodborne is built upon three premises – “Exploration of the Unknown,” “Truly Perilous Combat,” and a “Unique Online Concept” – and by fusing these three notions with the... well... soul of Souls, he hopes to make something that’s both welcomingly familiar and noticeably unique. Bloodborne may be spiritually connected to the Souls games that came before it, but it isn’t literally connected, and Miyazaki readily admits that he and his team at From Software found it “refreshing” to work on something a little different.
Then again, Bloodborne, in almost every way, isn’t all that much of a departure from Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. It provides a vast world to explore – in this case, a city known as Yharnam – it’s chock-full of dangerous enemies, and it contains a seemingly new challenge around every corner (though Miyazaki makes note that he isn’t trying to make a game that’s harder than what came before it; he wants less talented people to be able to enjoy the experience in addition to hardened veterans of the Souls campaigns).
The major difference here seems to lie solely in combat. Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls players may recall a more metered game, a game that stressed patience and defense. You’ll have to flex both of those traits in Bloodborne, too, but when you add an increase in speed – as well as a set of new weapons and capabilities -- you have a game that’s a little less plodding a bit more action-oriented. This, it appears, is what makes Bloodborne stand apart from the From Software titles that came before it.
The city of Yharnam is full of perils, but it’s also stunningly beautiful to look at. Even in its pre-alpha state, which is understandably plagued by a noticeably stuttering framerate and some other impurities, I marveled at how pretty the player’s surroundings are. It has both a Gothic and Victorian feel, with beautiful castle spires and towering turrets blanketing the distance, and an endless array of brickwork everywhere you look. Little nods – like a turned-over horse-drawn carriage or abandoned baby stroller – pins-down its 19th century setting, and burning, crucified corpses, abandoned coffins, and shadowy apparitions remind you to be scared not only of your enemies, but of everything else around you, too. The dark, dreary nature of Yharnam at night is truly terrifying; it’s so-called “Victorian Horror” themes are obvious.
The thing is, Yharnam isn’t just frightening in premise; it’s chock-full of crazy people, caught defenseless by a spreading disease that’s driven them mad. As we’re introduced to our character – a man wearing a duster, leather boots, and a cap that looks a great deal like Kain’s in Final Fantasy IV – we quickly run into some of these ill citizens, and they’re none too happy you’re drawing near to them. Equipped with flaming torches, pitchforks, dull axes, and more, these foes – like just about any enemy you run into in Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls – aren’t slouches.
Thankfully, you too, as the player, have weapons at your disposal, including a blade crudely wrapped in tape in your right hand and a devastatingly powerful shotgun in your left. Using these weapons in tandem with one another, Bloodborne’s faster, more arcadey spirit shines through. Our demoer makes quick work of the fodder that stands before him, slicing and dicing with quick sword swipes, followed up with up-close blasts from his firearm. Interestingly, while guns in games typically give you a reason to stay back and out of the fray, using your gun effectively in Bloodborne requires you to be up front and directly in danger. A double-barrel shot acts not only as a wonderful way to dispatch your enemies; it can also be elegantly used to counterattack with devastating results.
Interestingly, while the shotgun might seem like the biggest change between Souls and Bloodborne when it comes to your arsenal, it’s actually the blade that might provide the most staggering difference. These so-called “Transformable Weapons” can alter and change themselves on the fly, going from – as in this instance – a typical blade to a saw clever. These mysterious transformations happen mid-battle and mid-flourish, and there are many, many types of melee weapons in the game, each with their own “gimmick,” as Miyazaki described it.
The enemies we encountered during the hands-off demo weren’t necessarily anything you wouldn’t find in Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. I really enjoyed the look of the numerous roaming, diseased citizens of Yharnam. Their trenchcoats and cloaks, soiled hats and boots, all added something menacing to their appearance. There was a point where we had to do battle with some rabid dogs that covered the player in tons of blood; another time when crows darted down from the heavens to assault with impunity. I was especially enamored with how the light shone on the crows’ black feathers, and how incredibly realistic they looked. And that’s saying something in a demo that was clearly designed with careful attention to well-executed (and crucial) ambient lighting.
The demo concluded with a boss battle against a foe that appeared at a glance to be half-skeleton, half-tree. The hulking beast had moss growing on his body, an exposed ribcage, and a really bad attitude. Watching him jump over a high brick wall unannounced and out of nowhere was extraordinary; viewing the interplay between melee and gun blasts as the man running the demo took the boss down was exciting. While the team readily admits that they would have died many times during the demo – health was very clearly turned off so as to not get bogged down in a chain of game overs and continues – Souls fans will be happy to know that even the people who are making the game are struggling with its high level of difficulty. (Interestingly, we ran into an NPC before the boss fight who, if we chose to help him in his battle, would have assisted us with the boss. Alas, the man running the demo chose instead to run by him.)
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I went to see Bloodborne. As a person who stays away from the Souls games, I wasn’t sure if this game was aimed at me. But with its fresh emphasis on a new type of combat – and with the addition of just a little speed – the entire name of the game has changed for me. Bloodborne is, in the limited roster of games I’ve seen at E3 so far, my favorite title of the show. And I can’t wait to see more.
Oh, and if you're afraid some of these minor changes has altered the difficult nature of the game, just take it from Miyazaki, who said towards the end of the demo: "It's not going to be an easy game, so I'll go ahead and apologize in advance."
Link11 things you need to know about Bloodborne on PS4
Creator Hidetaka Miyazaki reveals more about his forthcoming action RPG
Brand new game, currently being developed by FromSoftware, was announced along with an exciting new trailer during the Sony stage show at E3. We jumped at the chance to sit down with the game’s director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, and try to glean as much information as we could about this dark new title. Here are 11 things you need to know.
1. This is not a sequel
FromSoftware are perhaps most famous for creating Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls II. Miyazaki himself was even the director of bothDemon’s Souls and Dark Souls, but he explained, “Players that have experienced the other games I have directed are going to see some familiarities, but this is not a sequel…you’re going to find something new inBloodborne…your gameplay experience is going to be more intense…it will be heightened.”
2. Explore the unknown
Set in the fictional, sprawling city of Yharnham, the 19th century setting is dark and foreboding. FromSoftware are keeping the details of the story of Bloodborne under wraps, but Miyazaki did tell us, “One of the most important aspects we are focusing on whilst we make Bloodborne is the exploration of the unknown” – players will have a massive area of the city of Yharnham, and you’ll be encouraged to explore it to unravel “a universe laden with mystery.”
3. Something beastly this way comes
As you journey along the dingy alleyways, strange cloaked figures and deformed figures will lurch out of the darkness to attack you at almost every turn. On top of that, “there are moments, like the ominous banging of these gates in the city, where we’re telling you that some huge beast if coming.”
4. There’s something deeply wrong in Yharnham
On top of the bleak colour palette and shadows of the city, something else is amiss, “the city has been stricken by a plague, and those afflicted transform into hideous beasts” – what’s more, “the citizens around are unaware that they too are afflicted.”
5. Fight for your life
Miyazaki is known for creating games with an enjoyably challenging difficulty level, and Bloodborne will be no different, “You’re going to constantly feel terror because when you face each enemy, you will also face death. Every fight could be your last.”
6. A weapon in each hand
Bloodborne isn’t going to send you out to face the hordes unaided – players will arm themselves with a satisfyingly powerful shotgun in their left hand, as well as a scythe-like weapon in their right.
7. Passive aggressive
Whilst wading right into a crowd of enemies is clearly a strategy that will quickly have you in a body bag, trying to stay out of the fight isn’t necessarily going to work, “You’re going to have to face up to enemies quickly or else become overwhelmed.”
8. Your weapons transform as you use them
Miyazaki showed off a melee weapon that was part scythe, part saw. What was most interesting about it is that players can employ different techniques to cause the weapon to transform as you are fighting. This will be one of the key ways in which players will need to adapt their techniques to tackle bosses, and customise their characters to suit their style, “with each transformation of your weapon comes a different play style.”
9. Shifting enemies
During the level we were shown, the citizens of Yharnham were hunting the beasts that are plaguing the city. During one section, they crowded around a makeshift pyre to set alight a slain monster, allowing us to creep around the outskirts unnoticed. However this didn’t last long – soon a bell sounded from deep within the city and the rabble recommenced their hunt. Miyazaki said, “The game is going to challenge you as the environment changes and enemies move around the level in unexpected ways.”
10. Helpful fellow
As you fight through Yharnham, you’ll occasionally meet other hunters in trouble, and you can choose whether to help or not, “You have that option, if you’re compassionate… And those characters might even come back later to lend a hand and help even the odds.”
11. Up close and personal
For anyone hoping to keep enemies at (more than) arm’s length, hurting enemies whilst staying well out of their reach in order to stay alive, Bloodborne might already be one step ahead of you. Miyazaki confirmed “close range combat is going to be the focus of the game”, but also hinted at some of the tricks you’ll have up your sleeve…
Expect a ton of new information on Bloodborne in the coming months, right here on PlayStation.Blog.