## WARNING! Spoilers ahead for first part of game! ##
I mentioned /admitted in the first first post on my journey into Bloodborne that I had cast my eyes online for a bit of hand holding so I had best start this second one by mentioning /admitting that I did this again before my second proper session with the game.
I know that this is very much against the principle of playing a game like this, that these support networks weren’t there in the good old days, etc. but unfortunately I don’t have the time that I had then either. I suppose I could have found the answers by fumbling around in the darkness for a night or two but I’m justifying it as a little nudge in the right direction to a) make the most of my limited gaming time and b) keep my enthusiasm going on a game where, based on my abilities, I clearly don’t belong.
It was only the one YouTube video mind you. One of those 2 min efforts that explain how you open that left gate at the spawn point in Central Yharnam. What an eye opener that was. In just 2 min I discovered:
a) that you can simply run by swathes of enemies if you don’t fancy farming for echoes.
b) that once that gate is open you have an almost direct line to the big bad at the end of this section.
c) that you can use the environment to your advantage when taking down some of the larger beasties.
I appreciate that this could have all been found out naturally by an experienced Souls player or one with the time to explore but, again, I cite the need for this player to have a level of scaffolding in order to engage with the game.
By unlocking the gate and the surrounding areas I have already started to witness how genius the level design is in this game. It’s not just a set of beautiful, set-designed corridors but an organic, higgledy-piggledy seething mass of a city. It feels real, as much a character in the game as anything else.
By unlocking the gate, I was able to make it to the first boss. It was a brutal, short and disappointing end to my first encounter with the Cleric Beast but it woke up the doll in Hunter’s Dream so now I can start to level up my character whilst farming echoes and hatching plans for the return match.
By unlocking the gate, I found an additional sewer area where I was able to find some Hunter gear (following a fight with some very ugly rats and an extremely annoying pike wielder who was so thin my molotovs kept missing him). I now feel a little more armoured against the horrors in Yharnam.
Have I cheated? Technically, yes. Is it any different from poring over a strategy guide? I would say no. I endeavour to find as much out for myself as I can via trial and error (or trial and death in this case) but I’m not too proud to say that I will need help. If it keeps me playing then it’s worth it.
I finished the session levelled to 15, with a +2 cleaver and a bag full of vials and molotovs. There’s always more farming and levelling possible (whilst further honing a more fluid fighting style and improved timing whilst dodging) but there’s no putting it off – Part 3 will be the rematch with Mr Cleric Beast.