Archive for the ‘Bloodborne’ Category

## 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.

## WARNING – Mild spoilers ahead ##

Ok, so I’m going to play Bloodborne.  A game by From Software, following in the footsteps of the ultra-hard, unforgiving Souls series (of which I have collectively played about 10 min (dying at least 50 times)).

Bearing in mind that, despite my love of all things video games, I’m pretty crap at playing them this is likely to end badly with lots of shouting, recriminations and regretful sobbing whilst rocking in the corner.

Nevertheless this evening sleeves were rolled up (and real ales lined up) and I began.  For the first hour it was very much ‘so far, so am I getting anywhere?’. I’d managed to deal with some of the more basic grunts with only the odd death or two but was hitting a bloody brick wall with the mob of unruly types warming themselves by the sacrificial fire (never mind what was groaning and thundering against the wooden gate just beyond…).

It was very much ‘die extremely bloodily, wash (on a hot cycle), rinse, repeat’.  So what could I do differently (apart from flinging more pebbles about)?  Casting a guilty glance at early walkthroughs online, it seemed that the expectation was to plough on through to the first boss fight but, with my limited abilities, I wasn’t going to get there without some buffs.

Returning to Hunter’s Dream and engaging with the rather cute Bath Messenger I found that, with some limited blood echo gathering, I could suit up with some moderately improved armour. Anything to stop me getting pulverised quite so quickly was definitely a good thing so I endeavoured to grind echoes for the next 45 min (repeating the first 15-20 enemies) until I could get suitably suited and booted.

Although this felt a fairly cheap way of playing the game early on I did end up slightly more protected and, more importantly, started to read the early game enemies and their fighting styles.  I even started to look like I almost knew what I was doing.

Two hours in and I had my first feeling of progress. The fire-worshipping mob had been felled (even those annoying fellas with the guns) and I’d only suffered the odd stupid death.  With chest fully pumped, off I went to find out what was making the wooden gate shudder.

Faced with a hefty Brick Brute I initially found success with a well placed molotov halving its health before some clumsily timed dodges found me very much dead again. And back at Central Yharnam again. With all the enemies respawned again.

I would like to say I took all of this in good grace and immediately set to work again but this would be a lie.  In truth, I moaned and pleaded like my 7 year old when I tell him that his ‘screen’ time is up.  I must also admit that the word ‘unfair’ entered the tirade (and probably not for the last time either).

What should have happened shortly afterwards was a rage quit with the middle aged pouting gamer putting on something else (with an ‘easy’ option) to make him feel better BUT instead I went again.  All the way through to the Brick Brute (Seeing him off with an oil urn / molotov combo) and beyond.  I even made it up to the Nether Beasts before, once again, I met my bloody fate. And back at Central Yharnam again. With all the enemies respawned again.

Deep breath. Time to put the game to bed for the night.  But not before I harvest some more echoes so I could replenish my resources and fix my cleaver.

All set up for next time then.  With hopefully more of a tactic to deal with those pesky Nether Beasts.

My first real night playing Bloodborne has been an interesting one and has already raised several points of note:

1.  I am still pretty crap at video games.

2. I am more resilient than I gave myself credit for.

3. I think I like the game.

4.Please God, let me at least get past the first part / boss of the game.

To be continued….

P.S. I take full responsibility for any blatantly stupid playing styles described above, including missing anything screamingly obvious to other players of this game.

P.P.S. Any hints or tips will be very warmly received!