Finding Glorious Respite in Bloodborne: The Old Hunters
Ben Sheene / Dec 2nd, 2015 No Comments
Victory over Bloodborne: The Old Hunters‘ first boss was not sweet. Dozens of excruciating deaths had whittled down my sanity until I was left an angered, beaten player. I was worried the difficulty spike of NG+ and this new expansion was going to be par for the course. Bloodborne excels at challenging brave players and those players thrive on the challenge. There is a certain risk/reward in attempting an extra sword swipe in hope that terrifying enemy doesn’t react in kind slightly faster. Bloodborne is hard and hard can be fun. I was beginning to lose sight of that.
Down But Not Out
The Old Hunters kicks off by throwing players deep into the madness of the Hunter’s Nightmare. Enemy hunters wield the DLC’s new weapons around every corner. It’s non-stop chaos and pain, especially when everything hits so hard. Compared to the standard pacing of Bloodborne, this new area wasn’t entirely different. The streets of Yharnam are full of men and beasts that attack from all sides. But the game is also home to tense 1 vs. 1 or 2 vs. 1 battles against larger foes that packs even larger punches.
As I moved past the Underground Corpse Pile (yes, that’s the name) where Ludwig was finally slain I felt a twinge of excitement to finally be moving on. Was it enough to overcome my dread and exhaustion? Not yet. But as I wandered into the new area, enemies were less plentiful. A few diseased rats hiding in the dark. A hooded, pale-faced hunter in the tight corridor of a prison guarded by a guy in a wheelchair wielding a gun. Then I encountered two evil hunters trying to kill me. Except this time we fought in an open space and I didn’t have to worry about another fifty hunters and beasts joining in on the fun.
Slowly but surely The Old Hunters reminded me why Bloodborne is such a thrilling experience. These fights are tough but entirely manageable. The dance between player and enemy is delicate, thrilling, and rewarding upon victory. Death isn’t as sour when enemies are more manageable and less erratic. As I (sort of) left the memory of Ludwig behind me, I began to look back on some of the more enjoyable aspects of The Old Hunters that were more in tune with my original Bloodborne experience.
Accentuate the Positive
Bloodborne is packed with beautiful scenery. Dreary, yes, but beautiful. The gothic architecture and inspiration From Software constructed Yharnam with is a vast departure from the fantasy setting of Dark Souls, yet it works. Despite the Hunter’s Nightmare being a remixed version of previous parts of Bloodborne areas, there was still some corrupt imagery that was stunning to take in. Each disgusting enemy has a story behind it. One only has to look up Bloodborne’s lore for their imagination to run wild on why these furry humanoid creatures look the way they do. The dreams and nightmares of hunters are full of mystery that dedicated players will love to solve.
I rode an opulent elevator into the next area, the Research Labs. As soon as I walked in I saw a shallow pool in the center of the room, it was stuffed with bodies, a theme in the DLC apparently. A man or creature was scrounging around in the water, looking for his eyes. However, I wasn’t really sure where he would put those eyes considering his head looked like a rubbery, bloody sac.
Disturbing. That’s the stuff. This disturbing, pathetic creature is the kind of stuff Bloodborne is made of. I panned the camera around the room, taking in the sights and sounds. I heard mutterings of voices and the scurrying of danger. Steps curled up chambers lined with bookshelves. It was that kind of looming danger that reignited my desire to let Bloodborne capture me and The Old Hunters to start winning me over.
tags: bloodborne , Bloodborne THe Old Hunters Review , Bloodborne: The Old Hunters , from software , ps4 , The Old Hunters