Many mechanics of Bloodborne have been a mystery until now, but the lid is beginning to open thanks to the first nineteen minutes of the upcoming PS4 exclusive, published by IGN. If you want to check them out, you can watch them at the bottom of this post, but let us delve into the video, and analyze in depth what we can learn from it about the game.
There are mild spoilers below, so if you prefer to discover everything by yourself, don’t read further. It’s been nice to meet you. Brief, but intense.
The death screen. Get used to it, and learn to love it, because you’ll see it a lot. The game actually starts with your death while unarmed against a big wolf.
Dream refuge: it’s your in-game hub. You can sell and buy items, fortify your weapons, fast travel to various locations through it, and possibly more. When you die the first time, you end up here.
Basic weapons: after your first death, the messengers (which really seem to be your best friends) give you a choice among three melee weapons (Saw cleaver, Hunter Axe, Threaded Cane) and two firearms (Hunter Pistol and Hunter Blunderbuss). Each weapon has different stats. Gone are the pre-made combinations included in the demo and alpha.
We can see several interesting stats in this screen. Blood echoes (shorted Blood) are your currency. Attributes are Insight (listed separately, for now it’s an unknown), Vitality, Endurance, Strength, Skill, Bloodtinge and Arcane. Since the video skips character creation we don’t know if these can be customized at the beginning. Weapons give attribute bonus and may have strength, skill, bloodtinge and arcane requirements.
Weapons also have durability, and firearms can use multiple Quicksilver Bullets. They also have physical and elemental attack stats (blood, arcane, fire and bolt) and special attacks.
The Notebook: it’s given at the beginning of the game, and it’s useful to leave messages to other players.
The inventory: here’s our inventory and equipment menus, where we can set weapons, clothes and usable items. Interestingly, there’s room for a primary and a secondary for both melee weapons and firearms. We don’t know, for now, how easily we’ll be able to swap between them.
Commerce: we’ll be able to buy and sell items using blood echoes as a currency at the “Bath Messengers” shop in the Dream Refuge.
Fast travel hub: from the Dream Refuge we’ll be able to fast travel to every location we have discovered.
The doll: we don’t know, at the moment, if this doll has any meaning or is just a decoration, but since From Software created an interaction with it, it might be unlocked later in the game.
Blood transfusion: killing the last enemy that killed us let us recover Blood Echoes. As you can see below, our revenge target is marked by glowing eyes that it didn’t have before.
Lamps: they’re used to transport back to the Dream Refuge, and you can fast travel to them from Dream Refuge. They also act as bind points when you die. You need to unlock them by touching them before they can be used.
Day/night cycle: we don’t know how it works for now, but the demo shows the same Central Yharnam area that was included in the demo and in the alpha test, but the time of the day has changed from night to sunset.
Loot: killed enemies drop loot. For now we saw blood vials (healing potions), pebbles (can be thrown at enemies), quicklsilver bullets (necessary to use firearms), and Bloodstone Shards (used to upgrade weapons).
Snipers: enemies don’t just attack with melee weapons, but there also are some using firearms.
Alternate routes: in some areas there are alternate routes hidden by destructible environment elements.
NPCs: we can have conversations with various NPCs around the city, and some will even give us items.
One-Way doors: some doors seem to allow opening only from one side. We can also shut them. There are shortcuts that lead back to the lamps.
Weapon fortification: weapons can be fortified at the Dream Refuge. Fortification costs Bloodstone Shards and Blood Echoes.
Respawn: Enemies respawn, apparently roughly in the same place as before their killing. It’s unclear if it happens after going back to the Dream Refuge or periodically.
Stealth: while there’s no formal “stealth mode,” many enemies can be approached stealthily, and killed from behind.
Damage display: every time you hit an enemy, the precise damage you deal is displayed numerically over its life bar.
And this is it for the first nineteen minutes of the game, while many questions remain about character creation, we learned quite a lot. Bloodborne definitely looks interesting, and Souls fans should feel right at home, as many mechanics are either identical or very similar.
If you want to try and discover other elements yourself, you can check out the video below.
[Special thanks to the folks of the r/bloodbornethegame subreddit for finding many things I couldn’t notice by myself]