Footage of Bloodborne’s First 18 Minutes Drops

Coming out of IGN’s IGN First series, we got to get a in depth look at the first few minutes of Bloodborne, before its March release. From the footage shown off, the Dark Souls vibe is very much there, yet there seems to be enough new content that differentiates Bloodborne from its medieval predecessors. Let’s dive in and see what is different.

First up, we’ve got the opening. In true Souls fashion, we are dropped right into the thick of the action, starting off strapped to a gurney whilst someone performs a blood transfusion on us. After a very short operation and seeing a wolfman being born from our blood (that explains the name then) and several ghostly gnomes crawling over our face, we are finally let out into this creepy hospital. Straight away, we are left without a weapon and completely helpless which is different to the other games, where we are at least left with a weapon of some kind as soon as we start the adventure.

We are soon mauled by a wolfman and after seeing the traditional ‘YOU DIED’ text, we are transported into a forested safe zone known as The Dream Refuge. This area seems to be some kind of hybrid of the Nexus from Demon Souls’ and Firelink Shrine, providing a safe hub and vendors to spend our precious Blood Echoes. This is where we find that those albino goblins from earlier are actually friendly, being named Messengers and providing us with our starting weapons. As opposed to previous Souls’ games, our starting weapon choice is not tied to a class, allowing us to pick between 3 Trick weapons and 2 Firearms. The Trick weapons are for melee, with players being able to pick between the often seen Saw Cleaver, as well as the Hunter Axe and Threaded Cane. This is where we get a first real glimpse at the game’s stat screen, which is very similar to previous Souls’ games.

We get the normal ones of Vitality, Strength and Endurance, but new ones including Skill (which probably replaces Dexerity), Arcane (which is probably this game’s version of Intelligence) and Bloodtinge which is completely new. The attack types have also changed, with Lighting Damage being replaced with Bolt Damage and Magic for Arcane. Attribute Bonuses are still in effect, with the Saw Cleaver seeming to scale best with Strength while the Threaded Cane scaling best with Skill.

As for the Firearms, we get the choice of the Pistol and the Blunderbuss. Firearms do solely Blood Damage and require a certain Bloodtinge level in order to use them. Oddly, the Pistol has higher base damage than the Blunderbuss from the stats screen. In this Refuge, we also get a small look at a Messenger vendor, who requires players to bathe them in Blood Echoes in order to buy items. Players can also sell items to this Messenger, which means you can finally get rid of all those random trash weapons without having to go find Gavlan every time, like you did in Dark Souls 2.

Bloodborne Screen 2

Fancy a marshmallow?

Then, we get a look at the game’s version of the Bonfire, which is a small gaslamp which summons Messengers when approached. Players can return to the Refuge at any of these Lamps and then warp between them from the Hub, yet they respawn at the lamps rather than at the Refuge. This seems more in line with Dark Souls 2’s warp system, which may be a unwelcoming addition for some as the warp structure seemed to destroy the feeling of a cohesive overworld that was so effective in Dark Souls.

We then enter Yharnam again, successfully killing the Wolfman and picking up a Blood Transfusion for our efforts. Whether these are the equivalent of Fire Keeper Souls or Estus Flask Shards is unclear, but they seem important to the player. Questing through Yharnam seems very different to Lordran, with it feeling more like a living world gone mad than a series of Undead gauntlets, which was a problem in the opening sections of both Dark Souls 1 and 2. Combat wise, Bloodborne wants players to dodge as opposed to simply tank attacks, with there being no obvious shield option in game which will push players to actually learn attack timings rather than just camp out enemies behind a tower shield.

Blood Flasks are your key healing items, with them being one time consumables like healing grasses found in Demon Souls’. Quicksilver bullets are another key items, being the ammo for your Firearm and seeming fairly limited through the world. The rest of the opening mainly concerns the player fighting through Yharnam and showing off the game’s combat. Rather than a dedicated strong swipe, it seems like players can charge up a swing of their weapon to do more damage rather than simply hit the second attack trigger but this may be incorrect. The main other thing to point out is the weapon upgrade system, which is briefly shown near the end of the opening. There is a wheelchair bound NPC in the little chapel of the Dream Refuge which, apart from giving you some lore details about your new status as a Hunter, gives you the ability to upgrade and fortify your weaponry. The system seems very similar to previous Souls’ titles, with players using Bloodstones instead of Titanite shards to give their arms an extra kick.

The footage then ended with the player attacking the Cleric Beast, a giant humanoid monster which screeched at players while trying to bludgeon them into a bloody paste. This boss seemed a lot more gruesome and skeletal than bosses in other Souls’ games, which ties in with the whole notion of Yharnam being corrupted and twisted by this mysterious plague.

So, what did you think of the opening? Did this get you even more pumped for Bloodborne? Keep an eye out for more Bloodborne details as we approach its March release.