'Bloodborne 2': How To Build a Better 'Bloodborne'

Jonny Weston Feb 19, 2018

  1. Jonny Weston

    Jonny Weston
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    Four ways to improve Bloodborne

    Two years ago, From Software’s Bloodborne sprung fully-formed from the murky mind of Souls' guru Hidetaka Miyazaki, a world of towering spires and nightmare creatures inspired by the works of visionary bigot H.P. Lovecraft. And though last year’s Dark Souls 3 managed to replicate the sense of crumbled majesty that brought the series so much acclaim over the years, many fans felt that Bloodborne brought forth the wild imagination that first birthed Demon’s Souls all the way back in 2012. Now, after Fromsoft teased a desiccated limb-machine at The Game Awards that bears more than a slight resemblance to the ornate “trick weapons” of the Hunter’s Workshop, some franchise fanatics are hoping for a well-deserved follow-up to Miyazaki’s dream odyssey.

    While we still don’t really know what exactly “Shadows Die Twice” even is - eagle-eyed readers have pointed to the ninja stealth series Tenchu or even the cult PS2 dungeon crawler Shadow Tower as possible leads - with the massive critical and cultural success of Bloodborne, even if this turns out to be a new IP, there’s little doubt that FromSoft will leave their Hunters in the lurch for long. Though Bloodborne is absolutely one of the greatest games of this console generation so far, there’s always a little room for improvement. With that in mind, here’s a brief wishlist of features and fixes that I hope to see in a return trip to Yharnam.

    1. An overhaul of the Chalice Dungeon system

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    Though the top-hats and gaslamps of its Victorian city helped Bloodborne stand apart, there’s no denying that it borrowed most of its base structure from its Souls brethren by simply pasting “Blood” over “Souls.” Bloodborne’s greatest departure from its parent franchise came in the form of Chalice Dungeons, partially-randomized catacombs beneath Yharnam that - in true Diablo fashion - bestowed high-level gear onto players that were patient enough to conquer some of the game’s stiffest challenges. While a handful the Chalice-specific bosses stand as some of Miyazaki’s best work, the dungeons suffered from a raft of serious design issues, chief among them redundancy. The dank basements all look the same after a few hours, and the level design lacked the deft balance or careful plotting of the base game, relying on endless hordes of respawning enemies to keep you on your toes.

    A revised Chalice Dungeon system could learn a lot from indie roguelites like Rogue Legacy or Dead Cells. By varying the decor and hiding better-rewards within the claustrophobic caverns, FromSoft could incentivize players to tangle with one of the game’s most creative systems. Rather than an endgame grind braved only by enthusiasts in search of that elusive platinum trophy, the Chalice Dungeons should lead to some of the most engaging content in the game, a “capstone” not unlike the raids in the Destiny series, or the ultra-hard optional bosses that Final Fantasy made famous. Please, just don’t make me fight Amygdala for the fourth time. I’ve had enough of her pounce.

    2. More trick weapons, and better loot pacing

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    There’s no doubt that the exploding thud of the Boomhammer, the razor-sharp bite of the Threaded Cane, and the tell-tale whirr of the Whirligig Saw - A.K.A. the “pizza cutter on a stick” - will go down as some of the most memorable attacks in video gaming. However, the dozen-or-so implements offered by Bloodborne pale in comparison to the bounty of broadswords, spears, and rapiers offered by the Souls series. Perhaps in response to this criticism, the lone DLC for Bloodborne, "The Old Hunters," took great pains to expand the workshop selection, nearly doubling the number of weapons in the game. Unfortunately, because the DLC is locked behind some fairly-stiff boss fights, most players won’t get to experiment with the likes of Simon’s Bowblade or the Church Pick until more than halfway through the game, when they’ve already committed to a weapon. Bloodborne 2could avoid this problem by dropping loot at a more consistent clip and not saving all of its shiniest toys until the very end of the night.

    3. A world beyond the city

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    Yharnam is one of the best-realized settings in any game, complete with its own culture, factions, and geography. That said, I can’t help but feel that Bloodborne has effectively told the complete story of the city and the people who dwell within it, especially after the events of "The Old Hunters". While it might be tempting to return to where it all began, there’s a whole world beyond the impossible cathedrals for FromSoft to imagine, and I can’t wait to explore it. Though certain item descriptions and NPCs hint at the lands outside the walls, it’s purely uncharted territory, and it would be fascinating to see the disparate impact that the Great Ones have had in other climes beyond just Victorian pseudo-Europe.


    4. More varied builds
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    Though the weapons offered by Bloodborne vary wildly in speed, power, and reach, beyond a smattering of arcane items and exotic guns, most players tend to stick to the tried-and-true method of whacking a monstrous beast with a sword in close-quarters combat until it stops moaning. Though clever builds can take advantage of the more esoteric gear in the game, such as the booming Cannon or area-of-effect “spells” like A Call Beyond, the lack of the classic Souls trifecta of miracles, magic, and pyromancy really limits the approaches you can try, at least in single player. There’s no hiding that “character-action” games like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry inspired the fast-paced (mostly)-shieldless combat that sets Bloodborne apart, but a few more options beyond melee combat would really boost replayability, even if they seem a little less satisfying than the classic saw-and-pistol method.


    Source: Rollingstone.com




     
  2. Ravanofdarkness

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    I would like them to focus on delivering a Game that runs at a locked frame-rate with no frame pacing issues.
     

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