PS4 Exclusive Bloodborne Features Health Regeneration, Encourages Offensive Combat

Regain rumble.

For all of Dark Souls developer From Software's talk about Bloodborne being opened up to a "wider audience" than its spiritual predecessors, and the gameplay concessions to less experienced players that would entail, it sure as hell doesn't look like this game is going to be easy. The perpetual twilight of Bloodborne's gothic-inspired world is as dark as they come, and its enemies as vicious and twisted as anything to have come out of Dark Souls. No, when From Software talks about bringing the game to a wider audience, decreasing the difficulty isn't what it has in mind. Instead, sensible and much needed tweaks are being brought in, which--even for veteran Dark Souls and Demon's Souls players--make a whole lot of sense.

Take your item selection, for example. Health items are given an extra, permanent slot alongside your other two item choices, which From Software says is a result of seeing most players use one of their slots for a health item in its previous games. Now, they're permanently bound to the triangle button for easy access. This ensures the other slots will be filled with more offensive items, a change that From Software is using to experiment with more effective item combinations. Want to give that molotov cocktail an extra kick? Check a vile of oil over your enemies first, and watch them go up in a seriously explosive set of flames.

Alongside your item selections and ammo count are your health and stamina bars, and it's here where From Software has made another tweak, in order to encourage a more aggressive, less defensive style of play. That tweak is called the regain system. As you receive damage from enemies, your health goes down. If you played defensively and backed off, that health would be lost forever. But in Bloodborne, you can actually claw that health back by launching a well-timed counter attack. A yellow bar that appears beside an enemy after the land a hit works as a timer: get in a counter attack before it disappears and your health is restored.

The system doesn't really make counterattacks any easier to perform, but simply gives you far more of an incentive to perform them. There is one concession to accessibility some players might not like, though, in that you don't necessarily have to attack the same enemy that hit you. Land an attack on any enemy before the yellow bar runs down and you regain your lost health. Still, From Software is adamant that despite encouraging a more aggressive playing style, the combat is "still about strategy" and not about transforming the game into an "exaggerated hack 'n' slash."

To demonstrate, I was shown another area of the game, this time set in a creepy graveyard. The enemies inside were fast and vicious, attacking with swift sword swipes and fast dashes. In a large group, I could easily seem them overwhelming a player. But they, like all enemies in Bloodborne, have a weakness; the challenge is to find it. In this case, the enemies were ghastly old ladies, and old ladies don't tend to have the strongest of bones. So, by rolling into them first, they would stumble, leaving an opening for attack.

It's a simple example, for sure, but From Software claimed that there would be other, more taxing weaknesses to find later in the game. Other combat reveals from the demo included two new transforming weapons, which sat alongside the already revealed Soul Cleaver: the anti-beast axe and a type of stake weapon. The axe had the ability to change from a long, two-handed operation form, to a shorter one-handed operation form, letting you wield it alongside another weapon. What's cool is that you're able to transform the axe mid attack, laying down some shorter, swifter attacks to stumble an enemy before unleashing a mighty two-handed swing to finish them off.

The stake weapon was a more complicated affair, something From Software claimed would only really be used by the "most experienced of players." It had the ability to unleash massively devastating explosive attacks, but needed a lot of time to charge up to do so. Getting the timing just right was key, and while the experienced players in the demo were able to use it, From Software weren't convinced the average player could. In fact, the developer didn't include it in the public build of the game at Gamescom for that very reason. It even knocked down the difficulty in that demo too, just so it could be certain people would reach the end.

But the final game should be as fiendishly difficult as From Software's others, at least if the developer's "pushed to very limits of difficulty" comments during the demo are to be believed. Certainly, the small tweaks shown in the demo were welcome ones, including the move to encourage more combat via the regain system. Oh, and did I mention the whole thing looks absolutely gorgeous? Bloodborne is up there as one of the most visually impressive upcoming games on the PS4, and certainly one of the bloodiest too.

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388 comments
GunEye
GunEye

what's wrong with gamespot's videos haves some stutters and jumps? I am using Chrome, win7, and have java and flash installed and updated. Videos are very jumpy.

Derugs
Derugs

Wow... This game is going to be trecherously difficult.  

Wogrim
Wogrim

Bleh I'd rather have health regeneration than this lifesteal thing; reward players for their defensive skill.  To speed up the gameplay you just need to improve other defensive options so that evading backwards isn't always the best solution.

Each enemy having a weakness you're supposed to exploit is pretty lame; it dictates how the game is supposed to be played.

Judeuduarte
Judeuduarte

I never played Dark Souls but i saw some gameplay videos. Is it just me or the game isn't actually hard as in you have to master combat but is hard because you have to know the enemies and the map hazards to win? (oh and be patient)
It seems to me that in a game like Ninja gaiden, or DMC you really have to become better to win much more than in Dark souls. Am i completly wrong?

Chutebox
Chutebox

All Souls game has had health regeneration. The only question is, how quick will it regenerate?

flamingfluffy
flamingfluffy

Take a drink every time someone didnt read past the title or complains about the souls games having "no story"/couldnt get very far.
Be sure to have an ambulance on standby

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

WARNING: If you mention "health regeneration" in such a way that it becomes apparent that you didn't read the article, you WILL be perceived as illiterate and possibly mentally handicapped.

Fantasy_Dragon
Fantasy_Dragon

So it's not health regeneration, it's just an alternative way to REGAIN health. Way to completely lie.

strothers101
strothers101

As opposed to the Demon/Dark Souls games which encouraged " RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY !!!!!!!".  The Monty Python special.

wrestlemaniaw
wrestlemaniaw

looks great , but I really need demon's souls 2...

Splincir
Splincir

Meh... Graphically it looks like current gen is finally next gen at least, but much like the dark souls game... what's the point really. 


I really tried to get into the dark souls games. I got them when they were on sale on Steam. I just could not. It all felt really aimless. At least set some goals for the player. You don't have to hold their hand to do that, just say hey you want to get better weapons/items or save the princess or whatever.  After roaming around for about 5 hours I gave up. I think the new silent hill playable trailer demo thing... what ever it is, has more direction than a dark souls game.


If i want to be "killing monsters" I'll be playing the Witcher 3. 

soulofademon
soulofademon

Game looks great, I'm looking forward to both the single player aspects of the game and for the multiplayer. Dark Souls 2 was a let down to me ( still a good game) but this game has Miyazaki on board so my expectations are high.. Don't let us down Fromsoft :)

ooole
ooole

Health regen? people that think Dark Souls story was bad are interested?... fuck.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

*yawn*

Wake me when these medieval games die off.

pnova
pnova

this looks good, I played dark souls and didn't like it because of the bad/uninteresting story, the gameplay was decent. I hope this game is better.

semi74
semi74

WOW, the big news on Bloodbourne is that it features health regen, something that has been in games for the last 25 years.


Thank god for next gen, ehhh :)

rasterorsoniu13
rasterorsoniu13

Loving the sound of the new changes and transforming weapons. Lots of secrets to be discovered, no shield, reward for pulling a counter-attack. I will be using a week of vacation for launch and playing this 4 or 5 times

pyosisified
pyosisified

LAME now back to having no reasons to buy a PS4

vadagar1
vadagar1

BORING

reg health RLY

there is another word for that

lazy game play design 

bruta
bruta

Bloodborne looks awesome and you can easily feel Miyazaki and his team's touch, like in Demon's and DS1

Dark Souls 2 however, made by the obviously less talented B team is a pos and an insult to the Souls franchise. nothing challenging and nothing dark in it at all, for me at least it was a major disappointment

JURGMANDR
JURGMANDR

@Wogrim  The whole problem with health regen is that it encourages the same old sword and board style of the previous games. At least this system allows people to play more offensively and not be punished quite as brutally as Dark Souls.

Hopefully every weapon plays differently and encourages different ways to play like in the previous games. All the different weapon movesets paired up with learning an enemy's pattern and trying to work around it is part of what made the Souls series so entertaining imo. 

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@rawkstar007 Indeed. It's one thing to be suckered in by click bait but another to comment before you know what you're commenting on.

cboye18
cboye18

@Splincir I couldn't get into it because of the depressing environment/story. It sucked all the joy away for exploring the game. I think I'd rather have a Zelda type of game with this DS combat mechanics ( and true, they should put some goals in-game). 

tom2750
tom2750

@Sevenizz its funny because if this were an Xbox one exclusive we wouldn't hear the end of how amazing it is from you bias Xb0t

coulterjames72
coulterjames72

Gothic, not medieval. Just saying. Medieval knights didn't have access to a whole lot of blunderbuses

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@pnova 

Somebody didn't look any further than 5 minutes. 


Dark Souls actually has a very deep story.You just have to pay attention and take a look around you.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

You are not alone. After an hour with it after it was free on Xbox Live - I deleted it.

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

@semi74 First off, this game looks next-gen. You may need to put on some glasses. Second off, I don't think From Software cares too much about trying to make the most next-gen looking game as possible anyway; they're just worried about making a great game. Btw, this is coming from an Xbox One owner, a pretty jealous one at that.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@pyosisified 

Really? Didn't read the article either?

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@vadagar1 If you actually read it you'll see it's actually not regenerating health and the headline is misleading, it's more like skill based risk/reward health regain oppurtunity.

coulterjames72
coulterjames72

Honestly, i am finding DS2 more challenging than DS. Especially the new DLC. The level design definitely isn't as good, but for some reason i enjoy playing DS2 more. I know it lags behind the others in terms of story, enemies, and environments, but i have more fun playing it. It is, to me, more challenging and more fun than Its predecessor.

But of course, that's just me.

ecter1216
ecter1216

@bruta At least it looks freaking gorgeous with the right mods on PC. 

Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

@bruta It did feel a bit easier I suppose, but it was still very much enjoyable.
The thing I dislike about it is how you have to be within 10 levels of people you play with, totally messes with it imo.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@cboye18 @Splincir 

Well then the souls games are majorly not for you. Or any mature rated games....or anything with any kind of serious tone to them.....

Also Splincir...if you bothered to even pay attention to any dialouge or any cinematic....you would know your goal.The games told you plenty, not the games fault that you have the attention span of a gnat, or need it spoon fed to you.

DutchZombie
DutchZombie

Somebody doesn't know their history. Way to go, champ! Gothic is medieval.

jordanjs
jordanjs

@WolfGrey @pnova Agreed. If all else fails, YouTube some strategies and some of the lore. ("This priest guy looks like a turd... hey, he _is_ a turd!") If that's not enough to spark your interest... your loss, I guess. :/

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@ecter1216 @bruta Are you truly retarded or what?

This is PS4 EXCLUSIVE!!!!!

Try to get that to your thick hermit skull.

Good luck having sony exclusives on your pc hahhahhaha xDDDDDD

robaflobalob
robaflobalob

@WolfGrey @cboye18 @Splincir Yes, because the souls games are so very mature - terrible, childlike use of "Olde English", cliche 'chosen one' storyline, not to mention the largest set of heaving fake breasts ever seen in a game. Give me a break. I like the Souls series and have completed all of them multiple times, but don't act like you have to be a member of mensa to understand the supposed "subtlety of the story" or that not liking them makes you somehow deficient.

Splincir
Splincir

@WolfGrey @cboye18 @Splincir Oh noes!! Someone didn't like my beloved DS game! They must of course be brain dead idiots. Burn in all 6.95 billion people who didn't buy DS.


Well I'll try not to be rude like some one else, but have you played the Silent hill demo thing. There is as much narrative and direction in that as there is in the dark souls games. 


The game just plops you in... oh that's right that's all it does. It doesn't even give you a "good luck". I'm not asking for bread crumb trails, minimap arrows, or anything like that. Just say hey your dead... now your not. There's these big monster things you'll want to kill them, stuff happens and that lets you progress. I wondered around aimlessly for 10 hours killing stuff, which was enjoyable, until I was just like well what the hell do I kill next to get through that gate. I bought the game on recommendations from a friend who fiendishly ate up all info about the game. Guess what, that gave him all the knowledge he needed to know what certain items did and what they were for and what he needed to do. Much like a person in a beta for an mmo has a jump on someone just hopping in 3 weeks after release. They understand the games systems because someone else told them how it works, and they researched it online before hand. This is one of the failures of mmos and games like DR with old school design principles.  


In the end the game just wasn't for me, and buddy... that's okay. Like in my first paragraph, to give you some perspective, there are another 6.95 billion people who didn't buy your game. There are 83 million ps3 owners and 78 million of them didn't buy the game. It's a niche game. It's got its place and its fans. I'm just not one of them.

coulterjames72
coulterjames72

@DutchZombie caught me! I admit I didn't pay much attention in history class (i'm more of a math and science guy), but that's beside the point.  If there is any dev who knows how to make medieval fantasy badass, it's From Software.  I doubt this will just be some standard fantasy hack-and-slash, if their previous titles are any indication

coulterjames72
coulterjames72

@DutchZombie thanks! I admit I didn't pay much attention in history class (i prefer math and science), but my point about the blunderbusses still stands.  the Crusaders didn't claim Jerusalem with shotguns.  I'm just saying, give From Software credit for at least doing something unique with the gameplay/aesthetics.  If there is anything they know how to do, it's how to make the middle ages badass.  If their pedigree is any indication, this will not be some standard medieval fantasy game

Splincir
Splincir

@hermitkiller @ecter1216 @bruta Calm your tits pony. He was talking about dark souls on the PC looking better if you installed mods to do so.


Oh and bee tee dubs, dark souls and friends were playstation "exclusives" as well. Yet there they are on steam anyway... funny how that works. Same as Ryse and dead rising 3. Most games make it there eventually. 

pyosisified
pyosisified

@hermitkiller @pyosisified @WolfGrey I only play real games like Baldurs Gate not dumbed down console garbage Thanks

hermitkiller
hermitkiller

@Splincir @hermitkiller @ecter1216 @bruta Does your precious steam

include?:


The last of us

Uncharted series

God of war 3 & ascension

Army of two trilogy

Ninja gaiden sigma 1-3

Bayonetta

Red dead redemption

Dead or alive 5

Infamous series

Soul calibur 4 & 5

Tekken tag 2

Virtua fighter 5 FS

Demons souls

MGS 4

Dantes inferno

NHL 14

Ratchet & clank series

Motorstorm series


Wanna make a bet none of these babies ain't gonna f*cking show up on your

über rig xDDDDD????


Splincir
Splincir

@hermitkiller @Splincir @ecter1216 @bruta  Hmm, you are one self righteous pony aren't you. Like I said before... calm your tits. You sony fan boys are some rabid fools.


Read my post again. "Most" is a key word. Of course every game won't make it to PC. That is why I have 5 systems. PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, xbox one, and a gaming PC. I'm a gamer I play games. You are so ready to viciously defend the almighty PS4 that you failed to notice the lack of fanboyism in my last post and the outrageous amount in your own. No reason to go into more detail, logic and civility is obviously lost on you.