Eurogamer GOTY 2015: Bloodborne

I very much disagree with this. Bloodborne was better than Dark Souls II, but that's not something to pride yourself on.

There is some great stuff in Bloodborne, but the game has too many problems to be considered best of the year. First of all is the crappy performance and the still awful load times. Even in the Chalice Dungeons with barely anything to render the game stutters and hitches all the time. It's not Blighttown-on-consoles levels of bad, but it's also pervasive and present everywhere. FromSoft need to get their shit together in this regard, designing your game to known, fixed specs is part of development and they fail yet again at this.

Which brings me to the Chalice Dungeons themselves, which are the worst areas in any Souls game by miles. They're just boring randomized dungeons that completely undermine the level design strengths of FromSoft. Visually unappealing and repetitive, with none of the clever little touches that reward careful exploration.

Even just getting to the bottom of the "fixed" chalice dungeons is a dreadfully boring slog through the same dozen or so rooms, with the same enemies just with more HP and higher damage output (while also halving your own HP, because this section wasn't tedious enough yet) and re-used bosses.

There's also no point to actually doing them, because of course they also lack the breadcrumb trail of new shiny loot and the promise of finding new, interesting locations or whatnot that is so motivating in the main game and previous Souls games.

Forcing myself through the Chalice Dungeons (because clearly it can't continue being that shit ... surely it gets great any minute now ... right ... right?!) completely soured me on Bloodborne going forward. I have no desire to play the DLC.

Outside of that, the game was alright. Didn't much care for the streamlining of equipment and builds. While I generally play Souls games with light armor and relying on dodging more than anything, being forced into that playstyle with no other option available was not a welcome change.

Visually the game is pretty great from a design perspective, but is again let down by technical issues. Lots of shimmering, aliasing and general image quality problems, not helped by the annoying use of chromatic abberation everywhere.

This all sounds very negative, but I still think Bloodborne is a decent game - just with quite a few really shitty parts and baffling decisions that keep it from being anything more than that.

Ultimately, with Bloodborne FromSoftware is now down to 2/4 when it comes to Souls games for me, and I'm super wary of Dark Souls III. And that makes me sad.

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