Fear the Old Blood

7 years later, Bloodborne's enemy designs are still mind-blowing

Even in the Elden Ring era, these enemies remain iconic.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony Interactive Entertainment

FromSoftware’s Bloodborne first saw the light of day on March 24, 2015. And while Elden Ring is overshadowing its anniversary, Bloodborne’s enemy designs remain some of FromSoftware’s greatest — and most horrifying — achievements.

At first, Bloodborne’s monsters don’t seem too remarkable. You’ll fight a few werewolves, some annoying crows, and plenty of angry dudes with pitchforks.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Just a few hours into the game, things start to change ... seemingly normal humans transform into all manner of monstrosities.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Venture too far into the depths of Yharnam and you’ll soon encounter even stranger, distinctly otherworldly foes, a startling number of which try to suck out your character’s brains.

Even that won’t prepare you for the horrors to come.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Bloodborne repeatedly pulls the rug out from under players with inventive designs and transforming enemies. After just a few hours, you can’t even tell if you’re standing on solid ground anymore.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony Interactive Entertainment

With each shift of perspective, a new layer of reality is revealed, along with increasingly bizarre creatures that defy expectations.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Each time standard enemies are twisted or replaced by unfathomable creatures, it signals another step toward the horrible truth of what’s really happening in Yharnam.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

All of FromSoftware’s games have a huge variety of enemy designs, and that’s taken to its limit in Bloodborne. The gothic horror world of the game is invaded by beings from another dimension, which makes for a disorienting mix of aesthetics.

Bandai Namco

In an interview for the book Dark Souls Design Works, game director Hidetaka Miyazaki said he wants the enemies in FromSoftware’s games to have a sense of “refinement, elegance, and dignity.”

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Bloodborne’s enemies are the most grotesque in FromSoft’s history, often dripping viscera or covered in strange growths.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

It would be easy to see enemies like Ludwig, the Holy Blade as nothing but shocking abominations. But through everything from attacks to sound design, FromSoftware conveys that his story is a tragedy, not just gross-out horror.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

From Demon’s Souls to Elden Ring, FromSoftware’s enemy designs are packed with details that tell the story of the worlds they inhabit.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Bloodborne tells a story of deception and corruption by incomprehensible forces. It’s fitting then that its enemies are the most shocking and unsettling in FromSoftware’s history.