Elden Ring's Superior Predecessor Is Free on PS5 — But Only for a Few More Days
Sony is about to discontinue the PlayStation Plus Collection, and it’s slated to shut down as of May 9, 2023. This PS Plus bonus perk has given PS5 players access to some of the best PS4 games (playable thanks to backward compatibility) at no additional cost, including titles like Batman: Arkham Knight, The Last Guardian, and one of the best on the platform: Bloodborne. Sure, Elden Ring is clearly FromSoftware’s most ambitious project, but Bloodborne still may be the developer’s best and most inventive title ever. And if you adored FromSoft’s open-world adventure in the Lands Between, then Bloodborne is a must-play.
This is thanks to its unrelenting action, pacing, and nightmarish style that has yet to be replicated. Even in 2023, Bloodborne remains an absolute masterpiece, so if you haven’t played it yet (or if you want to play it again), make sure you redeem it from the PS Plus Collection before this nightmare fades into memory.
Many of FromSoftware’s games allow for a multitude of playstyles, including aggressive, tank, ranged, and magic — with several variations in between. While this offers plenty of variety and gives players numerous ways to overcome challenges, it does sometimes feel a bit unfocused. In Bloodborne, however, you are forced to play aggressively due to a few clever mechanics that make the combat really stand out.
The most obvious addition is a mechanic that actually allows you to regain health for a short period of time after taking damage. So long as you strike your foes immediately after they hit you, you’ll get to regenerate some of your lost health. This is such an incredibly smart system that rewards players for staying on the offense — instead of hanging back and taking things slowly. The game also completely removes shields (with the exception of a joke shield that doesn’t do much), which truly forces players to learn the ins and outs of attacking.
This ultimately results in a much faster pace that feels akin to a Devil May Cry game. Eventually, once you’ve mastered the art of combat, you can easily shred through even the toughest foes and do so with a blisteringly fast stride. Something about taking down Bloodborne’s most horrifying creatures quickly is immensely satisfying (especially if they decimated you at the start of the game).
There’s something to be said about Dark Souls’ variety, but few games feel as fluid and satisfyingly aggressive as Bloodborne.
While not officially advertised as such, many consider Bloodborne a horror game due to the terrifying creature designs found within. And the blood ... so much blood.
After battling enemies, your character will become covered in blood, and the way it drips adds to the immersion (and it is downright brutal). Eventually, if you take down enough enemies without visiting a save point, your character might become covered from head to toe in blood.
But all along the way, you’ll come across unsettling monsters from your nightmares. They start out tame enough, from werewolves to creepy zombie-like villagers that roam the streets. But eventually, you come across outlandish Lovecrafting monstrosities and otherworldly horrors.
As the game progresses, the creature designs get increasingly outlandish.
One of the most horrendous is actually invisible, at least at first. This massive creature known as the Amygdala is from another dimension and hangs from the side of a church early in the game. Under the right circumstances, this invisible creature can grab you and crush you with its hands. It makes for a bewildering moment of terror the first time it happens.
Things get even more shocking is when you find out what this thing actually looks like. It’s a massive enemy with elongated arms that make it look sort of like a spider. Nightmare fuel, indeed.
Bloodborne is a game that has seemingly been forgotten about by Sony. Fans have clamored for a remaster to bump its frame rate from 30fps to 60fps, along with a fully-fledged sequel — but neither has come to be. In the meantime, make sure you add Bloodborne to your PS5 library for free if you’re a PS Plus member.