This week saw the 7th anniversary of the release of Bloodborne. FromSoftware’s PlayStation 4 exclusive had not only a huge release but is still a noteworthy game even all these years later. Bloodborne was the first FromSoftware game that stepped away from the studio’s usual Dark Souls formula. The creators noticed the immense success and took this feedback to affect subsequent iconic releases.
Bloodborne first made news upon release when it was announced it would not involve shields. While it did have one, it was almost unusable and forced players to learn a new playstyle. Bloodborne sped up the combat and dodge system and included life-steal for attacks made quickly after being hurt. These changes required many slower defensive Souls players to play in an entirely new way.
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These gameplay changes were loved by many. Despite the initial hesitation, many players tried recreating these builds in Dark Souls 3, which took notes and sped up its combat system. Seeing the community embracing these changes, FromSoftware decided to further this trend with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Sekiro’s combat system closely mirrored Bloodborne’s and took notes to refine it and add a blocking system.
This year, we see FromSoftware’s Elden Ring with a more sped-up combat system than the studios’ older Souls titles. Elden Ring not only has an influenced combat system but also monsters straight from Bloodborne. Elden Ring has monsters that seem like beasts from Yharnam who got lost and wandered into the wrong game. Without spoiling too much, there is also a boss that I’d bet money on being originally designed for Bloodborne.
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Elden Ring’s map is also littered with smaller dungeons that can’t help but remind you of Bloodborne’s Chalice dungeons. While all of these games were successful for their own reasons, it’s hard not to notice Bloodborne’s DNA running through Elden Ring. Bloodborne was a night and day difference from Dark Souls 2, and we’re still seeing the effect of Bloodborne’s changes over the recycled formula of earlier Souls games.
After these seven years, fans still hold onto hope for a sequel or even possibly a remaster of this masterpiece. If Elden Ring is your first FromSoftware game, you need to go back and play this icon of a game. Maybe you have played Bloodbourne, and it’s just been a while; either way, this game deserves another playthrough, this year and the next.