'Bloodborne' is a brutal jerk-ass of a game — and we love it!

I'll admit this right now: I owned Dark Souls II for all of two days and then returned it. I have a serious problem with a game that demands high-risk and only provides an emotional reward. Sure you'll get a new piece of armor or a new weapon every now and then, but I just couldn't wrap my brain around the "constant dying" aspect of these games, and was almost completely convinced that these asshole romps weren't for me. Am I a spoiled gamer? Probably. But we dominate the market and that can't be ignored.

And then I popped in Bloodborne.

With this horror/gothic trip to hell, From Software has crafted an experience that, while feeling very rooted in their "Souls" formula, makes its own mark as both a solid Playstation 4 exclusive and a challenging action game to boot. The graphics are slick and the art style screams to be digested slowly, while the creature designs also rank among the most original and terrifying I've seen in a video game — just try walking down a dark stairwell after hearing one of the many low, gurgling sounds of some abomination ready to pounce. Couple that with online clues and hints left by other helpless souls along their journey, and you'll find you're not always alone in your trip into the abyss.

As for the difficulty…well, this bitch is tough and there's no way around it. You will die over and over again, and you will learn from every single blood-soaked failure you encounter. After a while, I came to the conclusion that if am maimed by some beast of burden, it's my own damn fault. Not the game's fault, not the developer's, not my ex girlfriend's. Mine. And I have to deal with that. Keep a good offense and take your time, and you'll be plowing through demons of the night like hot cakes (why you would plough through hot cakes is your own damn business).

The point is, I now get the appeal of these games. It just took a more focused art-style and a little more forgiving, more aggressive battle system to lock in the addiction. I'm still playing Bloodborne and leveling my hunter up as much as humanly possible, but I'm having a blast doing it and I'm sure I'll come back for seconds, thirds and fourths. It's not a casual experience by any means, but there's a definite charm in the brutality that sticks with you long after you've thrown your controller at the wall screaming "OH MY GOD FUCK THIS GAME. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK."



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