Developer FromSoftware Publisher SCE Format PS4
“Based Miyazaki,” wrote Souls- game YouTuber Michael ‘VaatiVidya’ Samuels in the comments section beneath Bloodborne’s announcement trailer in June 2014. “My channel survives for another year.” It’s a telling line, and not just for its commentary on the precarious nature of fame and success on the world’s biggest video-sharing site. Samuels’ work is dedicated to Bloodborne and the
Souls series, and his deeply researched lore videos couldn’t be done for other games. From’s approach to story is special, and Bloodborne is its best work yet.
It has the studio’s best combat system, too, taking the meaty weight of a connecting blow in a Souls game and wrapping it all up in a dramatically faster pace. Flighty dashes replace ponderous dodge-rolls and are used as much for getting into the action as escaping from it. Dual-form trick weapons open up combo possibilities unprecedented in a From game. And the Regain system, which lets you claw back lost health by quickly retaliating, encourages and rewards a front-footed approach. It’s a transforming scythe to the face to those who saw in Bloodborne a simple extension of the Souls formula, and a studio settling a little too comfortably into a rhythm.
And, heavens above, the world. Yharnam is a remarkable creation, another showcase of Miyazaki’s peerless ability to stitch disparate areas into a world using devious paths and shortcuts. This is his finest spot of needlework to date, varied but believable, the urge to see what lies around the next corner undimmed by the knowledge that it’s probably going to be something quite traumatic. The results, combined, are exquisite, cementing From as one of the finest studios in the industry today, and Miyazaki as one of its greatest designers. We may not quite depend on From’s work for our livelihoods but, like Samuels, we can’t bear to contemplate life without it.