9 Years Later, Does Bloodborne Deserve All The Praise It Gets?

It's about how biased people are towards this game, not its actual quality.

Story Highlights

  • Bloodborne is outclassed by the gameplay of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
  • Elden Ring’s sheer scale didn’t compromise its lore, putting it above the dark, gothic world.
  • People have elevated Bloodborne to an extremely biased standard.

The ninth anniversary of Bloodborne is behind us as players revisit memories with the Return to Yharnam community event. My self-awareness is something I’ve always been proud of so I know those pitchforks were raised the second this piece’s title showed up. 

By all measures, FromSoftware produced an excellent title that has stood the test of time. Still, I believe it’s that hour again when we ask whether Bloodborne truly gets more praise than it actually deserves.

About the Author: Saad racked up over 600 hours in Bloodborne, clearing The Old Hunters for the first time after NG+7. Pairing up with his love for FromSoftware games is what lends credence to his argument.

Sekiro’s Combat Outshines The Hit & Run Formula

Yes, I said it. During the four years after Bloodborne, FromSoftware released one of the best combat systems in gaming. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice deviated heavily from the traditional hit-and-run formula, focusing instead on actively rushing into the enemy’s face and hacking away as you heard the satisfying clang of swords.

It featured an action-oriented gameplay system that was based on reaction time. Players had to “git gud” in every sense of the phrase if they had any plans of beating the game. Moreover, Sekiro brought Deathblows to the table as well.

The sheer level of finesse and fluidity in Sekiro's combat makes it infinitely superior to Bloodborne.
The sheer level of finesse and fluidity in Sekiro’s combat makes it infinitely superior to Bloodborne.

Deflect enough attacks, break the opponent’s posture and you could knock them out in one move instead of “get HP to zero.”

Now that’s how you reward players.

Do you prefer the combat in Bloodborne or Sekiro more?
by infromsoftware

Combining the Posture system, Deathblows, and Sekiro’s adrenaline-fueling gameplay resulted in a supreme focus on aggression and initiation. I had a blast sprinting headfirst into a fight and utilizing the unique systems to my advantage compared to the usual Souls formula that was only slightly altered in Bloodborne.

Furthermore, the combat of Sekiro is accompanied by precise hitboxes. If you’ve played FromSoftware games since Dark Souls, you know how comical hit detection usually is. Given that Sekiro’s design was vastly different, I believe it made sense to have that level of quality to ensure minimal jank. 

Bloodborne does the opposite of all that.

Combat is moderately fast compared to other Souls entries excluding Elden Ring & it has the same old hit-and-dodge philosophy ingrained within. By now you’re probably seething with fury and will point towards the Lifesteal system in Bloodborne. 

I’m here to tell you that it’s nothing more than an illusion. 

During that brief window where you can get some health back, the player risks losing more of it instead of acquiring. The rate of healing isn’t fast or large enough to incentivize full capitalization. At best, it only allows you to survive with a sliver of life points in the worst-case scenario.

Bloodborne is Souls-Like at its fullest, mixed with eldrich horror and broken spirits alike.
It’s not bad, it’s just not the standard people claim it to be.

Plus, the hitboxes are as janky as any other Souls game. It’s part of the charm but that doesn’t refute the fact—Sekiro’s gameplay is just objectively better.

Next, you’ll say, “But the world is fantastic.” I agree but here’s where The Lands Between gets ahead of its ancestor.

Elden Ring’s Scale Didn’t Hinder Its Lore

You read that right, folks. Elden Ring wins over Bloodborne when it comes to worldbuilding and lore. Not because the former has an outstanding story but because of the scale factor. Before its magnum opus, FromSoftware was known for its interconnected worlds and atmospheric design—it was the beauty of these games.

I believe Bloodborne to be the pinnacle of that format. No other title has done it better till now.

That said, these entries have all been restricted to a smaller map. Elden Ring, however, went open-world; that’s something easily capable of going downhill if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Elden Ring is the epitome of open-world design.
Elden Ring is the epitome of open-world design.

Fortunately, it didn’t. The Lands Between is the perfect open world in my book. I have a solid recollection of every single moment when Elden Ring left me in sheer awe. Be it the discovery of a new area, a certain item, or getting my butt handed to me on a platinum platter (the pinnacle of alliteration folks). 

More than anything though, it’s the design that stayed with me.

That world was expansive & it didn’t feel like I was being guided by some otherworldly force (developers) into sticking to an artificial path. Given how big of a risk it was going from interconnected worlds to something of this scale, it’s a blessing that FromSoftware managed to deliver on the hype and surpass it.

Elden Ring isn’t without flaws and I’m perfectly aware of that. But it does not negate the magnitude of its achievement, something that dwarfs the aesthetic of Bloodborne.

Now here’s where the real problem comes in …

Bloodborne Is Great But It’s Still Not The Gold Standard

It’s like saying Spider-Man 2, the movie game, is better than Insomniac‘s series. Whoever says that has either not touched the franchise or is in extreme denial. 

In either case, they can’t be helped because it’s their conscious choice to believe that.

The same holds for Bloodborne. Fans have elevated it to this godly standard, using it as a benchmark to measure the quality of everything that came after it. 

Unfortunately, they don’t measure anything. It’s straight-up bias.

Bloodborne isn’t as great as it is made out to be..
byu/bekarsrisen inpatientgamers

Now, I can understand why that happens. Fun fact, Bloodborne is the first FromSoftware game I ever played and finished. My time investment in that world goes over 600 hours and Lawrence gave me a hell of a time. By all accounts, I should be biased to the point of seething with rage, pitchfork in hand, ready to put the hay in its place if anyone even dares to badmouth my Hunter’s Dream.

But I’m not. Why? Because Bloodborne is great, just not great enough to be the gold standard.

You’re still free to leave scathing remarks or prove me wrong by deep-diving into the internet just to acquire measly bits of information. 

Truth is, the game was phenomenal and still holds up well but it was surpassed by those that came after it. You can have a preference but said preference isn’t a fact. There will come a time when even titles like Elden Ring will be bested so it’s a wise decision to take those rose-tinted glasses off. 

Takeaway – Old Gives Way To New

In the end, Bloodborne holds a special place in my heart. It’s been almost a decade and I still log into Yharnam just to experience those memories I cherish so much. 

I wholeheartedly believe that Bloodborne is overly praised but that’s after the fact. You’ll never see me insulting the game because it still stands tall to this day. It’s weird due to my emotional investment but I digress.

Here’s to the game getting a PC port someday. The existence of a build and Miyazaki’s recent comments have certainly given me some hope; only time will tell if it comes to pass.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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