Bloodborne

Imaginative, powerful and coherent, Bloodborne is genius.

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Key events

27th March 2015

Bloodborne review

Death is a given, and that's doubly true for video games. And when death comes, it tends to come in force. Who among us can claim we haven't, at some point in our gaming career, meandered through plains sprinkled with corpses, or waded through rivers of blood past bobbing human remains? If video games are to be believed, corpses are more gregarious than the living. They flock to gruesome sites of executions, torture and massacres, hang themselves from nooses, impale, flay, contort or dismember themselves into bloody bouquets for us to gawk and shudder at in passing.

All games are occult. We as players are not privy to the inner workings that define the rules by which we play. Unlike in a tabletop RPG, we're not even aware of the dungeon master's screen that hides the game's secrets and mechanics from us. Still, few games turn the inherent occultism of the medium into their central theme by making us acutely aware of the presence of the invisible screen, compelling us to piece together a mosaic of uncertain knowledge. And only an elect handful does so while invoking age-old traditions of magic and esoteric philosophy.

Rejoice! Bloodborne, a nailed-on cert for one of the games of the generation, is now available to everyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription, and it is soooooo goddamn good; From Software's finest, if you ask me, a razor-edged, blood-soaked distillation of the Souls formula into something that's headily unique. It's a work of exquisite art, basically, yet there are still some put off by it all. There are still those who haven't sampled its delights.

When HP Lovecraft wrote the definition of the genre he more-or-less invented, he did it with the understanding that weird fiction was always going to be a niche taste. In his 1927 essay, Supernatural Horror in Literature, he declared that: "tales of ordinary feelings and events, or of common sentimental distortions of such feelings and events, will always take first place in the taste of the majority; rightly, perhaps, since of course these matters make up the greater part of human experience." Barely able to generate an income, chewed up and spat out by the pulp magazines, and finally, dying painfully of untreated stomach cancer ten years later, Lovecraft could reasonably have expected to be forgotten.

Humans have gazed up at the sky and wondered about their place in the cosmos since the very beginning. Do the same in a game like, say, Breath of the Wild, and you're presented with vivid images of clouds, stars, the sun and the moon. It's an important part of this and many other games that helps to create an illusion of a continuous space that stretches beyond what we actually experience within the confines of the game. The sky implies that Hyrule, despite being a fantasy world, is a part of a cosmos very much like our own, and we accept this even though we cannot fly up and check.

Mention the city in the middle ages, and you likely either conjure images of streets awash in faeces and offal, or of a cosy collection of quaint houses reminding people of gallant knights and ladies. Even though cities harking back to medieval times have been a staple of fantasy games ever since the inception of the genre, they usually do little to challenge the clichés presented by Renaissance fairs or grimdark pseudo-realism. To make things worse, those sterile spaces function primarily as pit stops for the player, a place to get new quests, to rest, or to trade. It's difficult to imagine everyday life in those places once the hero is out of town. They're little more than cardboard cut-outs (I'm looking at you, Skyrim).

Archaeology doesn't get a very good treatment in popular media, and games are no different. The public image of archaeologists is dominated by pulp fantasy heroes, swinging and scrambling their way through trap-infested ancient ruins, one hand clutching a priceless treasure, the other punching a Nazi in the face. Of course, pulp heroics make for much more entertaining movies and games than Indiana Jones and the Afternoon of Context Sheets or Newly-Qualified Archaeology Student Lara Croft Spends Four Years Trying to Get a Stable Job. Even archaeologists grasp this, for all our protestations. Like lapsed Catholics who can't quite give up their patron saint, many of the archaeologists I've known would admit to Indiana Jones being a bit of a guilty role model. While writing this piece I tried to find a photo of my hard hat from my days as a field archaeologist, a promotional sticker from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull emblazoned across the back, but sadly, all record of this sartorial triumph seems lost.

From Software's Souls series is notorious for its punishing difficulty. Yet just being hard wasn't enough for some people. They needed to make things extra hard. Do things like completing the entire game without ever levelling up or using a shield. Then other people had to come along and put those already impressive tasks to shame by playing these games with cumbersome guitar or bongo controllers, completing a campaign without getting hit, or figuring out buff concoctions that can fell colossal bosses in one hit.

That's more like it. At the end of last year it was hard not to look back at our top 10 and let out a little sigh of disappointment: it was almost nothing but sequels and expansions, suggesting that the new generation was taking its time to find its feet. 2015, however, saw video games in fine stride. There's quality but also a staggering amount of breadth, a list that has something for everyone (as well as a few notable casualties, so rich were the pickings this year).

The nice thing about running the Eurogamer YouTube channel is that we can get away with doing game of the year a little differently. Eschewing the voting process whereby one game is selected (and thereby ensuring we don't end up murdering one another), each member of the video team has made a video about their personal game of 2015.

Bloodborne's latest update adds new opportunities to max out weapons

One of Bloodborne's most common criticisms - the inability to max out multiple weapons per playthrough - has finally been addressed in its latest v1.09 patch.

As any Bloodborne vet can tell you, the original game only allowed players to fully upgrade one weapon per playthrough as it required a singular item - the Blood Rock - to craft.

The Old Hunters DLC expansion alleviated this problem a little by adding a second Blood Rock to the campaign, allowing users to max out two weapons per playthrough.

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VideoThe games of 2015 we (shamefully) missed

In this week's Eurogamer show.

With 2015 rapidly drawing to a close (seriously, where has this year gone?), we at Eurogamer are faced with the difficult task of picking a game of the year. And as Chris and I discovered, there's nothing quite like combing through the year's releases to make you realise how many games you haven't played.

FeatureWhat's going on in Bloodborne: The Old Hunters?

Man's inhumanity to man. The new lore explored and explained.

Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software have an outstanding approach to narrative design, creating worlds where the systems and lore are intertwined from first principles. These are not games with simple stories, easy answers, or even good and bad - which is why fans find their heady brew of fact, myth, and suggestion so intoxicating.

Watch: What makes for a memorable boss fight?

Battling it out on this week's Eurogamer show.

Hello, welcome to the weekend. What have you got planned? In between catching up on Jessica Jones and making a few too many bacon sandwiches, I'll be getting stuck into The Old Hunters, Bloodborne's new DLC. I've had a couple of hours with it since its launch on Tuesday, but this is really a grinding-in-your-pants-for-the-entire-weekend sort of game.

When Bloodborne launched earlier this year, I spent a blissful couple of months unwilling to play anything else. I even did a video about its lovely, lovely doors, which proves just how far I was willing to go extend the conversation around that game. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with games like these, I wound up getting stuck. Unable to see off the Shadow of Yharnam, my attention began to waver and eventually I slunk off to play The Witcher 3, my tail between my legs.

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters review

Editor's note: This review goes into some small spoiler territory with the identity of bosses and details on locations in The Old Hunters - so if you want go into From Software's expansion with fresh eyes, be warned.

To fire up the PS4 and feed in that Bloodborne disc one more time is a treat. Gamers have been left so bruised and battered by the industry's total embrace of DLC that we sometimes forget about the good side: an unexpected addition to a masterpiece, rather than a bloodsucking season pass. The Old Hunters is an expansion for From Software's Bloodborne and, like Artorias of the Abyss for Dark Souls, adds to a wonderful whole - without taking anything away.

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters review

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Huge 9GB patch paves the way for Bloodborne's expansion

Huge 9GB patch paves the way for Bloodborne's expansion

UPDATE: Videos show off new content.

UPDATE 21/11/2015 2.40am: Some astute YouTubers have detailed the new content contained within this latest Bloodborne patch.

YouTuber Juutas1988 goes in depth with the new League covenant. He shows how you join it, what new gear you can get, and how it works. The gist is that a new NPC, Summon Master Valtr, appears at the entrance to the windmill in the Forbidden Forest. He'll ask you to kill vile souls who will reward you with centipede-like parasites called "vermin" that he collects. The League will no doubt play a larger role in The Old Hunters expansion due next week. Here's more detail on how to access the DLC.

Meanwhile, YouTuber Fextralife explains how to acquire the new spell, Madaras Whistle, which summons a snake head to chomp on wherever you were standing a second ago.

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Bloodborne free update will add new covenant and hunters

Bloodborne will be receiving its much anticipated The Old Hunters expansion on 24th November, but that's not all it's getting. An upcoming patch will add all new content to the main campaign, including a new series of NPC hunters called The League.

As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, The League is basically a new covenant (to use Souls parlance) that bands together to help each other out. "By aligning yourself to The League, led by a mysterious figure in a constable's garb and bucket helmet, you can assist other players online in the game and compete in The League's online rankings leaderboard," SCE Japan Studio producer Masaaki Yamagiwa explained.

The League also brings with it a new weapon, the League Cane, and you'll be able to summon NPCs from this guild to aid you on your quest.

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Bloodborne Game of the Year Edition launches this November

Bloodborne Game of the Year Edition will launch on 27th November and include the DLC story expansion The Old Hunters.

The Old Hunters will launch that same week on 24th November for £11.99/€14.99.

It will contain three new areas and 10 new weapons including a cool axe/saw weapon called Simon's Bowblade. Furthermore, it will finally let players transform into a beast - something the core game hinted at, but never actually did aside from giving you hard to notice claws for a few seconds during certain animations.

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Bloodborne Platinum trophy holders now get an exclusive theme

Bloodborne players who attained the coveted Platinum Trophy in From's latest action-RPG have received an email giving them a code for the following exclusive PS4 theme:

President of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida, who Platinum'd Bloodborne himself, clarified on Twitter that this bonus theme is only being given to European players.

Bloodborne's story DLC The Old Hunters will arrive on 24th November for £11.99/€14.99. In the meantime, you can check out Martin's impressions of it.

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VideoVideo: See Bloodborne's new DLC in action

Aoife and Martin spin a Yharnam.

One of the highlight's of this week's Tokyo Game Show was most definitely the reveal of The Old Hunters, From Software's expansion for the PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne. We shared the full details yesterday, and now's your chance to see us fumble through it while going into a little more detail about what to expect, and why it's so bloody exciting.

VideoVideo: Sony conference roundup - Tokyo Games Show 2015

Aoife and Martin bring you the latest from Japan.

After dodging the limelight at this year's Gamescom, Sony finally gave us the press conference we were expecting back in August. Whether it was the conference we were hoping for, of course, is another matter entirely. Thankfully, in case you missed it, Aoife and Martin have gone over the biggest announcements and are ready to bring you up to speed.

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters expansion revealed, coming November

UPDATE 9.35am: Bloodborne: The Old Hunters will launch in the UK on the same day as Japan, 24th November, and will be priced £11.99/€14.99.

"Learn the tale of hunters who once made Yharnam their hunting grounds, meet new NPCs, and discover another side of the history and world of Bloodborne," Sony has teased in a new EU PlayStation blog update.

The new saw weapon is named Simon's Bowblade weapon, while the new boss seen in the trailer below is named Ludwig.

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Passing out isn't something people are meant to do very often - or at all, in fact - not that you'd know it from video games. Game protagonists, seemingly, like nothing more than sparking out for a while and then coming to later. I've been rendered unconscious twice in my life and I can't say either was a particularly fun experience, but that's certainly not stopping the games industry - Metal Gear Solid 5 made the latest contribution to the proud tradition just this week, in fact.

Bloodborne 1.05 patch matches player levels when using passwords

Last month Bloodborne's 1.04 patch added a new feature wherein players could play together regardless of their level so long as they used a password to connect to one another. This was a major boon for friends getting into From's latest at different times, as originally you could only play with those near the same level as you.

In the next version 1.05 update the guest's level will be adjusted to match that of the host if the difference is large, Sony noted on its Japanese PlayStation site. This should even things out a lot, so you don't have one player at level 20 doing negligible damage while their level 130 friend cuts through beasts like butter.

Furthermore, it will be made more apparent that a password is in use when initiating co-op via the Beckoning Bell or Small Resonant Bell.

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Depending on your playstyle and experience, Bloodborne may seem easier or harder than its "Souls" predecessors. But even those who found it easier than From Software's previous offerings would still agree that it's a challenging title. But Souls fans are a dedicated bunch, so it's in the community's nature to only make things harder for themselves. Some insist on tackling every boss solo, others resist the temptation to ever level up, and others limit their weapon selection.

Bloodborne patch 1.04 adds co-op with anyone, regardless of level

Bloodborne patch 1.04 adds co-op with anyone, regardless of level

More Blood Chunks and 600 Blood Vial storage.

Bloodborne's new 1.04 patch is now live and brings a host of changes with it: some very big, others quite small.

As detailed by DualShockers' translation of Sony's official Japanese patch notes, one of the biggest changes is that you can now play in co-op regardless of player level, so long as you use a password.

Previously, players had to be within 10 levels of one another, so you wouldn't end up summoning a vastly overpowered player who could slay a boss in a few hits. This is still the default status, but if you want to play with a veteran friend or help out your struggling newbie pal, that's now an option.

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Bloodborne again: Expansion confirmed

An expansion to Bloodborne has been confirmed by president of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida.

Unfortunately, that's about all that's been confirmed, as more details will follow "later this year."

Yoshida teased the DLC in the following tweet:

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As someone who writes about video games for a living and plays them in their spare time, it's fairly important that I keep up with what's new and fresh and exciting in this industry. And in 2015, I've been doing a rubbish job of that. You see, this year something like 90 per cent of my gaming time has been split between only two games: Bloodborne and Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate. And why wouldn't it? They're both Essential titles, after all. They're also quite similar! Both are known for their steep difficulty, bombastic bosses, varied weapons, deep combat, and cooperative multiplayer. And yet, only Bloodborne has seen any kind of notable success in the west while Monster Hunter has famously struggled to replicate its craze from Japan.

Bloodborne's 1.03 patch tested

Digital FoundryBloodborne's 1.03 patch tested

Digital Foundry finds massive load time improvement, but frame-pacing issue remains.

Today's circa 200MB Bloodborne update (bringing it to version 1.03) improves loading times hugely over the unpatched release - but to what extent can it be felt? We put this to the test on the stock 500GB PlayStation 4 HDD to see how the update improves the experience for most players.

We also have another test to show how a cost-effective 1TB hybrid SSHD changes before and after the patch. Each of these times is measured to the exact frame the screen cuts to black, though it is worth noting there is a variance of one second to either side of our test figures.

The result? As promised, almost every area selected via the Hunter's Dream hub now loads 5-15 seconds faster. It's a success across the game's early spots especially, but there are also areas where From Software over-delivers.

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Bloodborne patch 1.03 released

Bloodborne patch 1.03 released

Improves loading times by approx. 5-15 seconds.

UPDATE: Digital Foundry has spent the day analysing the new Bloodborne patch. The five-to-15 second load-time improvement is spot on. Even better, respawn times - not mentioned in the patch notes - have been as much as cut in half in Central Yharnam.

ORIGINAL STORY: Bloodborne patch 1.03 has been released on PlayStation 4, and it significantly reduces game loading times.

The main issues addressed, as listed by the Japanese PlayStation website, are:

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Could Bloodborne work as an eSports title?

Watch From's latest enacted as a racing game.

Grim action-RPG Bloodborne may have both cooperative and competitive elements, but until this afternoon I'd never viewed it as a potential eSports title. That all changed upon watching the following video pitting the finalists against each other in a contest to see who could slay the most NPC hunters the quickest within the game's opening 15 minutes.

Man conquers Bloodborne with a guitar controller

Bearzly was Bloodborne to rock.

Video game streamer Bearzly, the man who breezed through both Dark Souls games with a guitar controller, has naturally brought his intentionally awkward controller challenges to the Souls' series spiritual successor Bloodborne. And like From's previous offerings, he's bested its harsh array of challenges.

Battlefield: Hardline trumps Bloodborne in March US retail sales

Battlefield: Hardline was the best-selling game in US retail for the month of March, according to analyst group NPD.

Bloodborne came in second. Then again, Bloodborne also came out near the end of the month on 24th March, while Battlefield: Hardline was released a week earlier on the 17th. Hardline's also available on multiple consoles, whereas Bloodborne is exclusive to the PS4.

While Bloodborne did quite well, it didn't manage to set a record for PS4-exclusive titles, an honour still held by inFamous: Second Son. "The launch of Bloodborne ranked as second overall in software sales this month, but also has the second highest sales for the debut month of a first-party game on the PS4, after inFamous: Second Son, in March 2014," noted NPD Group's Liam Callahan.

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Bloodborne sales pass 1m in under two weeks

Bloodborne sales pass 1m in under two weeks

UPDATE: Next patch will fix boss bug, shorten load times.

UPDATE 14/04/2015 5.06pm: The first details have arrived regarding Bloodborne's next 1.03 update.

As reported on the PlayStation Blog, this patch will finally fix the well documented bug in which bosses become vastly easier after prolonged play sessions of about 12 hour or so. It will also shorten load times. Praise the sun!

While no specific release date has been sorted, Sony said it's aiming to get this implemented by the end of the month.

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How Bloodborne honours the legacy of H.P. Lovecraft

"The sky and the cosmos are one."

Without going into too much detail, it's clear that Bloodborne owes a lot to cult horror author H.P. Lovecraft. It's got more than its share of madness, tentacles, and inconvenient truths about man's plight in a grim world, but those are just surface details true of many horror games.

FeatureJon Blyth on: Bloodborne

Baring one's soul.

It is my job, as a columnist on a rotating weekend plinth, to have an occasional opinion about video games. Not just any opinion, though. I've won a Games Media Award, you know. And once you receive a perspex oblong from a profit-making industry event, it behooves you to have superior opinions. If I wrote a column called "Does anyone else think the last third of Bioshock just trailed off a bit?", you would be well within your rights to drag me into the streets and park a juicy man-queef on my tummy.

Bloodborne soundtrack goes on sale later this month

Currently only available to those with the Collector's Edition.

Bloodborne's glorious soundtrack is currently exclusive to those who splurged on the Collector's Edition, but as of 21st April it will be on sale for anyone who wants to listen to its rich, gloomy tunes.

There's a book that I... Well, what exactly? Love is the wrong word for how I feel about The Montauk Project, after all. I am suspicious of its politics. I think it's sort of stupid and clumsily put together. Also, I don't believe a word of it. But I am fascinated nonetheless. There is something strangely rich about the kind of global conspiracy madness that The Montauk Project traffics in, something undeniably potent. I don't love it, then, but I am glad I came across it.

Bloodborne tops Japan sales chart

Bloodborne tops Japan sales chart

Shifts over 150k units.

PlayStation 4-exclusive Bloodborne managed to shift 152,567 copies during its launch week in Japan.

From Software's dark role-player topped Media Create's weekly software chart, ahead of numerous other new entries (thanks, NeoGAF).

For context, Sony has sold just over 1.25m PS4 consoles in the country - meaning around one in eight owners bought the game.

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Watch someone complete Bloodborne in 40 minutes

They're exploiting glitches, but still...

Bloodborne is an absolutely massive game and one that's sadistically punishing at that. Yet YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to roll credits in From Software's latest action-RPG in only 40 minutes and 17 seconds of in-game time (or an even 44 minutes in real-time).

Digital FoundryIs Bloodborne the next-gen Souls you've been waiting for?

And where does that leave the Dark Souls 2 remaster?

Despite its frame-pacing issues and long load times, Bloodborne is still very much worth the rush of commotion it's receiving this week. The game sits high in the hierarchy of quality PS4 exclusives, its only real competition in the gameplay stakes coming via From Software's very own remaster of Dark Souls 2, due out next week. With a new enemy layout, improved lighting and 1080p60 gameplay, the remaster's bid for relevancy is strong, but does Scholar of the First Sin keep up on technical grounds, or does Sony's exclusive steal the show?

Bloodborne review

EssentialBloodborne review

The second coming.

(This is our final review of Bloodborne, and contains discussions of some of the game's surprises and themes. If you'd rather not read them, have a look at our spoiler-free first impressions from earlier in the week, or skip to the last paragraph.)

There is a point in Bloodborne when the details of this strange world begin to combine and form patterns. I noticed that my favourite hat also came with what looks like gauze covering the eyes. Didn't that hunter in the opening cutscene have this too? And why do all these statues have their eyes covered? What at first seems to be coincidence soon looks very different.

In a nutshell, this is one of the reasons that games directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki inspire such fanatical following. The mechanics and themes cohere with an integrity that is so unusual in games, and puzzling out what's going on becomes as much part of the experience as slaughtering your prey. Consider the eyes. A core part of Bloodborne's system is Insight, something of a currency that is used to buy special items and summon other players.

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Bloodborne dev working on a patch to improve load times

From Software is working on a patch for Bloodborne it hopes will improve the game's load times.

Bloodborne's load times have come under scrutiny. Digital Foundry performance analysis shows revivals take between 40-45 seconds, what it describes as "a patience-testing number given the frequency of death in this game".

Digital Foundry continues:

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Performance Analysis: Bloodborne

Digital FoundryPerformance Analysis: Bloodborne

UPDATE: Multiplayer gameplay incurs a performance hit unseen in single-player mode.

UPDATE 28/3/15 10:40am: Our Bloodborne analysis is now complete, culminating in a new piece published today comparing the technology of the PS4 exclusive with the upcoming Dark Souls 2 remaster. Our tests reveal that playing Bloodborne in multiplayer mode can impact frame-rates significantly, resulting - at worst - in sub-20fps gameplay. Here's the video, but check out our full analysis for more insight.

UPDATE 26/3/15 2:35pm: Sony says that a new patch is in development to address Bloodborne performance and loading time issues, but in the meantime, we've compiled more loading data across a series of different hard drive technologies. If you're thinking of upgrading your drive anyway, and you're a committed Bloodborne player, our findings may help you to choose the kind of drive that offers the best mixture of value and performance.

Original Story: It's here at last. For anyone yet to pick up a PlayStation 4, and in particular fans of the Souls series, Bloodborne's release today could mark a justifiable tipping point. Having edged our way through the opening Yharnam city area, early impressions suggest another genuine triumph by From Software - and we can now provide a spoiler-free analysis of what's in store. The team's beautiful, horror-inflected world is no doubt a high point, but as with its previous games, there are also obvious technical issues that go alongside its ambition.

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FeatureIs Bloodborne the best game ever, or just the second best?

Early impressions of the PS4 exclusive ahead of our review.

Editor's note: This is an early impressions piece, based on four days' play with Bloodborne. We'll be posting our final review later this week, once we've experienced the game on fully stressed online servers and once we've been able to spend a little more time in Yharnam.

Don't forget to download Bloodborne's 2.69GB day one patch

Don't forget to download Bloodborne's 2.69GB day one patch

Online play! Chalice Dungeons! More!

Bloodborne is out tomorrow - and with it comes a important 2.69GB day one patch.

If you pre-loaded From Software's PlayStation 4 exclusive you'll already have access to the patch. Bloodborne goes on sale tomorrow, 24th March in North America and this Friday, 27th March in the UK.

The update, which brings Bloodborne up to version 1.01, allows for online play, fixes a number of bugs, improves performance and adds the Chalice Dungeons feature.

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FeatureBloodborne's combat convinced me I don't need a sword and shield any more

Impressions from the first hour of From Software's PS4 exclusive.

Old habits are hard to break, especially when they're ones that kept you safe through trying times. When you walked through the Valley in the shadow of Drakes, when you descended into the toxic depths of Blighttown, and when you paced the gleaming ramparts of Anor Londo, the old sword and shield combo was a reliable fallback in Dark Souls. Block, slash, back off, wait. It was a mantra you repeated to yourself over and over, a song whose comforting words saw you through the darkest nights. Block, slash, back off, wait. Dark Souls' creator Hidetaka Miyazaki doesn't want you to get comfortable, which is why his latest title, PS4 exclusive Bloodborne, is taking that fallback away. And as suspected, learning to get by in a From Software game without relying on a sword and shield doesn't come easy - at least at first.

Bloodborne reveals Collector's Edition goodies

Or get the premium Nightmare Edition for €120.

From Software's highly anticipated Dark Souls 2 follow-up Bloodborne will come in a couple of fancy swag-laden special editions with the Collector's Edition and the premium Nightmare Edition.

FeatureShining a light on Bloodborne

A Souls non-believer's brief take on From Software's latest.

As someone who plays RPGs more than just about any other genre, I'm not really sure why to date I've always struggled to enjoy the Dark and Demon Souls games. I admire the precision of the gameplay, and the reduction of combat down to its purest forms, but there's something about the sheer weight of the games that I find stifling - I just can't bear to live in their worlds long enough to push much beyond the opening hour.

Farewell, sweet Earls Court, you've served us well. It's been a slightly bittersweet show this year - on the one hand there's been the awesome swirl of games and developer sessions, and on the other there's the fact we'll be saying goodbye to the home of EGX for the past four years this coming Sunday. Still, onwards.

Bloodborne release date confirmed

Bloodborne release date confirmed

UPDATE: Watch 30 minutes of gameplay and a new trailer.

UPDATE 18/09/2014 6.30pm The entirety of Bloodborne's Tokyo Games Show demo has been revealed via Open World Games.

It's the same content as the E3 demo, only now we get to see the entire thing. The player dies a fair few times, so you might want to skip around a bit, but the advantage of this is we get to see them experiment with different equipment sets as they traverse the rotten alleys of Yharnam.

ORIGINAL STORY 18/09/2014 7.51am Souls successor Bloodborne releases on Friday 6th February 2015, Sony has announced.

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FeatureBloodborne is a Souls successor with serious bite

The first playable demo reveals plenty of blood-ties - but you'll have to learn its new rules fast.

Taking control of Bloodborne for the first time is a familiar experience, a comfort that quickly became my undoing. The sheer snappiness to the character movement, the targeting system, the way attacks buffer; everything comes together in precisely the same, satisfying concoction as Demon's Souls, Sony's exclusive from 2009. And then there's the strong flair for the gothic, with gloomy streets and the grotesque, gargoyle-etched décor paving a dark road ahead.

Watch six minutes of Bloodborne gameplay

Watch six minutes of Bloodborne gameplay

From Software makes it look easy.

Sony has released a six minute slice of gameplay footage from From Software's highly anticipated Dark Souls spiritual successor Bloodborne.

With the health, stamina and ammo HUD in place, we're finally able to see the combat's unique Regain System at work, in which the player is able to replenish their health by attacking an enemy shortly after receiving damage. The amount you can regain is shown in yellow on your health meter, in case that wasn't clear.

More details about Bloodborne's unique brand of combat are starting to take shape. It looks like charge attacks are a thing now and combos appear to have a bigger role than they did in the Souls series, as you can stun a hulking ghoulish figure with your blunderbuss then get a special uber-powerful attack opportunity while they're recovering from the blast.

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Bloodborne gets a new trailer, release window

Bloodborne gets a new trailer, release window

Combat system details emerge.

New footage of From Software's highly anticipated Dark Souls spiritual successor Bloodborne has been revealed in its latest Gamescom 2014 trailer.

Additionally, Sony noted at its Gamescom press conference that Bloodborne will be out sometime in the next six months. Previously it was slated for 2015, so it's looking like a Q1 release unless it gets delayed.

The publisher also revealed some new info about Bloodborne's combat system on the PlayStation Blog. We already knew that it would be faster and more aggressive than that in Demon's and Dark Souls, and now Sony has spilled the beans on its risk vs reward Regain System.

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Bloodborne gameplay footage from E3

A minute of Bloodborne gameplay footage has surfaced online, via NeoGAF, having been recorded off-screen from a demo at E3.

It's a brief glimpse but enough to highlight how Bloodborne's setting is different to From Software's Souls games. In Bloodborne the hero is a kind of stereotypical Jack the Ripper, in a long coat and kind of Robin Hood hat, stalking a gloomy Victorian Edinburgh - or something that looks a lot like it - slashing at enemies as murderous as he.

As you'll know from reading our Bloodborne preview, there's no shield-type weapon in Bloodborne, so the combat we see isn't as staccato as in Souls. Instead you dual-wield a cleaver-saw in one hand, and a shotgun in the other.

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FeatureBloodborne is From Software's darkest game yet

It's not a Demon's Souls sequel - but it is everything you'd hope for of a PS4 Miyazaki game.

From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki gets straight to the point. "Just to make everything clear," he tells a small audience assembled at Sony's booth to see Bloodborne, his recently announced PlayStation 4 exclusive, "this is not a sequel to Demon's Souls."