What I learnt from completing Bloodborne on NG+

Bloodborne is a very difficult game…”

I expect this is how most blog entries about Bloodbourne begin and my post is no exception. I completed Bloodbourne awhile ago but thought it was worth reflecting on experience. Additionally I was drawn back to play it again in New Game Plus mode (double difficulty) for an even greater challenge and streamed a vast amount of the experience via Twitch.

The youtube videos below are the winning highlights that comes from so many deaths (I lost count how many times I died probably well over the 150 mark).

Vs Another hunter
Vs Moon Presence
Vs Rom. I actually died and won at the same time?
Vs the Shadow of Yharnam, a personal highlight
Vs. Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos. What’s not shown? The 30+ or so attempts before I won.

Typically when people describe difficult games they will usually describe the complexity being in the dexterity required from the player such as trying to complete a combo or having a good reaction time. Bloodborne is not difficult because of the dexterity required but because it’s combines a lot skills that are missing from most modern games:

Strong analysis, awareness, strategic thinking and most importantly the acceptance to fail and with each failure to apply hindsight and try another experiment until you feel like you understand what is causing the failure.

I’m very much a casual gamer, I have never played games that require too much skill and get easily frustrated when I can’t complete a level or progress to completing a game within a week or so. I’ve finished most games I’ve bought in under a week, some even like the Last of Us, I completed in a weekend. It’s been that way since I began playing games and I guess I’ve never really been tested to this level because the feeling of failure is not an experience that sells well. Gamers probably want to experience that is fun and free from frustration. There was something different with Bloodborne that made me not want to give up and some kind of primal feeling of accomplishment once I completed it.

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