With the first and only expansion to Bloodborne players are given a return to Yharnam and all the beasts that may be found within. In similar fashion to the DLC in the Dark Souls series, From Software knocks it out of the park with this lengthy and involved add on. Rather than feeling like an unnecessary addition, The Old Hunters adds several incredibly interesting areas to explore, more than ten new weapons, and five new bosses to conquer.
First things first, this is still Bloodborne. While many will absolutely view that as a positive thing it’s worth noting that if you weren’t a fan of the original game, this won’t change your opinion. The gameplay and mechanics are identical to what they were on release, although the new weapons mix things up enough to keep players engaged if they were starting to get tired of what they had. The standout new weapon is the Whirligig Saw, a mace that can be transformed into a giant saw with the ability to cut through foes. Each of the new weapons feels new and original, with pros and cons to using each of them. New to the game are some weapons that are always one handed. Several of these can be transformed into another one-handed mode instead of the normal two handed. This provides some interesting options, as firearms are always at the ready with these weapons.
The history of Hidetaka Miyazaki games are full of mystery, and may never fully decipher each narrative aspects. With this in mind, The Old Hunters provides answers to questions that were in the minds of the players and the whereabouts of Ludwig, the first hunter, where they come Snatchers / Kidnappers and why they lock us in hypogean Gaol, what kind of experiments They took place in Lumenflower Gardens and more.
It should be noted that access to the expansion, as in all parts of the study, it is necessary to progress to a certain point in the game. Although prior to the launch of the DLC was announced that it was necessary to have overcome the head of Grand Cathedral , the difficulty of the new areas requires us to rise to at least level 65 to not face an impossible task.
Maybe that’s one of the few flaws of this great game because it opens the possibility to access new areas without ensuring we are ready to face the challenges that await us there. This could be misleading and if we’re dying to try the latest expansion.
During our adventure in the original game, we always had moments of peace in Hunter’s Dream if we wanted to escape the madness of Yharnam and its surroundings. Talking to the wrist, modify our weapons, equip runes and buy supplies messengers was an almost therapeutic ritual after face our worst fears. With The Old Hunters, From Software robs us that last sanctuary of peace and instead pushes us to hostile environments Hunter’s Nightmare.
The above is the first of the new areas we visited, some of which are inspired in areas already known like Cathedral Ward but become even more twisted nightmares. Rivers of blood, poisonous lakes, laboratories where experiments with the human body and ruined villages are just some of the locations to visit in this disturbing trip.
If something was impeccable team with Bloodborne Hidetaka Miyazaki, was the wearing of true universal phobias of human beings to reality. From simple things like spiders, darkness and the “Lord of the sack” to super dense as trypophobia fears, fear of failure and closure.
This expansion could not be left behind, and show us through the art direction and design of the real and graphic levels that can be a nightmare; through measures such as buildings that we know but twisted and unreal angles to emulate the feeling of being in a place where you do not belong, giant mosquitoes with stomachs full of blood to represent the fear of insects and simple things like fear monsters that can be hidden in the bottom of a well. If an area does not hide some disturbing element to our mind, the following yes sure it will.
Bloodborne has his share of optional bosses areas and if we expand our gaming experience and learn more about the universe around us. If you meet the challenges of Nightmare of Mensis is very complicated, there is always the option of visiting Nightmare Frontier for example. In the expansion, freedom is reduced in exchange for more action. The progression happens through an area directly advance to the next, without many side roads or alternatives if you become stuck. This is not necessarily a negative, but if you count The Old Hunters as part of the full experience of the game as a whole more areas in the main story.
The news does not have to do only with new areas and phobias, find a variety of weapons that expand the possibilities of combat. We delve into the history of the Powder Kegs, for example, and be able to use their weaponry based on the use of gunpowder. So you can try the Blood Hammer allowing us to hit enemies away while we light the fire, and feel the power of the Gatling Gun with Djura he tried to annihilate us from the tower in Old Yharnam.
The five new bosses are particularly challenging and difficult. During our experience in the original game we find some “tricks” to alter the state of our enemies and gain an advantage in combat. Use the music box with Father Gascoigne to drive him mad with the memories of his daughter, Numbing Mist with Vicar Amelia to prevent cure and Pungent Blood Cocktails with Blood Starved Beast to distract him with the smell of blood it was just some strategies to change tide of battle in our favor, element disappears completely with new clashes with the leaders of the DLC.
Each battle is raw, violent and overwhelming. No opportunity to distract for a second and every moment we are prisoners of an insatiable hunter. Detailed study to include several phases in each battle is appreciated. Sometimes a head changes its shape to become more aggressive, while others multiply to make our escape a difficult task, to name a few. Kudos for the return of the Holy Blade we have seen in previous games From Software.
A hardcore gamer these titles always state that the real challenge is to suffer with the game offline and without using the multiplayer. A nice detail of this expansion is that the study shows that play in cooperative mode is good, and makes the experience more fun. In the past, one of the most recurrent conflicts with the original game were terrible framerate drops when using the online mode, the problem disappears with DLC and update it virtually eliminated.