Bloodborne Hands On: Chalice Dungeons, Remote Play

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Bloodborne Hands On: Chalice Dungeons, Remote Play


Though Bloodborne shares some broad similarities with Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, it translates From Software’s trademark high risk, high reward play style to PS4 in new and interesting ways.

Starting with its zippier movement speed, Bloodborne seems bound and determined to strip away anything that might encumber the moment-to-moment flow. Shields are no longer central to gameplay, replaced with dodging and a new “regain” system that allows you to regenerate lost health by striking the creature that inflicted the damage (don’t expect to mash buttons hoping for an easy health boost, though). These strategic tweaks further heighten From Software’s blissful blend of risk and reward and encourage you to stay on the offense.

Character creation will be familiar to veteran Souls players. In selecting a character “origin,” you’ll choose from colorful descriptors such as Troubled Childhood (high resilience), Violent Past (high strength), and Waste of Skin (nearly helpless). I opted for the Military Veteran, which gave a balanced boost to my strength and skill ratings.

Moments into the game, it’s clear that From Software is putting PS4’s processing power to good use. Bloodborne’s grim hellscapes are a clear generational leap from the castles and courtyards of the Souls games. Bottles and boxes tumble realistically when struck. Fog flows like spilled blood. Light sources glow menacingly. The environments look and feel alive in ways the eight year-old PS3 hardware just can’t accommodate.

Bloodborne on PS4

After ogling the environments, my Military Veteran set to work. Some friendly demons presented me with a choice of three starting weapons: I skipped the Hunter’s Axe and Saw Cleaver in favor of the Threaded Cane, a nasty piece of work that bashed skulls up close and expanded into a bladed whip for longer distance work.

Bloodborne’s weapons are multifaceted marvels, each effectively serving as two weapons in one. Combined with firearms like the Hunter’s Pistol and Blunderbuss, I strung together wicked multipart combos that shredded enemy mobs quickly and efficiently.

Bloodborne also taps into some of DualShock 4’s unique control features, starting with the touchpad. Click the right side and you’ll see your personal effects (molotovs, notebook, etc); click the left side and you’ll see your available gestures, which you’ll activate using DualShock 4’s internal motion sensor.

Bloodborne + PS Vita Remote Play Impressions

Justin Massongill, PlayStation.Blog

Being a PS4 title, we naturally had questions about how Bloodborne’s faster combat would translate to PS Vita‘s smaller form factor. I can happily report that FromSoftware has implemented various niceties that ensure a smooth transition from DualShock 4 to PS Vita, including a few clever re-mapping solutions:

DualShock 4 Control In-game function Remote Play Control
L2 & R2 Gun & Strong attack Bottom corners of front touchscreen
DS4 Touchpad (split to left & right halves) Gestures & Personal Effects Front Touchpad (split to left & right halves)
R3 Lock-on to enemy Right half of Rear Touchpad

After about five minutes of re-training my muscle memory, I was already dodging and counterattacking Bloodborne’s nightmarish beasts with the same finesse and ferocity as I was managing while playing natively on PS4.

Then there are the new Chalice Dungeons, procedurally generated levels set in the vast ruins beneath Yharnam. I test drove one dungeon called “Chamber of the Seal,” and its gloomy atmosphere and haunting ambient audio gave a tantalizing preview of what’s in store.

After hacking through a mob of scuttling rats and hulking horrors, a towering undead giant flattened me in two mighty blows. This experience perfectly encapsulated the major differences — as well as some key similarities — between Bloodborne and the Souls games. The melee combat felt more immediate, and I made rapid progress thanks to my faster movement speed. But in classic Souls style, all it took was one moment of hesitation to seal my fate.

I’m dying to dive back into Bloodborne when it lands on PS4 March 24th.

Comments are closed.


15 Author Replies

  • Stop this… Gimme the game =(

  • can’t wait to get this game!!!!!!

  • Can’t wait to finally play Bloodborne after a long and worthwhile wait.

  • Is co-op only possible in Chalice Dungeons or can you summon help in your story as well?

  • One more week ;-)

  • Only 7 more days!!!!




    but no seriously, been hyped for this since the very first leaked screenshots appeared

  • Gun and strong attack on the front touchscreen does not sound good. The vita really needs two sets of pressers on top, just like the ds4.

    Wish there was more gameplay of bloodborne out for someone like me who’s undecided.

  • will the game be pre-load?

  • I don’t like how you can only choose between 3 weapons and 2 guns from the beginning. In previous games all classes had weapon variety…If I choose Cruel Fate, which is the equivalent of the mage class in previous games, neither of the starting weapons focus on Arcane, nor would be good to start with a class that has high Arcane and low Strength, Skill and Bloodtinge. I’m hoping this changes with the day 1 patch and everybody for now is playing a very incomplete version of the game.

  • Thank you Justin for your impressions while playing on Vita! This is something missed from many hands-on.

    I’m curious about the menu: is it easy to read on Vita?

    Thank you!

  • You can, all run if you want to
    You can, all hide if you need
    But I’m gonna cut you down

  • Hadn’t noticed a mention of the regain system before, but I have been ignoring most media for the game. Sound like a cool addition to the formula. I wonder if Sony or From have a few codes laying around that they aren’t sure what to do with. If so, I’d take one for the team and use it. I’d even be sure to play it immediately even though it might be painfully fun and rewarding. Just throwing that offer out there!

  • “Fog flows like spilled blood.”

    You missed your calling Sid. You should be writing noir.

  • Glad to hear about Remote Play being utilized well on this game.. Def made me a lot more motivated to purchase this game now.

  • Sounds fantastic!

    Do you know if the game with have a unique audio setting via the Headset Companion app? Love my Pulse Elites, and any reason to use them even more is a good one!

  • Remote Play is nice and all, but you just can’t beat playing a game natively on Vita.

  • @SidShuman!!! It’s @DarkAngelRafael from twitter. I pre-ordered the digital version via PlayStation Store and cannot wait to delve into the nightmarish darkness that is Bloodborne. It’s my kind of game in every sense. Not everyone knows this but you get 3 free official soundtracks from Bloodborne if you pre-order from the PlayStation Store. ??

  • I’ll try it on the Vita as a lark, but will of course do most of my playing on the PS4. Just a couple more weeks. I wasn’t going to get it day one, but a certain deal at a certain chain store changed my mind.

  • Sorry — one more thing: Is there really no way to use the touchpad controls if I remote play with my PlayStation TV?

  • Great write up Sid. Part of me hates you just a bit cause I have yet to play. ;-)

  • Is there any chance we will get the option to use a DS4 with our Vitas? I would enjoy playing this way with remote play and PSNow. Surely this could be implemented?

  • BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Let Vita owners remap buttons for Remote Play, so they can get whatever control scheme they find comfortable.

  • I was fortunate enough to play Bloodborne at PSX, and I was present at the PSX keynote and the Bloodborne PSX panel. It looks and plays just like you expect it to, if you’re a Souls veteran. I’ve gone on a media blackout on it since, but everything that I happen to hear about it just gets me more excited! I JUST WANT TO PRAISE THE SUN!!!

  • Hey Sid do you have any pull over at Sony? Why not ask them to allow retailers to sell the game early since everybody and their brothers are already playing it due to Mom and Pop shops breaking the street date.

  • @Sid Lol, I was that guy at the PSX panel that asked about praising the sun. I just want to praise it SO BAD!!!

  • @Sid, I should have specified, I got the PS TV bundle with the Dual Shock 3, and I find it surprising there’s no button I can map to substitute as the Dual Shock 4’s touchpad when I’m doing remoteplay. Having to resync my DS4 every time is not a very practical solution…

  • its really unfair that people have gotten the game early, meanwhile the rest of us have to wait another week to play a game that we know people have already beaten

  • That is why I am hoping that Sid reads these comments and can do something about it. The hype is already at a fever pitch anyway, so just release the game already.

  • “high risk high reward” is not how I’d have described the previous Souls games… but some things I’ve seen about this game have made me interested in it despite being so unsatisfied and just… tired… with my time with all of the previous souls games. I hope it is different enough to not leave me with the same feeling of exhaustion rather than satisfaction.

    It’s definitely on my list to pick up in the next month or so though… sorry but Atelier Shallie, FFType0, Oreshika, and Awakened Fate Ultimatum are this month’s playlist.

  • @8 – Yes, the game supports Pre-load. Says so in the store so pre-order with Confidence!

    Looking fantastic. I love the screenshot from Chalice. Wicked looking enemy. I’ve had this pre-ordered Digitally since the first day it was posted. 8 Days left! I have Tuesday off next week and then Friday/Monday following for a nice long 4 Day weekend and you KNOW what I’ll be doing!

    Really excited for the password protected Summons. After the ease of summoning your friends in Demons Souls, Dark Souls 1 & 2 were disappointing.

  • will share play work with this game?

  • Back in my day both Sony and From Software used to actually make games for handhelds.

  • Damn I can’t wait anymore for this game! One more week! Just one more week!

  • @30 you never feel accomplished as you get better? You never do risky things and feel like you got rewarded? I guess you just play with constant stress and never start to feel like you’re doing better.

    Guess I don’t have much to really recommend to you. Maybe try to take deep breathes, focus, relax and maybe harness that stress into, a rush?

  • I´m gonna die so much it´s not even funny… Can´t wait!

  • What a shame that Sony has such little faith in this title or just doesn’t care enough about it, to give it a proper collectors edition or even a physical ost. Pitiful.

  • AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! I can’t wait to play this game! I’m so freakin’ hyped! Love you Sony. : X *hugs ur face*

  • This game need to come out like right now please!

  • So much I need to know. Is there a bonfire like system, do enemies respawn, is there a limited # of respawns like DS2, is the world connected like DS1? One more week. And I love the Nightmare creatures vibe in this game as well. Praise the, uh, blood?

  • This game looks amazing! Is there a Playstation Headset companion app setting for Bloodborne?

  • I read that it’s possible to play coop with 3 players with password. Sid, can I play the entire campaign with 2 of my friends (providing they know my password)? Or are there only specific areas that I can call for help? I hope you’re still replying to questions :)

  • Any Idea when we will be allowed preload the game if we pre-ordered from PSN?

  • Damn I didn’t know it was so close to launch,I wanna play Bloodborne ASAP…but I won’t get it at launch,need to take a break from PS4.
    I’m excited to play it but is there any word on split-screen?

  • Alright, the biggest question here is. . . Is all the hype worth it? Is it THAT amazing? Possible Game of the Year from what you played??

  • Only things I want to know is… 1. Does this game have Stereoscopic 3D support for my 65″ Panasonic 3DTV set, and 2. Does it come with a nice thick Manual inside the case like last gens games had? If it’s No, and No, then I am waiting to get this for $20 on ebay…

  • @46 3DTV support is dead and manuals are long gone. Do you post this on every single new release thread?

  • Speechless! Can’t wait to dive into a game worth next-gen treatment! #GodBlessFromSoftware

  • @47, little did you know, NEW 3D BluRay movies come out weekly still, and is far from dead technology as 4K 3DTV sets are now being made that look superior to 1080p 3DTV sets, and “Glassless” 8k 3DTVs are coming this Christmas! So, no, 3DTV is far from finished, and there are about 10 3D games made for PS4 so far, and I buy all of them, and when you get used to having good depth to you games, going back to playing on a flat as all get out field is not happening. If they want to sell me a NEW game for $59.99, bring the technology with it.

    Also as far as manuals go, IF they want $59.99 then the game MUST come with something more than a disc and slip in the case alone. Neo-Geo games and PC games (Among Dreamcast releases and others), still have MANUALs with them. Just because you want to play dead, and “Go with the flow” and get nothing for your money, go for it, but, don’t expect everyone else to go along with it. Not all of us wish to pay full price for 1/2 the content as last gen, it’s that simple.

  • @47 Also, Yes, I will post this on every new game release until Sony, and the other Devs, get with the program and REALIZE that they can make MORE MONEY by selling a complete game. Otherwise, they just lose money and I get the games at $20 each 6 months to a year down the road, in new condition, as that is all the games are worth if they do not come with all the proper content. Without 3D support and Manuals, they might as well be Digital crap that I never buy over $10.

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