12 tips to help you out during the first few hours of From Software's brutal adventure.
Bloodborne is not an easy game, though coming from the creators of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, you shouldn't expect anything else.
It is debatable whether it is more or less difficult than Dark Souls and Dark Souls II, but many players will no doubt encounter serious difficulties and moments of frustration during the early hours, particularly if this is your first try at a From Software game.
But we're here to help ease you in. Whether you're picking the game up at midnight tonight or tomorrow, read through these 12 beginner tips to get your ready for a coming weekend of blood and death.
1: Yes, you are supposed to die at the first enemy...
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...but it is possible to defeat him. Following the tradition of From Software, in the first few moments of Bloodborne you'll combat a significantly tough foe to whom you're supposed to lose. You don't even have a weapon at that time. That said, it is possible to defeat this monster using your bare hands. It is difficult, yes, but possible - in any event, will not receive any reward for it.
2: Stay calm and cautious
Bloodborne is the type of game where you should be aware of your surroundings at every step. Keep calm, pay attention to the environment around you so as to try and avoid unpleasant surprises. Be aware of sounds that indicate enemies are near. But even if you're ambushed, stay calm, and back up. Slow and cautious is the best approach when exploring.
3: Know when to take a break
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Following the previous tip, Bloodborne is the kind of game that can quickly raise frustration levels. If this happens, then you're more likely to make mistakes, which will only increase your frustration. If you reach this point, it is better to stop for a few minutes. Go drink a glass of water, relax, and when you regain focus, go back to conquer evil!
4: Expect the unexpected
In Bloodborne you will visit many areas repeatedly, either because you've died and have to return by the same path, or because you want to grind. Whatever the reason, don't relax too much if you are visiting an area you already know. One can easily forget the position of an enemy or a trap, and the game world is ever-changing. Just because you've been here once doesn't mean you know what to expect. There's nothing more dangerous in Bloodborne then an overly confident attitude.
5: Know your weapons
There are several weapons in Bloodborne, but whatever you choose to carry, master them. Know their types of attacks: whether they are vertical or horizontal, have a short range or long range, if they're slow or fast. Many enemies require specific strikes to down, and if you do not know your weapon, you can set yourself up to be unnecessarily exposed after an attack.
6: Know your enemies
There are many types of enemies in Bloodborne, and some have specific attacks that you should memorise. Learn whether to counteract or avoid these, whether to expect a follow up or to attack immediately. Know when you can use the gun to stun the opponent and apply a critical hit. Being able to correctly read the movements of the enemy is half the battle.
7: Be flexible
You will find all kinds of situations and adventures during Bloodborne and should keep an open mind to various strategies, even if they seem unconventional. Change armour (or even remove it!) and weapons and try new approaches if a normal strategy is not working. Bloodborne is not a game that adapts to the player. It's the opposite.
8: Don't forget lock-on
Bloodborne offers a lock-on option, assigned to R3. It is a very useful function that allows you to track the actions of enemies and contextualises the movement of your character to the opponent's position. That said, following the previous tip, there are situations where it is best not to lock to the enemy. Again, if the conventional tactic is not working, try the unconventional.
9: Take the time to evolve your character
If you have gathered large amounts of blood, don't forget to evolve the character. Some extra points spent on Vitality, or Attack can make all the difference to a previously (un)balanced fight. This is particularly true if you are on the verge of tackling a boss. Don't forget to also use the Caryll Runes to evolve and apply different effects on weapons.
10: Buy the Yharnam Hunter Set
Let's be honest, the original armour set for your character sucks, but you can buy a superior set on Hunter's Dream. The total set of four pieces can be purchased for 2500 Blood Echoes, but can also be found later on in the game. Since it isn't that expensive, it is a good way to increase your protection during the adventure's beginning.
11: Be aware of warnings left by other players
As in the Souls games, players can leave tips and warnings on the floor, which serve to warn other players about threats or rewards. Do play attention to the signal rating - not all the messages of other players are real warnings and some may purposely lead you into traps or dangerous encounters. (Those bastards.)
12: Get ammo fast
If you press up on the D-Pad, you can exchange life for five bullets for your gun. It is a useful function if you've have run out of ammunition, but be careful not to use it during tougher situations, especially if you have few potions left.
Even if you apply these tips, you will likely struggle with Bloodborne, but now you at least have a solid basis to follow during the adventure. Other then that, we can only wish you good luck!