“Good. All signed and sealed. Now, let’s begin the transfusion. Oh, don’t you worry. Whatever happens… you may think it all a mere bad dream…”
Bloodborne. Where do I even begin?
Bloodborne is part of the Souls Series, a series of video games developed by FromSoftware. Like its predecessors, Bloodborne is known for its challenging gameplay and merciless fights. Yet, despite being an action game, it does not shy away from a good story and amazing visuals. There’s so much to love about Bloodborne, from secret endings to engrossing side stories and characters. It’s a game that’ll take hours for you to complete, and you’ll enjoy every second of it.
Well, maybe not every second. A good chunk of those hours is likely spent on the one glaring issue with Bloodborne: blood vials.
Regarding most Souls games, the healing system is simple and user-friendly, considering the playstyle. It usually consists of the player having a set number of times to heal before dying or going to a safe spot to replenish. The player never truly runs out at any point as long as they can return to a safe point.
However, Bloodborne decided to take a different route with its healing system. Rather than have a replenishing healing item, the player must go out and collect blood vials. And what does that mean? Farming.
Farming for any item is tedious and obnoxious in any game. Rather than having the ability to continue through the game and story, the player is forced to pause and go through areas killing enemies to see if they drop vials or enough in-game currency to purchase them. And if you encounter a particularly difficult boss and keep using up blood vials? Better hope you have enough stored up, or you’ll have to pause your boss fights to go farm for vials again!
Fight, farm, fight, farm. It’s an unnecessary and tedious game mechanic that drives many crazy when it comes to Bloodborne. Does the mechanic make sense storywise? Yes! It’s a fantastic way to integrate the story of healing blood into the gameplay, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
Players have tried many workarounds to this issue, finding easy-to-kill enemies that consistently drop vials or dungeons that offer large amounts of in-game currency to rack up vials quickly. But even though these are very helpful to players, that still doesn’t solve the issue of pausing the story to farm for a majority of the game.
Bloodborne is one of the best games from FromSoftware, with a fantastic story, characters, and world-building. But if there’s one thing preventing it from being a perfect game, it’s the blood vial system.