Well, I’ve just died for the 57th time in Bloodborne and I haven’t made it past the game’s first open area. Right now, I hate the bloody thing. I have no idea what’s going on, I’m not learning anything and there’s nothing to help me progress. See, I’m not stuck here because it’s hard (although it is hard). I’m stuck here, aimlessly wandering around Yharnam because the game doesn’t have a tutorial.
People who’ve played From Software’s previous titles will try to tell you it’s supposed to be like this and that discovery is part of the enjoyment. However, many of these people will forget that Bloodborne is the first proper release from the Japanese studio on PS4 (no, the port of Dark Souls 2 doesn’t count).
As a result, this is the first time a lot of people, myself included, will be diving into one of these mysterious worlds. You have to cater for these new gamers. You have to make the game accessible. Not mentioning Insight – one of the key factors for progress – at all means, like me, you can spend hours thinking you’re getting somewhere only to find you’re just wasting your valuable time.
The traditional training level doesn’t really exist outside of Call Of Duty anymore but whatever form they take, they’re crucial. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told that X is jump, but it’s the times when it isn’t that are important.
There are so many ways to give us this information outside the traditional route – The MGS2 tanker level is a great example. You get a slice of the game you could just play around with to your heart’s content, knowing it isn’t going to affect the main story’s progress. Games such as Destiny, Final Fantasy 15 and BF Hardline have treated us to Betas, not only to allow us to experience the game pre-release (and in some cases shape its development), but to enable us to learn its systems.
I’m still playing Bloodborne and I’m starting to understand it, but that’s down to reading guides and tips online more than anything else. I’ve learnt a lot, but mostly it’s that we shouldn’t be put through five hours of frustration just to get past the first area of a game.