The man who birthed Bloodborne
Not to spoil the (semi) surprise, but were a mite fond of Hidetaka Miyazakis PS4 debut. Take a look at our Bloodborne verdict, then immediately check yourself back here as we go one-on-one with Miyazaki-san.
Back yet? Good. Then lets push on with our chat with the games director, as the visionary behind the Souls series offers Bloodborne tips, opens up on his favourite monster and talks about whether he can actually finish his own games.
What was the main inspiration for the game's visual setting/style?
"Classical works of gothic horror, Lovecrafts Cthulhu Mythos, plus a few board games and TRPGs based on such themes. This isnt the first game of mine to draw on these roots, as most of my ideas are actually text-inspired. I guess that there were no curveballs regarding that, this time around."
How have you found developing for PS4 compared with PS3, and what has PS4's extra power and features enabled you to do that you couldn't before?
"Being a director, Ive had the privilege of heading a PS3 launch title. Looking back, I think the PS4 has made the development cycle much easier. Any dev from the early days would agree with me on this one.
"In regards to new accomplishments due to the new PS4 architecture, well, there are a lot indeed. The incredibly detailed gothic/Victorian cityscapes which seamlessly interlink, and the shape-shifting 'trick weapons' configured with tons of animations each - just to name a few."
What were the main lessons you learned during the development of Demon's/Dark Souls that helped you to craft Bloodborne?
"Though there were many lessons learned in many different areas, I think the most important knowledge we gleaned came not during the actual development process but from the players, both including how they played and their general reactions to the experience. The same can be said of Demons Souls and Dark Souls too.
"Im pretty confident this title will be yielding similar results, so Im equal parts excited and nervous at how things will pan out. Wait, actually, I think Im more nervous than excited at this point, but thats definitely nothing new."
What aspect of the game are you most proud of? And what do you think the biggest gameplay improvement over Dark Souls is?
"What aspect am I proud of? Well, personality-wise, I like to avoid putting my pride on parade. Also, I really dont think this game should be compared to Dark Souls. With all that in mind though, one of this games major selling points is definitely the combat.
"It utilises a mainstay of trick weapons and firearms, coupled with dodging and a 'regain' system. The end result is exhilarating combat with that 'life or death' tension. The system was subjected to a lot of time-consuming polish alongside SCE, so I really hope players will like what weve got in store."
What's your favourite enemy or boss from any of your last three games (Demon's Souls/Dark Souls/Bloodborne) and why?
"Im actually fond of a great many enemies and bosses from each title. As for this title, I think Ill hold off on delving into boss info to avoid spoilers. Let me weed it down to one: the Old Monk. This boss utilised a unique (and rather experimental) multiplayer system. I remember facing a lot of opposition to realise the idea. I also designed the bosss head collar myself. All in all, I have a very personal bond with this character."
Bloodborne and its ancestor titles are notoriously tough: how good are you, personally, at them? How long can you play before you die?
"I think Id better pass on giving a straight answer. To say that Im not the greatest at games would be an understatement, so Id rather not disappoint you all. But even so, rest assured in the fact that I can beat this title, albeit with a lot of teeth gritting. The same goes for both Demons Souls and Dark Souls."
Are you in awe of some of the feats players have achieved and shared? What surprises you/pleases you most about these skills, and is it tough to keep creating new challenges to push these people even further?
"Indeed, I am left in awe. Challenges we could never conceive of have gloriously surfaced, with equally glorious skill and determination put into beating them. Such feats are truly exciting. I must say that our side of things does not do a lot in terms of setting up these challenges and presenting them to the world. Most of these stunts are drummed up by the players themselves which is exactly why they are so significant. All we want to do, really, is lay the foundation by creating a game charged with the proper potential to enable such things.
"If we build a world jam-packed with awesome hurdles, Im confident the players will come up with all sorts of interesting ways to surmount them. Its a type of collaboration, really one that I find to be quite fun."
What are you hopes for Bloodborne's legacy after it's released? In ten years from now, what do you hope people say when they look back at Bloodborne?
"Thats a tough question. To be frank, it all boils down to having fun. No matter what kind of legacy or reputation this title leaves a decade down the road, if the players had fun playing it Ill be more than satisfied."
What are your top three tips for survival for Bloodborne newcomers?
1) Dont give up. Obstacles can be overcome through strategy and learning. The online elements will also be of great assistance.
2) Dont drown yourself in hunting and blood. Utilising wit in the thick of battle will be your key to victory.
3) Oh yes, please be careful of the nightmare that is this dark and gloomy world!