Bloodborne, one of PS4’s greatest (and most infamous) exclusives, is currently available for free via PS Plus. If you’ve been afraid to dive in because of the game’s legendary difficulty, then take heart: veterans of the game are staging an online event to make things a little friendlier for you.
Now, if you have been turned off by the game’s difficulty, nobody’s judging anyone here. The Dark Souls franchise has become synonymous with punishingly hard gameplay, and spiritual successor Bloodborne doesn’t really let up in that regard. It’s a faster-paced style of combat for sure (there are no shields, other than a couple that are more joke equipment than anything), but whether it’s easier or worse than Dark Souls is up for debate.
Whatever your views might be on that one, there’s one thing we can all agree on: neither are particularly welcoming for newcomers. Gamers never tend to forget their first experience with the Dark Souls franchise.
When Bloodborne arrived in March 2015, it was one of the PS4’s first big exclusives. Whether you’d played the other games in Miyazaki’s beloved action RPG series or not, it was a tempting prospect, and gaggles of gamers jumped on board with zero clue what they were letting themselves in for. Two years on, a lot of those players have become lifelong fans (Bloodborne is a phenomenal game, after all), but they still remember those first daunting, game over-laden days in Yharnam.
Which is where the big Return To Yharnam event comes in.
Over on Reddit, organiser illusorywall has laid down some simple rules for participants. In an effort to revitalise the game, players are asked to simply make a new character, play through at their own pace and engage in as much co-op as possible along the way.
It’s a simple but powerful idea. In Bloodborne, multiplayer is quite a complex system, requiring a lot of co-ordination and ringing of those darn bells. It can be super tough to find players, whether you’re looking for co-op to help with bosses or opponents to battle against in pvp.
Certain areas, as players will know, are much better for finding other hunters (the Nightmare Frontier and Nightmare of Mensis, for instance). To ensure that first timers have a decent chance of linking up with other hunters, we’re asked to try and defeat other players before taking on the boss of any given area. By so doing, as GameSpot reports, we’ll have more chance of Bell Maidens spawning in any given area (NPCs which are crucial to the game’s multiplayer).
This whole thing isn’t strictly for newcomers’ benefit, granted. Even so, if you’ve ever hopped in for another playthrough and been frustrated by the lack of other players these days, you’ll see the benefits.
The user behind the Return To Yharnam suggests a starting date of March 10 and ending around March 24. So hop in, and leave a You’re in the know, right? message at every lamp you can to show support.