Bloodborne - Objectively Bad Game Design


Bloodborne fans, explain it to me.

Is Bloodborne only playable if you played Dark Souls first? I’ve never played any of them. Was told told skip those and so I gave Bloodborne about 1 hr and gave up. One of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.

It’s starts of with a boring cutscene. Then there’s a character editor you could spend hours on. I spent maybe 10 minutes. After that I’m in a mansion room with no idea what to do. There’s these energy spots that give me tiny messages like “Press L3 to lock on” or “Beware of ghosts”. Then there’s these pools of blood where if I touch them a ghost animation appears. No idea what those are. There’s been no explanation.

After exploring the room for 10 minutes and finding nothing of interest whatsoever I go over to some werewolf like creature. I’ve found no weapons yet so I get killed and see the famous “You Died” I’ve seen gif memes of on the interwebs.

I appear in some garden/graveyard behind a building. There’s 30 or 50 of these energy spots and another bunch of the blood spots. Still no idea what they do. The energy spots are giving me instructions. There’s so many there’s no way I’m going to remember any of them. This isn’t good design. Good design adds one new feature at a time and trains you how to use it. I find 2 energy spots that claim to give me weapons but I can’t figure how how to equip them. I press the “use left weapon” or “use right weapon” buttons the energy spots have told about me but nothing happens. I walked around and checked out tons of these energy spots. It's seriously boring.

So there’s like 3 doors and 2 gates. I go to every one of them but I’m told “Closed”. At that point I shut the game off. It’s been an hour and nothing has happened. It’s been 100% uninteresting and boring.

Seriously, what kool−aide would I have to drink to find this a good game?

I can only imagine it’s only playable if you’ve played Dark Souls and already know exactly what to do because playing this game it’s not clear at all and boring as hell.

People tell me what's good about these games is they don't hand hold you. I get that but there's a difference between being handheld through the game world and being hand held through the game system. A good game introduces you to the system as in what buttons to press to do which things. Those aren't gameplay those are basic instructions. Exploring the world with little instruction is one thing but learning what buttons to press to use your character is something that needs to be taught not guessed.

Similarly you need at least some direction to get started. Given that absolutely nothing happened for the first hour I have no idea what to do. Maybe I'm supposed just leave the game running for 46 hours and it magically starts. How would I know that's not the solution? Maybe I have to quit the game 74 times. It keeps a count of how many times I've quit and doesn't open any doors until I've done that. How would I know? Maybe I have to try to open a door 36 times and the 37 it says "opened" instead of "closed". There's no way to know. That's not good design.

I'm sure there will be lots of hate in the comments. I'm not saying the entire game is bad because obviously the game hasn't actually started. But, that first hour so far is objectively bad game design by every possible measure. ?

Note: I bought the game digitally so no manual. Apparently I'm supposed to read the manual to enjoy the game. That's been a game design no−no since the 80s. Teach the player whatever you expected them get from the manual in the game. Good examples, Zelda Wind Waker you get train on several techniques before you start. Another good example would be Half−Life: Opposing Force's boot camp which is optional but provides a fun way to learn the controls, after which you can enjoy the game.

I was ready to just wing it hoping that I'd learn the controls as I went but given none of the doors or gates worked and given it had already been an hour or boredom I quit.

Trying to help noobs is SOOOO FRUSTRATING!
NES/Famicom, A Visual Compendium - Corrections