Bloodborne

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Bloodborne Game Poster Image
Wildly difficult and very bloody RPG rewards perseverance.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Suggests the greater the challenge, the more satisfying the reward. But also tries to entertain by vicious, bloody melee combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The hero -- a customizable character of any race, either gender -- hunts monsters, supposedly to save remaining inhabitants of a gothic city, and shows neither interest nor aptitude for much except slaying of evil creatures.

Ease of Play

Extremely challenging, with no option to alter difficulty; only way to advance is through practice, perseverance. Calling upon, enlisting aid of other players in difficult sections can make things a bit easier. 

Violence

Players use swords, axes, spears, mallets, firearms to kill beast-like creatures. Each swing releases a torrent of blood, groans of pain. Player's character frequently killed by various weapons, claws, teeth -- even a giant, monstrous fist.

Sex

Dialogue, sounds imply that a house the hero sees only from the outside may be a brothel.

Language

Occasional mild profanity, including the word "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bloodborne is a wildly difficult and extremely violent role-playing game. Players control a hunter of monsters who uses a variety of bladed weapons and guns to brutally kill vicious creatures, some of which are humanoid in appearance. Dark red blood sprays with every hit, and players will hear moans and screams of pain -- including some from their own character, who dies frequently. This is an exceptionally challenging game but one that rewards patience and perseverance with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Online features are included, but communication is limited to selecting prewritten text messages.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJawad_23 February 12, 2016
Adult Written byJIza112233 July 30, 2018

graphic violence

very depressing and macabre atmosphere lacking positive message only one character that consistently is a good role model extreme difficulty graphic and disturb... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysomething_nice June 16, 2015

Bloodborne lives up to its name!

As a long time "Souls" fan (I've beaten Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2 several times), I was very excited to play the newest ga... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byVarsus Osvourn March 31, 2015

Agree to disagree

While I agree that this game is not for younger audiences (excluding me cause I'm a reviewer), the game doesn't have any privacy or safety issues. By... Continue reading

What's it about?

In BLOODBORNE, your hero wakes up after a mysterious blood transfusion to a world roaming with terrifying creatures, many of which appear to once have been human. Charged with hunting these beasts, he (or she) roams the streets with a gun and a bladed weapon, killing monsters before they can kill him (or her). There's not much of a story beyond this simple premise, which leaves players to focus on exploring the labyrinthine world and mastering combat. This game was made to tax players' gaming skills. Enemies -- even the weakest ones -- are exceptionally challenging and often can only be defeated through a combination of timing, reflexes, and tactical environment traversal. Players are intended to die frequently -- the very first battle is designed to be unwinnable -- forcing a mindset of caution and strategy going forward. You spend most of the game alone in your battle against the monsters but can request help in especially difficult battles by ringing an in-game bell and waiting for other players to answer your call.

Is it any good?

Bloodborne poses a daunting challenge. In addition to most enemies being terrifyingly tough, you lose all the Blood Echoes (currency/experience) you've collected since your last save point each time your hero dies, effectively negating any character-building progress you've made. There will be times when, after cautiously adventuring for an hour or more, your hero will be killed in a matter of seconds and all your work will seem for naught. But there's a point to the difficulty. The game's designers want players to have a stake in what's happening, to feel the stress of the situation. It makes for an incredibly tense experience, one that is undeniably frustrating at times but which also delivers an immense satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment when you succeed.

Plus, it's rarely unfair. Combat is finely tuned and feels absolutely terrific. The acts of strategically attacking and dodging are gratifying in and of themselves. When you fail, it won't be because the interface failed you but, rather, likely because you failed to properly read and react to the situation. Exploring the game's massive, maze-like, beautifully detailed world, which is filled with treasures, shortcuts, and hidden areas, is just gravy. It takes a while to get a proper feel for it, but older players who give Bloodborne a chance may be surprised to find they don't ever want to stop playing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Do you ever feel worked up after watching a violent show or playing a violent game? Can you play these games without them affecting you?

  • Discuss how you deal with challenges. How do you usually confront a difficult task? By buckling down and working through it? By putting it off and coming back later? How do you feel once you've successfully finished it? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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