The official Bloodborne Japanese website recently released a few new screenshots from the game and dropped a slew of news about its multiplayer component.
If you’ve been following the Bloodborne alpha testing, then you probably know a bit about the game’s cooperative elements. It consists of three players: a host and two guests. It requires the host to ring the Lulling Bell or the guests to ring the Small Resonant Bell in order to initiate co-op, and the host can always use the Parting Shot in order to end it.
Co-op sessions also end if the boss is defeated (players are returned to their own world, rewarded for their endeavor) or if the host or guests die, in which case everyone returns to their own world without rewards.
If you desire to die (or succeed – but you’ll probably die) alongside a friend, From Software has introduced Watchwords, which are eight-character passwords. Players can enter these Watchwords when preparing to join a co-op session and share them to recruit friends. Players with corresponding Watchwords will be matched together automatically.
When it comes to PvP, Watchwords are out of the equation and up to two other players are in, but this time they’ll be a little more hostile. It’s up to these invading players to defeat the host. They will then be sent back to their own world, rewarded.
In order to begin a PvP session, invaders need to use the Ominous Resonant Bell. Hosts will be at risk of invasion whenever a Bell Maiden appears, and it seems that can happen just about anywhere (though, rarely). The Bell Maiden is more likely to appear when initiating co-op, so it sounds like hosts can at least count on some back-up if other Hunters are looking for a scuffle. PvP ends if the invading players die, if the host uses the Parting Shot, or if the host enters a boss area.
On top of reading Memoirs (messages left by other players from other worlds), players connected online can expect to find Tombstones scattered throughout the world, detailing the last moments of fallen players. Touching a Tombstone will show a replay of that death, leaving players to assume the cause and to try avoiding it.
Finally, Chalice Dungeons, which come in two forms: normal dungeons and generated dungeons. Both can be played either online or offline, but in order to fully appreciate generated ones, players need to have an internet connection since they can be downloaded and shared. PlayStation Plus is only required to share dungeons, to play online, and to have asynchronous online features (Tombstones, Memoirs, etc.).
Chalice Dungeons will also feature Illusions, other players going through the same dungeon, to possibly help with how to proceed. Or maybe, we’ll all just fall into the same traps.
Bloodborne will receive a day-one patch to improve performance and to optimize gameplay. It’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive and releases on March 24th.
I am equal parts terrified and excited to play this game. It’s encouraging to see that there is so much in it that can be helpful to fledglings in the Souls genre, but from my experience, having a couple of other players alongside you doesn’t exactly make up for the sheer scale of difficulty present in Hidetaka Miyazaki’s most recent titles.