Have you heard the good word? Bloodborne is a fantastic game! A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was playing through it yet again and loving it, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m still doing that. Bloodborne has become so core to my identity of late that I suspect more than a few of my friends are secretly making fun of me because it’s all I can talk about.
I just reached The Hunter’s Nightmare, which is part of The Old Hunters DLC. To this day, this is the bit I dread the most. It doesn’t sound like I should be excited about that, but I am. After playing Bloodborne as much as I have, there aren’t many reasons for me to fear the Old Blood anymore–Master Willem would be disappointed. As I said a few weeks ago, the world of Bloodborne is familiar and safe–it’s home. The Hunter’s Nightmare, however, is like experiencing a home invasion.
Its opening lulls me into a false sense of comfort by taking to the familiar locale of Cathedral Ward, but as I venture forth I begin to notice things aren’t quite how I remember them. Like furniture that has been slightly moved by an unknown party, everything is a bit askew. It’s just a little to begin with, but enough to be unsettling.
Discomfort turns to dread as the home invaders reveal they’re still there; crazed Hunters descend upon me, bellowing madly and lashing out with strange weapons that I haven’t seen up until this point. Their blades move like frenzied snakes, wildly whipping around, poised to sink their teeth into me at any moment. Were this the version of the world I knew, instinct and muscle memory would have carried me to safety, but it’s all wrong. It isn’t right. And I’m afraid again. There are obstacles where there shouldn’t be; doors that should open block my retreats, pathways no longer lead to where they should; and unfamiliar monsters step out from the shadows.
The Old Hunters is perhaps the only part of Bloodborne that still has the ability instil a sense of terror and evoke exhilaration from me. And it serves as the most potent reminder of why I love the game so much because of this.