Hunting the Nightmare

An article by, Aaron Burton

I'll be honest. I have never beaten a Souls game. However, I feel that I am not alone. This series offers some of the hardest challenges while remaining entertaining  and immersive. I have spent many hours dying with the best of them. This week the world of Bloodborne has expanded into the comic book realm.

For those unfamiliar with the Souls series, they are a set of horror role playing games. The games revolve around one major mechanic. The player progresses through the game until they die. They then upgrade their character and start all over again. This is similar to the game play style of roguelikes, but without the random generation. Souls games offer a very dark and ominous atmosphere. Most of the games have a medieval theme while Bloodborne has more of a Victorian setting.

Bloodborne is written by Ales Kot. The art is done by Piotr Kowalski with coloring by Brad Simpson. The series currently has one issue which premiered on February 21st 2018. The book is produced by Titan comics. Bloodborne is an action-horror based in the same universe as From Software's video game of the same name.

The Hunter is living in a never ending nightmare. Equipped with an ax and an rifle they must navigate the city of Old Yharnam in search of pale blood. This is no easy task as the area is filled with infected creatures, werewolves, and bloodthirsty townsfolk. The Hunter must hack and slash their way through a world of misery in order to break the cycle.

My favorite aspect of this issue was the way the story incorporated the core game play mechanics. We see our hero waking up with no memory, but a hunch that they have been there before. If the hero were to die, they would be sent back to town in order to start all over. This is a very creative storytelling method. We get to see the protagonist learn from their mistakes in order to progress the adventure.

While Bloodborne makes many nods to its counterpart, it is not necessary to play the games before reading. This issue clearly explains the plot and does enough world-building to bring any reader up to speed. There is a good balance of new mystery and references for the fans.

The artwork in Bloodborne does an excellent job building the atmosphere for this story. The coloring uses mostly grays and browns for the setting and characters. This helps add to the bleak and hopeless feelings of this universe. This is broken up by the use of red and orange in action scenes. The violence is fast and brutal. The artwork is intricate and detailed. It is easy to become immersed in the book's world.

If this issue is any indication of how the rest of the story will play out then we are in store for an awesome new series. Everyone involved in this project did a great job of replicating the Bloodborne vibe.  The artwork and writing come together to make a truly dark experience. Reading Bloodborne #1 is the complete opposite of the miserable setting it portrays. You can buy Bloodborne (the comic) here!

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