Bloodborne: Can I Get a Strategic, Vagrant Story-Like Game, Please?

From Software's new IP could be fantastic, but here's hoping it's not just Dark Souls III in a fancier wrapper.

From Software's new IP could be fantastic, but here's hoping it's not just Dark Souls III in a fancier wrapper.

I know everyone loved Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. And while they’re not really my cup of tea, I acknowledge them as the excellent productions they are.

Now, with From Software’s new IP Bloodborne getting a ton of attention after debuting during Sony’s E3 press conference, I find myself recalling a wonderful game from yesteryear: Vagrant Story.

Yes, I know it’s probably just because of the medieval-type setting but as time goes on, I find myself missing those real-time/turn-based hybrids more and more. I’m sure nobody wants them now because they’re just not fast enough, and today’s technology is capable of so much more. I get that.

Even so, wouldn’t a game like Bloodborne be fantastic if it had more strategy and role-playing elements?

Not all of us have the requisite time and skill for games like Dark Souls

I got into RPGs back in the day because I wasn’t very good with action games and fighters. As time went on, I got a lot better (even managed to beat very difficult titles like Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox and Devil May Cry 3 on PS2), but I still consider such games to be more chore than entertainment. That’s why Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls didn’t quite fall into my wheelhouse. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the atmosphere but I just didn’t have the necessary motivation. I also don’t have the time to put into such massively demanding titles.

Now, with Bloodborne, if From Software makes a game that’s very similar to their previous projects, count me out. On the other hand, if they make something that’s more of a throwback, that rewards planning and micromanagement more than it rewards reflexes and dexterity, I’m on board. I still believe modern games can utilize advanced versions of hybrid battle mechanics, and no, I don’t think it would be a step back.

And you know, I kinda want a really great story, too

While many like the lore in From Software’s games, I’m not sure anyone reveres these titles for boasting excellent narratives. In such adventures, players tend to lose the thread of the narrative, anyway. There’s just so much freedom in terms of how you approach the game, even if it’s not technically an open-world structure like Grand Theft Auto or Assassin’s Creed. You can keep the quasi-open-world setting from Dark Souls, but I want a stronger story with more of an emphasis on dialogue and drama.

One of the reasons Vagrant Story was so well received is because it had an amazing storyline. When you combined that with the awesome (and at the time, unique) battle mechanic, you had a singular medieval adventure with a mystical, captivating atmosphere and plot. When I look at Bloodborne, I see the potential for the same greatness.

I suppose it’s too much to ask, though.

About the author


A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.