> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters Review

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters Review

I have returned from the nightmare once again, a little scarred and a little confused, but I found a new hat that says it was all worth it in the end. The first thing I noticed about The Old Hunters DLC was the striking degree of similarity it had to Artorias of the Abyss from the humble days of Dark Souls. FromSoftware reuses old environments and ideas quite spectacularly, subverting and drawing upon the player’s expectations in order to generate a masterful (if infuriating) experience.

As with Artorias of the Abyss, The Old Hunters takes place in a realm that is slightly out of sync with the main game, being set in a nightmarish version of Central Yharnam. Players are introduced to new characters, and shown the effect that the beast plague has had on older ones that the player has either met previously or read about in hidden story notes. Names such as Ludwig and Laurence will resonate with my fellow lore seekers, and allow veteran hunters to flesh out the backstory of a world that refuses to outright tell the player what they are facing. This can lead to some interesting narrative implications, as well as pivotal moments of awe-inspiring, impactful boss encounters with some of these more significant characters. As always, FromSoftware delivers a fantastic soundtrack that’s paired with such battles, all of which intensify as the boss takes on new, more threatening forms, and providing a dynamic score of mostly original music.

As the player progresses through The Old Hunters, they will see the environments gradually go from being familiar to ridiculously unique. I would usually scoff at the use of recycled enemies and locales, but the Hunter’s Nightmare manages to feel like a level in its own right; the player can no longer rely on their knowledge of the area, and must navigate through the city as though it were completely new. The DLC takes enemies from different stages of the base game and litters them throughout the initial areas, contributing to this feeling of the uncanny, a well known element of horror. Finding the flea-woman things in the Yharnam aqueduct came as a real shock (especially considering what a pain they are to kill).

As with the base game, the number of equippable weapons and items are few and far between, and although I appreciate the variety when it comes to movesets, there were only a few unique ideas that impressed me. Many of the enemies fought with predictable attack patterns and proved simple to parry, meaning that, although skill is rewarded, the player is never encouraged to try out new techniques. Saying that, the fights with the larger, more grotesque boss monsters were particularly intense and exhilarating. The player is forced to rely more on calculated dodges and weapon strikes than guns and Molotov cocktails. I came away from these fights feeling absolutely invincible (that it, before the next area showed me otherwise).

The Old Hunters makes its inspiration well known, and it was nice to see some more overt references to H.P. Lovecraft’s work than were featured in the main game. The themes of forbidden knowledge and the impotence of man came through exceedingly well, and the final area of the DLC felt as though it was ripped straight from the author’s imagination; I genuinely expected the final boss to be Cthulhu himself. These later areas did a great job of creating atmosphere, and fighting my way through them was unlike anything I had felt in Bloodborne before, while my emotional response towards many of the non-player characters and enemies was always that conglomeration of disgust, pity and guilt that’s indicative of director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Considering its length, The Old Hunters really shines as one of Bloodborne’s most impressive features. Each level is intimidating and artistically designed, the lore behind each character is suitably grim, and the music will quickly find itself leaving its gothic stain on my iPod. Overall, I’m impressed by and grateful for the additional content, and I can say without a doubt that I’ll be playing through it again and again, grinning absurdly all the while.

9.00/10 9

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

A fantastic addition to a game that had already won my heart. Although I would have appreciated a greater variety in items and combat, what has been introduced is impressive and superbly implemented.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Ben Robson

Ben Robson

Staff Writer

Owner of strange Dr Moreau-esque pets, writer of videogames.

Share this:


domdange - 08:31pm, 7th December 2015

Not a Souls type of guy, but want to get into it... shall I jump in, the core game of course!?

The Iguanapus
The Iguanapus - 09:34pm, 7th December 2015 Author

I'd definitely recommend it. There are few things more satisfying than werewolves with a walking stick.

domdange - 07:23pm, 8th December 2015

Awesome. If it all goes wrong, it's your fault mate! aha

Calmine - 10:21pm, 8th December 2015

By far one of the best exclusives to the PS4. I like Demon's Souls and Dark Souls I couldn't get into Dark Souls 2, but Bloodborne, so good. I really need to head back into and get this DLC.

CatSwinburn - 10:09am, 18th December 2015

I couldn't get into DS2 either! But Bloodborne has so much of the feeling of Dark Souls, but sooo much better. It's like the DS2 we wanted :D