Beyond a Souls game with shells and shot, Bloodborne delivers an action RPG that fits into From Software's cannon of unforgiving games and still manages to hack out its own identity.

Bloodborne places players on a journey in search for a medical miracle, in a city where others pilgrims have been afflicted by a disease that turns them into the stuff of nightmares and Souls games.

Many of the elements of this journey will feel familiar to veterans of the series, but, as mentioned earlier, Bloodborne is a beast of its own and there are tips that can help both veterans and newcomers alike to progress through the game with a little less frustration.

Gameplay Deviations from Other Souls Games

There are new weapons, but less in total. Armor can't be upgraded. Armor also doesn't add to the player's weight, affected the speed at which the character moves through the game's environments.

Dying will still happen a lot, of course, but being sent back to checkpoints frequently won't have a negative impact of the character. As for the impact it will have on the actual player, well that's an entirely different story -- just breathe.

The upgrade system has been simplified. Players gain "Blood Echoes," or experience points, by killing enemies. It can use those points to upgrade their characters.

When a player's character is killed, unspent Blood Echoes gush out of his or her corpse's blood. Players can return to the spot of their previous deaths and reclaim the Blood Echoes they lost.

Setting out

Weapons - Choose the Hunter Ax for devastating blows, but expect slow wind ups. Select the Hunter Pistol for its range and choose the Hunter Blunderbuss for its ability to impact multiple targets, though at the expected range of a video game shotgun. Select the Threaded Cane for his reach and the Saw Cleaver to quickly chip away at enemies.

Engaging Enemies - Like the player's characters, enemies in Bloodborne have no limit to the amount of times they can and will respawn. For enemies the players have completely figured out, a little bit of farming can reward a lot of valuable Blood Echoes. But for those enemies that nearly get the best of the player, it's sometimes best to keep going or to even avoid some encounters.

Regaining Blood Echoes - While a splatter of blood will point out where the player's character died and his or her Blood Echoes will lost, reclaiming the experience won't be as easy as walking up to the splotch and gathering what was lost. While the character was gone, a nearby enemy, whose eyes are now lit up, claimed those Blood Echoes. The player will need to kill that enemy to reclaim the stolen Blood Echoes.

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