Bloodborne: Random ways to die

At Sony’s first PlayStation Experience expo, From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki walked thousands of screaming fans through a live presentation of Bloodborne to show off a new feature called Chalice Dungeon.

When the player procures an item called the Holy Chalice and uses it to perform a “sacrifice,” which hasn't been revealed yet, the game procedurally generates a Chalice Dungeon. “The dungeon is very much like a roguelike game in how it is created,” Miyazaki says. “It changes its experience depending on the player and hunter.”

The dungeon remains fixed for players, meaning if it proves too difficult early on, you can return to it. The randomly generated traps, secrets, and enemy locations remain intact for future attempts. These dungeons support Bloodborne’s cooperative gameplay, and can also be shared with other players.

The Chalice Dungeon Miyazaki shared is set in Y’harnam’s underground, starting with human-made enclosures and progressing to a dangerous and darkly lit swamp. One of the enemies that lurks in this area is a lumbering giant, standing roughly 15 feet tall. It wields a curved blade that appears to be imbued with magic that makes it molten. Any swipe the giant makes creates a blaze around his feet. “His weapon is already red-hot, and combined with a tar-like substance it only increases in power,” Miyazaki says.

The fire attacks end up being foreshadowing for the boss encounter, a giant, flameclad guard dog. The flesh is melted off its face, and its eyes have been replaced with flames. The dog can rear up on its hind legs to smash the player and the cooperative player. Attacks landing on the beast’s belly stun it for a few seconds. When it comes to, it spews a molten mess from its mouth. The creature is aggressive and equally engaged in dealing damage to both players. Although the co-op team was diligently trying to fell the dog, the demo came to an end before they could deliver the killing strike.

We likely won’t have a clear understanding of how big Y’harnam and Bloodborne are until the game ships, but the inclusion of shareable, procedurally generated maps means players won’t have to look far for new experiences. The Chalice Dungeon is not a part of the critical path, and sounds like it’s going to deliver a hell of a challenge. Here’s hoping that the rewards (and potential weapon drops) that these dungeons hold are randomly generated as well. They could be a great outlet for loot grinding.

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