🚀 Using a Mac? Take a look at my open source PHP & Laravel Valet tool, PHP Monitor.

Bloodborne teaches you how to deal with stress, anger and frustration

January 17, 2021

I play a lot of video games. If you’ve seen my yearly “top games I played”-style posts before, you know this already. After completing the first Witcher 3 expansion, Hearts of Stone, I decided to try my hand at Bloodborne, one of the most beloved FromSoftware games on PS4. FromSoftware’s most famous game is probably Dark Souls.

Playing Bloodborne, I learned some valuable lessons during my first few hours playing the game. I’m playing the game for the first time, with me asking for some tips (but no spoilers) from my friends who have played the game before.

My first two hours of playing the game were a bit like slamming my head repeatedly at a wall: it was quite painful and frustrating. In fact, from what I understand, a good chunk of people who try this game give up within this period of time because the game can be quite hard for those starting out, and the checkpoint system is extremely punishing compared to other modern games.

At this point, after a few evenings of playing the game, I’ve beaten a variety of bosses. Each of those fights was quite the rush: after the first few battles, I found out that keeping your cool is something you need to master in order to beat these bosses.

Finding the what each boss is weak to is not the only requirement, you have to stay focused while whittling down the health of these guys. You have to be able to read their moves. With a rush of adrenaline going through your body, this is something you have to master. It’s a part of what makes the game challenging, and rewarding: when you finally beat that boss, it’ll be very rewarding. It is hard, though. You will be retrying boss fights quite a bit as you try to improve each time.

Bloodborne (as well as the Dark Souls games) are known to have no difficulty setting: they have a fixed difficulty. That makes them notoriously difficult to get into, but for this reason they are also extremely respected. You have to master the game’s fundamentals in order to be able to progress. There’s always a debate about accessibility in games, but some argue that this would water down the game’s experience (once it is not longer “difficult”). If you’re on a PC none of this matters much, as you can always mod the game to be easier. For Bloodborne, this unfortunately does not apply, as it is only available on PlayStation 4.

So, after thinking about it, Bloodborne kind of teaches you to deal with three key aspects of life:

  • Frustration: As you progress through the stages and make mistakes it is important to keep going regardless. Can you push through? Will you learn from your mistakes?
  • Anger: You will sometimes feel like an idiot when you eventually make a stupid mistake. You’ll need to manage this feeling, and manage your anger.
  • Stress: As you progress to the boss battles, you’ll be tense and stressed out. You’ll be on edge. These bosses don’t simply let you kill them, it’ll be an adrenaline-fueled fight (though you’ll find a more experienced player can dispatch them more easily).

So, not only is Bloodborne an excellent game, but it also teaches you valuable life lessons. That’s kind of cool. Dark Souls is quite similar in this regard. With this, I can safely recommend these games: yes, they have a learning curve and can be challenging, but they’re absolutely worth trying. Just remember to learn from your mistakes.

If I can eventually beat the game, I’m sure this will end up ranked quite high on this year’s games list, as Bloodborne is quite the package (in terms of gameplay, visuals and audio design). It’ll be a challenge, to say the least! Wish me luck.