Elden Ring is moving sales like few other FromSoftware titles could dream of and is seemingly set to dethrone the Dark Souls series as FromSoftware’s most successful franchise. Yet, it’s still in fierce competition with other Souls games for the hearts and minds of fans. There’s no doubt that Elden Ring‘s quality has impressed many, and a large segment of fans has already proclaimed this to be their favorite FromSoftware Souls game. However, there are several other darling titles in FromSoftware’s modern catalog, and few inspire the fervor that Bloodborne does.
Bloodborne is a PlayStation 4 exclusive published by Sony in 2015. It dialed up the horror themes from other titles in FromSoftware’s dark fantasy work, incorporating gothic and Lovecraftian horror into its faux Victorian setting. Whether players are walking the streets of Yharnam or delving into the Nightmare Frontier, they are always seconds away from squaring off against danger. This extra aggressive take on a Souls game brought in many new fans, and players have been asking for some kind of update or sequel to Bloodborne for years. If a sequel does manifest, then it would be a good idea for Bloodborne 2 to incorporate Elden Ring‘s open-world elements.
Why Elden Ring’s Open World Works So Well
One of Elden Ring‘s greatest strengths is how its open-world taps into a special feeling: it seems endless. Like how Breath of the Wild received acclaim for having something to do around every corner, Elden Ring‘s huge world is much the same way and sometimes even more so. Different scenarios can be layered on top of each other, such as an uncommon miniboss standing in a field with a dungeon right next to it, and multiple paths inside that dungeon. Sometimes, players will come upon enemies that are fighting each other, and other times they will stumble onto one of the game’s scattered NPCs. Even the legacy dungeons, places designed like past FromSoftware areas, are still able to offer multiple paths and surprises.
Its open world is built out with lots of little details that form a comprehensive picture of the Lands Between and its people. Just about everything in the game contributes to Elden Ring‘s worldbuilding, from the lay of the land and the placement and starting health of enemies to even the equipment. Just about every item in the game is placed with meticulous purpose, and also serves as a fitting reward for exploring. Another of Elden Ring‘s strong points is how it rewards players with tools that change how they play, organically creating more new experiences. With the ability to use these gameplay options to dynamically modify challenges, Elden Ring‘s open world offers something for everyone.
How An Open World Could Translate into FromSoftware’s Other Games
Extracting Elden Ring‘s open world and placing it in most FromSoftware games feels unnecessary. After all, Elden Ring‘s comparisons to Dark Souls are typically apt. Reformatting Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls trilogy to be like Elden Ring would make them become Elden Ringjust with different mechanics. Sekiro is an interesting consideration, as while it would be similar, it would also emphasize Sekiro‘s unique vertical design. Shades of a Sekiro open world can be seen around the central Ashina Castle, which presents a massive area for players to navigate through. A full game like that with more powerful movement options than what Elden Ring offered could be an interesting experience.
Bloodborne is another instance where placing an open world would make it resemble Elden Ring, but there are some key differences. Unlike the other FromSoftware Soulslikes, Bloodborne is a different breed of dark fantasy, one deeply tied into recognizable modern societies and abstract settings. The sense of exploration in an open-world Bloodborne sequel could potentially be astounding if FromSoftware holds to its typical standards of detail. An entire city full of hostile and non-hostile people would be navigable like a real urban environment. Strange mismatches of alien backdrops and visceral imagery would pepper a landscape that contorts into something new as the player changes direction. All of this, coupled with the Bloodborne universe’s unfolding mysteries and different factions, would give players something to sift through for tens of hours.
In Bloodborne, Space is an Ocean and Dreams Dive Deep
Part of what makes Bloodborne more appealing as an open world than FromSoftware’s past titles are the twists that can be done to its setting. The Chalice Dungeons provide a parallel to Elden Ring‘s optional underground areas and could be built out as a sort of highway between the different key locations like Yharnam and Loran. There are also a lot of other things that can be done with Bloodborne 2, such as a small village employing a hunter to stroll through the countryside and root out the evils festering in it. There could be an overarching mystery plot that the player must find clues to solve, like a couple of side quests in Elden Ring.
There are also far more esoteric settings possible in Bloodborne, owing to the flexibility of its horror tropes. The prospect of an open-world horror action game heavily incorporating the ocean is not something gamers have seen before, but Bloodborne 2 could provide it. Players could control seafarers, explore haunted wrecks and islands, and even dive into the ocean using Bloodborne‘s steampunk technology.
As the Great Ones come from above and below, it’s not a stretch to say that an open world Bloodborne could be FromSoftware’s first fantasy game to take players to space. A legacy dungeon set on the moon, populated by ancient, immortal servants to dote on a single Great One, would be an incredible cap to any adventure. The possibilities of Bloodborne 2, with and without an open world, seem to be endless. Ultimately, after Elden Ringit would be nice to see what FromSoftware could do with an open-world format in a very different setting.
Bloodborne is available on PS4.
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