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Trick Weapons – Bloodborne’s Defining Mechanic | Draz


Bloodborne’s popularity is certainly no
hidden secret; it’s often listed as one of the “must have” games on PS4, and
rightly so. Bloodborne is a masterpiece of aesthetic,
level design, gameplay and storytelling, and since I’ve finally picked it up, it has
become one of my favorite video games that I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. There’s no shortage of videos on YouTube
that go on at length about what makes Bloodborne great, so I thought we’d take a look at
the game in a way that I’ve not seen covered in a video before, about how Bloodborne’s
trick weapons define its gameplay. Trick weapons are weapons that were specially
designed for beast hunting in and around the city of Yharnam, and as such they were made
to be highly adaptable due to the dangerous and highly aggressive nature of beasts. A quick tap of the L1 trigger switches the
player’s weapon between two different modes, greatly changing the weapon’s properties
as well as the moveset the player has available to them. Most trick weapons allow this transformation
to be weaved into combat, letting the player change between their weapon’s forms while
still maintaining aggression; aggression itself is heavily encouraged by fast-paced combat
and the rally system, which allows players to regain lost health by dealing damage to
enemies shortly after being hit. All of this works together to bring a cohesive
flow to Bloodborne’s action. Even Dark Souls 3, which switched to a quicker
flow of combat more akin to Bloodborne, doesn’t allow for such a fluid change as is provided
by trick weapons. Sure, it could be argued that the trick weapons’
ability to switch between different modes is little different than swapping out to a
different weapon, but between the ability to change mid-combo and the actual flavor
of using these weapons that were specially crafted for hunting beasts, they’re an entirely
different experience when compared to the traditional swords, maces, etc. from the Souls
series. Speaking of, the unique design of trick weapons
are another aspect of them that sets them apart from your typical fantasy armory and
the rest of From Software’s library. Sure, several of the weapons have forms that
behave as a more traditional weapon such as an axe or sword, but many also become grossly
absurd when they switch, and a few are extremely unique even without. I mean, Logarius’ Wheel is a GIANT FREAKIN’
WHEEL that you smash things with, there’s a spear with a gun built into it, and a bladed
cane that segments into a whip; these are insane. The thing that bewilders me the most is how
GOOD all of the ones I’ve toyed with have felt to use; I can’t say I’ve used a single
one that felt unintuitive (seriously, I figured the cane’s whip form would feel awkward
but it really doesn’t) and nothing really felt useless. I love so many of these different weapons
that I actually had a hard time not switching every time I found a new one; I’m definitely
going to be replaying this game a lot to experiment with different builds and try out the other
weapons. As for the different transformations themselves,
they vary wildly from weapon to weapon. Some are relatively mundane such as the Tonitrus,
a mace whose L1 briefly imbues it with electricity, while others drastically change how the weapon
behaves. For example, one of my favorite weapons in
the game is the Kirkhammer. The Kirkhammer’s basic form is that of a
normal sword with relatively quick swings, but when you switch it your character slots
the sword into a giant hammer head that hangs on their back, pulling out the handle and
becoming a massive slab of stone that crushes any beasts unfortunate enough to be caught
under its (admittedly slow) swing. Similarly, Ludwig’s Holy Blade is a sword
that isn’t terribly different from the Kirkhammer’s blade, but the Holy Blade’s sheath is made
of metal and can be used to make the weapon function as a greatsword, adding a lot of
range and power at the expense of losing its speed. These transformations allow the player not
only to switch up their available moveset during combat, but also potentially take advantage
of enemy weaknesses; some enemies take damage more heavily from certain types of attacks,
and different modes of weapons may inflict different types of damage, such as the actual
hammer part of the Kirkhammer dealing blunt damage or the Saw Cleaver dealing serrated
damage in its shorter, non-extended state. Logarius’ Wheel actually changes a portion
of the damage it does to Arcane, as well as shifting its scaling to scale heavier off
of the player’s arcane stat and less off of strength, heavily impacting the possible
player builds when using it; this means that someone who allotted more skill points to
arcane and less to strength can do the same (if not more) damage using the same weapon. Plus, using this form allows the player to
“rev up” the wheel, trading an increase in damage for a constant drain on your character’s
health, but also causing all attacks to regenerate health for the player instead of those done
while rallying. This adds a really unique spin to the Wheel. Pun intended. As cool as all of these are, though, the most
important implication of trick weapons as a game mechanic are what this says about what
From Software could do in the future. Despite how similar Bloodborne is to the Souls
games, when you combine trick weapons with the other additions to the game such as the
rally system, it results in a game that is both familiar and very different to what From
Software is most famous for. This shows an approach to game design that
is very open to trying something new, to shaking gameplay up in a way that action games rarely
do. When game developers find a system that works
for what they want to do, it’s not very common for them to mess with it in such a
way that directly impacts the flow of the game; doing so has a fairly high likelihood
of being more disruptive than anything, and ruining a big part of your game that players
love. Even with a bit of change to the flow of combat
in Dark Souls 3 they took a bit of a risk, and it was one of the aspects of the game
that I read the most criticism on. And now, with the release of the second (and
final) DLC for Dark Souls 3, From Software has a lot of freedom, whether it be a return
to the Armored Core franchise (as they’ve stated they would like to do) or to try something
drastically different with whatever new IP they’ve hinted at working on. Personally, I’m hoping that at some point
they come back to the Souls style of game with a different setting and some really interesting
twists on the gameplay, but no matter what they do I’ll definitely be keeping an eye
on whatever they release next, and I recommend you do the same. Hey guys, sorry it took so long to get this
video out. Between wanting to put some serious time into
Bloodborne before writing this, some personal stuff that happened and working full time,
it’s been really difficult to get any good work done for videos. That said, thank you for taking the time to
watch this and for being patient with me while I stumble my way through this sort of thing;
creating videos has been and continues to be a learning process, so I really appreciate
all the support that you’ve given me. As always, if you have anything to add to
the discussion, the comments section is down below, and if you’d like to help my channel
grow, liking and sharing my videos is the best way to do that. Thanks again for watching, and I sincerely
hope you enjoyed the video. Until next time.

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