Bloodborne's PS4 exclusivity meant that millions of gamers weren't able to experience From Software's greatest deviation from the Souls formula since the series' inception. With Dark Souls 3, some of the best concepts that were introduced in Bloodborne will bear influence, altering the means of play and deviating.
Below we'll discuss just how Bloodborne has made an impact on Dark Souls 3, and in the process you can get a better idea of what to expect.
Movement: Fleet Footed
Bloodborne's faster paced gameplay was owed a lot to its movement and dodge mechanics which provided a means for evading punishing attacks when face-to-face with opponents. In most cases, passive players were at a disadvantage, as the game encouraged confrontational strategy across most encounters.
Dark Souls 3 is taking a page out of Bloodborne's book by increasing movement fluidity, and providing a more agile dodge. Naturally, players who prefer light-armored classes will get a lot out of this adjustment of Dark Souls' formula, having a better quality of life with classes such as the Thief. Meanwhile, those who are attracted to heavily-armored classes like the Knight won't feel too much of a difference as passive play won't be punished as greatly as it was in Bloodborne. So, you could say that the gameplay is a hybrid between Bloodborne and Souls, attempting to please everyone with a single game.
Ready Stance: Multi-Dimensional Weapons
One of Bloodborne's defining features was its dual-purpose weapon system. While its cast of weapons paled in quantity to previous Souls games, every weapon could transform between two different styles that complemented each other. For example, the Threaded Cane could be used as a fast, short ranged club, or as a slow, long-ranged whip. It's a system that resonated very well with fans, so it's no surprise that it's influenced Dark Souls 3.
Dark Souls 3 features the new Ready Stance. Rather than weapons having two variations, players will be able to toggle between two stances. The default stance will provide one set of attack patterns with a weapon, while Ready Stance will serve as a means for aggressive play. For example, you might approach a Giant in default stance with a longsword, reading his behavior carefully while focusing on dodging and safe counter-attacks. Once you feel confident, you can swap into Ready Stance and break his guard with a forward swipe.
In traditional Souls games every weapon really only had two to three attack patterns that would be used continually throughout the adventure. Providing a greater set of purposeful attack types on every weapon will be a great way to keep the game interesting even if you stick with a single weapon for a prolonged period of time.
Art & Design: Gothic Inspiration
When watching pre-release footage you might notice that Dark Souls 3's areas resemble some of Bloodborne's. More specifically, in this week's Thief Gameplay Video the level shown appeared very similar to Hemwick Charnel Lane in Bloodborne with plenty of similar tombstones and environmental textures. It's no coincidence.
The truth is that some assets from Bloodborne have influenced level art, been repurposed, or even ported over directly. It might disappoint some players that want Dark Souls 3 to be a completely unique medieval fantasy game like its predecessors, but Bloodborne's art design received so much praise it's not surprising that it's affected Dark Souls 3. The good thing is that these environmental and enemy design similarities will be infrequently encountered. For a l intents and purposes Dark Souls 3 is still set in a universe completely independent of Bloodborne.
Ranged: Archery Prowess
In Bloodborne you were able to use a firearm to parry opponents and even stagger them, in addition to providing a supplemental and reliable means for dishing damage. It was an important element of the game's combat style which emphasized face-to-face encounters where a typical Souls style bow would serve no purpose.
From Software was so happy with how the mechanic turned out that in Dark Souls 3 you'll be able to quick draw a short bow and hit an enemy without all the clunky aiming you've come to expect from the franchise. It's a change that, along with other adjustments, will speed up the pace of combat and provide yet another effective way to take down opponents.
Opposition: Upping the Tempo
While the adjustments to quicken your arsenal in Dark Souls 3 will mean that, with practice, you have a higher skill cap, that doesn't mean the game will simply be easier. Far from it.
From Software has put in a lot of time to balance its enemy design in Dark Souls 3. You can expect to see the heavy and dangerous foes that traditionally populate Souls games, but also many more agile opponents that require you to take advantage of the refined gameplay. These quicker enemies will be very dangerous, and are sure to provide exciting encounters that pressure you to play aggressively.