Bloodborne was released six years ago to critical acclaim. From Software fans raved about it, and gamers who had no idea what they were getting into — like this writer — were swept up in the hype and eventually fell in love with all Yharnam had to offer. I would say it’s developed a cult-like following, but with millions of units sold, Bloodborne is simply too popular for that moniker.
With the last piece of content for Bloodborne, The Old Hunters DLC, having been released at the end of 2015, fans are desperate for more –so much so they’re taken to creating their own new Bloodborne content. Indie developer Lilith Walker has been working on a PS1 “demake” of Bloodborne in the Unreal Engine 4 for some years now. Her project has been gaining attention recently from national media after she posted a WIP video of the Father Gascoigne boss fight, which currently sits at over half a million views on YouTube. The atmosphere, speed, and gameplay are all beautifully recreated in a way that would have impressed — and horrified — 90’s gamers.
Walker first started posting work-in-progress videos in 2017, and recently the project has really been picking up steam. You can head over to her YouTube channel to catch updates, including videos showcasing the Hunter’s Dream design, enemy types, weapon animations, and a hilarious April Fool’s Bloodborne Kart video, which is the game we all truly need.
While Walker notes the game is still unfinished, with bugs to iron out and attacks to animate, she writes, “We’re getting closer and closer to a finished game (BBPSX will be the first few bosses only) and I can’t wait to share it with you all when it’s ready!” I, for one, can’t wait for this to be playable and would gladly shell out blood echoes for future installments. PS1 demake of Castle Cainhurst, anyone? Astral Clocktower? Yes, please. Those are only pipe dreams, but if we have to wait another six years for more Bloodborne, I wouldn’t be surprised if Walker or other fans continued making Bloodborne tributes to satiate our hunting needs.
Walker’s PS1 demake isn’t the first fan-made Bloodborne game. Last year, Max Mraz released Yarntown, a “Zeldalike tribute” to Bloodborne that would have been perfect for the Game Boy Advance. Yarntown was released for free on PC, Mac, and Linux and is still available as a free download here.
The city of Yharnam is wonderfully translated into 2D environments and the hunter sprite is so cute I almost forget Bloodborne is meant to be a horror action game. Yarntown covers the opening of the game as well, with boss fights against the Cleric Beast and Father Gascoigne being highlights of the game. Players start in the Hunter’s Dream (don’t fret — the Doll is present in 2D cuteness) and can level up themselves and their weapons like in the original game. Combat is fun, though obviously not as complex or punishing as the original Bloodborne. Regardless, Yarntown is an incredibly inventive and impressive game.
Upon its release, developer Max Mraz received coverage from every major gaming outlet you can think of, with IGN calling it a “love letter” to Bloodborne. He has since developed his own games: Hallow’s Eve can be found on itch.io and Ocean’s Heart on Steam.
As much as these projects get my adrenaline flowing and my weapons ready for the hunt, I still find myself in need of a Bloodborne II. I’m nowhere near alone there — popular soulsborne YouTuber VaatiVidya’s analysis of a 13-second teaser trailer for the game we’d eventually learn to be Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice garnered over 1.2 million views back in 2017, with many of those from fans hoping for Bloodborne II. Fans are so obsessed with the possibility of a Bloodborne II they convinced themselves a doll in From Software’s VR game Deracine — nothing more than an easter egg — was an indication Bloodborne II was on the horizon. Sadly, it wasn’t (and continues to not be). Instead, From’s next project is Elden Ring, the George R.R. Martin collab project that’s closer to something like Dark Souls than Bloodborne.
I enjoyed Dark Souls III and Sekiro, and I’m sure I’ll love Elden Ring. But they’re not Bloodborne. The 2015 masterpiece still remains installed on my minuscule, sub-500 GB PS4 harddrive while other, newer games sit on my shelves collecting dust. It’s a special game in need of a sequel. While we may never get that sequel, we’ll still have comics, fan-made games, and lore videos to satiate our hunting needs.
So until we return to Yharnam next, I say, farewell, good hunter.
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