Bloodborne: Chalice in Hunter’s land with ace PSN offering

So, you’ve beaten/submitted  to Gehrman, the First Hunter. Aren’t you a special little soldier? Ah, but Bloodborne is far from finished. Actually, thanks to the game’s procedurally-generated Chalice Dungeons, you’ll really never be ‘done’ with Miyazaki’s masterpiece. Still, at least you’ll have  a hellish hoot with his game on PSN in what’s easily the most accessible online experience from From Software yet.

Of course, this being From, nothing is ever explained. How do you summon a Chalice Dungeon? Well, you’ll need to bow at one of the special altars in Hunter’s Dream and be packing some Ritual Blood, a whole lot of Blood Echoes, the occasional Tomb Mold and, of course, the prized trinket itself. Simple, eh? The Chalices needed to unlock these underground labyrinths are found by beating optional bosses in the main game. Good luck with that.

The caring (alright, eviscerating) online sharing then comes through the Chalice Dungeons’ Glyph codes. After you use a Root Chalice which conjures a procedurally-generated layout your twisted creation will birth what’s essentially a friend code. Share this with pals and then they can immediately search for and summon your tortuous arena in Hunter’s Dream.
It’s a surprisingly elegant system; one that makes sharing your experience with pals decidedly simple. Well, relatively. Couple this with the optional password filter for co-op in the main game, which allows you to join with specific players, and enjoying a From title with friends online has never been more of a breeze.  Albeit a breeze that occasionally flays your skin from the bone.

While a small cabal of Chalice bosses are recycled a little too often, it’s quite remarkable how much the structure of the dungeons can change. Split into four sumptuous varieties Pthumeru, Hintertomb, Loran and Isz these temples may all be a little dark  and dreary, but they’re never, ever predictable. One generated arena could immediately throw up tunnels filled with rolling boulders; the next bouncy bridges made from loose skin (ewwww); or perhaps you’ll be treated to a big room stuffed full of juicy Chalice items that can contain spiffing new weapons or armour sets.

Bloodborne offers a cruel but ultimately cracking online experience, then. The underlying procedural elements feel hugely fresh while those streamlined search filters morph what could be a resolutely lonely experience into sociable slaughter.

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