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Hands on with Bloodstained: Ritual Of the Night


This past weekend at New York Comic Con I was able to get some hands on with Bloodstained: Ritual Of the Night, the Kickstarter funded Koji Igarashi game coming to all major consoles in 2018 thanks to 505 Games.

The demo on display at NYCC was the E32017 build of the game which has our protagonist Miriam exploring a massive church level complete with huge bells that hang from the ceilings (that collapse if you stand on them long enough), organ music, and a standard array of enemies that will try to stop you from progressing to the boss room.

Miriam has a plethora of weapons available to her in the game, and in this demo specifically she is able to fight with her fists or various weapons like a knife, rapier, dagger, and the ever popular whip which is a mainstay of the Igarashi Metroidvania games. Each weapon has their own range and speed and will offer up different amounts of damage when attacking an enemy. For instance if you attack with a knife your rate of attack will increase but the amount of damage you inflict will be less than say if you attacked with a claymore, which is stronger but much slower when attacking.

In Bloodstained, as in other Metroidvania games, the main character can upgrade their skills and Miriam is no different. Miriam can collect skills that are unlocked by collecting shards from defeated enemies which are then absorbed into her body. Some of the new skills that were present in this demo were the bone toss, spear throw, throwing fireballs from your hand and a passive skill which unlock Double Jump, which is super useful for exploring the church and trying to reach those hard to get to areas.

Another new addition to this demo are the “Familiars,” which are companions that will aid Miriam in her battles against the many enemies she will encounter. In this demo, Miriam can call the Dullahammer Head Familiar, which looks like a fish with a floating eye that can attack nearby enemies causing some damage. In the final game you’ll be able to level up your familiars, but during this demo you did not have the ability to do this.

As Miriam works her way through the Church, leveling up as she goes, she eventually makes it to the boss room for the demo, a battle with the Bloodless. Bloodless is a female demon who is soaking in a tub of blood when you first enter and as she rises from the tub to greet you she dons a blood dress and can attack you with various blood attacks like “Bloodrain,” which makes it rain blood from the ceiling and if it touches you, you’ll lose health, but if you’re smart you’ll hide under one of the various blood umbrellas floating around the room. The more you fight her the more you chop away at her health, and as you take more and more of her health her intricate blood dress melts away to a blood bikini, at which point a few more hits and she will meet her demise. The boss fight was fun, and had me using a lot of the techniques I learned during my time with the demo and many health potions were used during the fight, but overall it did not seem overly tough or frustrating.

Overall I must say that Bloodstained is shaping up very nicely, and as someone who backed the game during the initial kickstarter campaign, I am very happy with the direction it is headed. The visuals are stunning and the music is moody, atmospheric and downright haunting. Speaking with 505 Games they are hoping to have a new build ready for Pax East next spring, so stay tuned to Gaming Age for impressions from that build.