In the last decade, we have been treated to a new genre of punishing and unforgiving games. Starting with the cult classic Demon Souls, then processing to a more refined spiritual successor, Dark Souls. These titles ask the player to be more cautious and methodical in battle, to battle against gargantuan bosses with enormous health bars. Plus, it championed the narrative that you were doing to die, a lot!
By the time Bloodborne came around, the Souls series was a fully established franchise with two titles and a third on the way. So to replicate the series would have been sales suicide. They needed a USP. Something that set it apart.
Bloodborne managed to do this through a two-pronged approach. One being a completely new environment of Yharnam. The gothic cityscape and amazing architecture were enough to encapsulate any players’ imagination. Even though the plot is told subtly through these types of games, players truly can feel an affinity with the bleak and dreary city.
Then the second prong was a much faster paced battle style. Shields were a thing of the past, replaced with a gun. This meant much more diving in head first, then diving straight back out again to plan the next assault. The battle style was hectic and really adds to the intensity of every fight scene.
So, with this in mind, it’s a poignant question to ask: which title had the best boss battles? This of course takes into account the back stories of these bosses, their environments, difficulties, designs and the battles themselves.
A True Test of Skill
In terms of difficulty, due to Bloodborne’s fast pace and non-defensive style. It’s arguable that any battle’s difficulty that is on par with Dark Souls’ bosses will inherently be more challenging. Putting that aside, there are bosses that take the cake, regardless.
The best examples are the Orphan of Kos from The Old Hunter’s DLC, or, if you are solely talking about the base game, Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos. These bosses not only look like something straight from a fever dream, they live up to their appearances too!
This provides a challenge for even the most skilled hunter. With flurries of attacks that are unpredictable and powerful, whether you are partial to dodging or opt for a parry and riposte approach, this demon will have you sweating.
As for Ebrietas, this monster of a boss isn’t quite as erratic. She’s more of a tank with a colossal health bar and lumbering attacks. If they connect, don’t worry, they will only cut your health down to next to nothing!
The Art of Subtle Storytelling
The bosses above represent the toughest challenges that you might face in Bloodborne. The bosses we’re delving into now represent the immense subtle storytelling of the franchise. The best boss to show for this is perhaps Father Gascoigne, one of the first you will encounter.
He is a hunter, much like your character, though he has succumbed to the bloodlust. In battle he has a move set similar to the player and almost mirrors the potential future of the player character in the mad City of Yharnam. Note, though, that this is only a fragment of the bosses’ brilliance!
Father Gascoigne is a father to a young girl who can be found in the City. He was once calmed from his bloodlust by the sound of his wife’s music box. If the player wishes, they can seek out this young girl and retrieve the music box, which in turn, can be used to stun Father Gascoigne for an easier fight.
Ultimately, the player will put down the old man who has became more beast than man. Plus, you will learn of the tragic tale where, in his bloodlust state, Father Gascoigne killed his own wife on one fateful night. It’s truly a magnificently-crafted backstory, a feat which is repeated throughout the game’s duration.
Well, Dark Souls 3 has its own whimsical story bit too, in the form of a weirdly-names raven called Pickle Pee.
Bloodborne Reigns Supreme
Through this analysis, we think it’s clear that Bloodborne is by far the superior game of the entire genre, all thanks to the many efforts gone into every faucet of the bosses. Don’t just take our word for it! have a look at this poll from Giant Bomb below:
This showcases the general consensus that Bloodborne is the title leading the way for the genre. Granted, it’s not a huge majority, though that only shows that each game is fantastic in it’s own right. So, to win in such a well crafted pool of games is a testament to this title!
Do you agree with our views? Is Bloodborne the best game in the Souls series? Does it indeed have the best bosses? What is your favorite boss in the series? Send us your comments and tell us why!