& Dark Romanticism

Bloodborne is a game – but not just any game.
It’s a game from the From Software galaxy – if you’ve seen ads for Elder Ring, it’s them.

These games are known above all for their extreme difficulty. No easy level, no chance. You make it – or you don’t.
You accept the rule – or you give up the game.

The director of Bloodborne is Hidetaka Miyazaki – he created the Dark Souls series.

Even if you don’t play the game, you’ve probably heard these titles many times.

They are phenomena in the video game world.
While they are difficult, they are not punishing. They’re meant to make you willing to get better – until you’re ready, until you’re good enough, too bad, you keep practicing – but there are no nasty traps.

In itself, this feature is to be commended – but of course, that’s not all.
The author, Mr. Myiazaki, is a real author.
This means that he carries with him a whole imaginary universe and gives it back to us in the form of games.
If you want his most obvious reference, it is Lovecraft.

That might be enough – but it’s not.

What Bloodborne offers us in a special way is a dive into Dark Romanticism – the kind that produced a “baby” like Lovecraft.
To immerse us in it, the developers went to real places – that so strange neo-gothic of the 19th century, paintings of great masters, creatures of great authors, and they somehow gave them life again.
Which means that you don’t play Bloodborne – you immerse yourself in it.

No – it is possible to play like a brute and see nothing. It’s a shame, but why not.

On the other hand, the moment the player is touched by this universe, then he won’t leave it anymore.
And not only will he not get out, but he will also learn to find information. He will learn to lose himself. To not find – what explorer does he find for sure? He will learn to enter the community of players – you can’t understand the story and its references alone.
In this, this game is literally masterful.
You can’t understand it alone.
You can’t expect a smooth and clear narrative – like life, nothing is smooth, nothing is obvious.

If you look at the comments of this video, you can see how useful everyone’s knowledge is in “breaking through” the subtleties of this game.

This means that these games – which are monumental commercial successes – are based on the belief that their players have brains that work fast and well.
That their players will take infinite pleasure in playing and getting lost in this world straight out of the dreams of the great romantic authors.

These games are the exact opposite of those entertainments that take their audience for amorphous fools. In From Software, the player has real value – has knowledge that he can use during the game and for other players.

And of course, it is this state of mind that can only charm me.
This state of mind is the one that guides Altair.

And allows me to consider yet another link – which I had forgotten about, it’s a scandal – that of Dark Romanticism.

That of those authors like Poe – still.
Like Monsieur de L’Isle Adam who tells you dozens and dozens of tales, each one more cruel than the next. Mary Shelley’s – all of them, in one way or another, at the origin of so many strange and terrible universes that we find in games. And that’s without even mentioning painting or sculpture – of course these games happily draw on the whole visual imagination of Dark Romanticism.

And we should forget that? To miss it?
But not at all.
The year of the link: Dark Romanticism, there will be Bloodhorne – and Poe – at least. Lovecraft – still. Baudelaire – but yes.

It will be a terrible – but unforgettable – year.

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Featured Image : from Bloodborne -by: From Software – director : Hidetaka Miyazaki

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