The hunt continues in Bloodborne as From Software releases its latest expansion, The Old Hunters. For gamers who felt the hunt was short-lived, the new expansion adds new places to explore and creatures to hunt. With the Old Hunters expansion, fans can look forward to tough new enemies, new places to explore, additional weapons, and even a couple of unique bosses. While all this sounds good on paper, did From Software maintain the experience fans love or is it more forgiving than previous entries? Fortunately, The Old Hunters is not just challenging like the base game, it might be even more so this time through.
Similar to the original game, The Old Hunters has a cryptic, yet somewhat vague story. The game will immediately put you in a new location called “The Hunter’s Nightmare” after meeting certain requirements from the original game. Newcomers will have to wait until they’ve progressed far enough to unlock the content. Once you access the new expansion, you’re on your quest to uncover the dark secrets of the Old Hunters of Yhrnam. Don’t expect the story to be laid out to you because you will uncover its darkest secret through new NPCs that you meet while the searching the dark corners of Yhrnam.
Difficulty-wise, I find The Old Hunters to be much harder than the original game. At level 98, I expected to play through the expansion very fast but boy, I was wrong. Just reaching the first boss of the expansion, it took me no less than 4 hours. Not only were the enemies unforgiving and dealt a lot of damage, it was like being level 98 wasn’t enough to breeze through the story. Unlike past enemies’ monotonous movements, the new enemies in The Old Hunters have a more diverse pattern of attacks to watch out for. If there’s one enemy that I found especially difficult, it was the Old Hunter that could shoot you while cracking their whip.
As for the bosses, you can expect them to be quite big and pack a punch. In my playthrough, I find them to be really difficult at first and hits very hard. Their movement of attacks are quite random making it difficult to plan your next course of attack. Expect some frustration, though don’t give up hope either. Odds are you’ll eventually overcome your problems and take them out. Compared to the base game, The Old Hunters expansion offers serious boost in difficulty especially in bosses. I’ve never get so pissed in a game like this one in The Old Hunters expansion.
With a much increased difficulty, there are new weapons to compensate for it. For those who looking for deadly new weapons to kill enemies or hunters, you’re in luck as The Old Hunters has several. The new weapon range from the Moonlight sword to Ludwig, a hammer that you can light on fire and use it as a explosive, to a spinning sawblade that packs a massive damage to enemies when it hits. While the new weapons are cool to use and somewhat stylish when executed in battle, I ended up using Ludwig’s Sword due to it’s impressive stats. If there’s one new weapon that I love in using, that would be the sawblade.
When it comes to the new areas, they are designed very well and have a very detailed environments. The expansion managed to stay consistent to the world introduced in the original game. New enemies look much tougher, especially the Old Huntesr that will be hunting you down from start to finish. The weird designs of monsters are still there, and if there’s one thing that I love about the art, it would be the bosses. While new enemies have a unique looks, I find the bosses to look rather appealing and scary.
As for its co-op, the release of the new expansion released an update where you can now seek a help of a NPC character in-game. Through the Old Hunting Bell that you get in the Hunter’s Dream, you can summon a preset NPC to help you out in battle. The bell works like a Beckoning Bell where it uses an Insight for every use, though in Old Hunter’s Bell, you can do it in offline mode. I find the new feature to be very useful especially in my play through since I rarely found someone to play with me since it’s a pre-release title and all. There’s that red aura near at every boss fight that you can use the Old Hunting Bell on. The good thing is, even with the NPC summoned helper you got, you can also summon a friend online to make a team of three.
For fans of Bloodborne wishing for a far greater challenge should look no further in The Old Hunters’ expansion. The DLC itself is an improved, if not a harder version of Bloodborne where tougher enemies and bosses await. That sense of rage-quitting will be intensified with the expansion but the sense of achievement when you took that one hard boss is even greater in this expansion. If you think Bloodborne is somewhat easier and somewhat lacking, the expansion will fill that void.
[Editor’s Note: Bloodborne The Old Hunters DLC was reviewed on the PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Bloodborne: The Old Hunters Review,