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Was Bloodborne The Only "Hardcore" AAA Video Game Of 2016?

I don't think anyone will debate the obvious quality of the PlayStation 4 exclusive title, Bloodborne.

It was - and still is - in line for many awards and it won Best PS4 Game in our recently posted Game of the Year Awards as well. In short, the greatness of the game is not in question.

Furthermore, let's not forget that there are lots of ultra-challenging games designed specifically for the niche "hardcore" crowd. Generally, though, they're smaller indie titles and not big blockbuster AAA productions. And that's because publishers need to cater to as wide an audience as possible for such games, if they wish to make their money back. Blockbusters require substantial investment capital, and the casual market vastly outstrips the core market in today's far-reaching industry. The onslaught of mobile has seen to that, even after the industry started heading in the mainstream direction.

It's not like you can't find crazy hard games. But it's becoming increasingly difficult to find AAA video games that really task the player something fierce. We all know games have gotten a lot easier over the years and frankly, I'm happy about that. I never liked the immensely frustrating - and sometimes downright insane - difficulty of our games in the '80s and early '90s and I admit I have more fun now with the lesser demand on my fingers. But even so, the hardcore crowd remains and they feel they're getting squeezed out. Some will say Bloodborne was really the only "AAA hardcore game in 2016" and perhaps that's really true.

Thing is, it was still pretty popular. The core crowd can't be that small, right? But is that game's success enough to convince other developers of taking a risk? Or, are we simply going to see easier and easier games with giant budgets, just for the sake of a bigger audience...? Don't forget that even so-called hardcore titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt didn't shut out more casual gamers; there are ways to tackle such quests if all you want to do is hack and slash. Not so with Bloodborne however, and certain core fans are very happy about that.

Related Game(s): Bloodborne

Tags: bloodborne, hardcore gamers, gaming culture

1/5/2016 9:44:24 PM Ben Dutka

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 05, 2016 @ 11:02:58 PM
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The Witcher was as hardcore as the first graders I work with.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 12:31:54 AM

If you played on the hardest mode it was somewhat challenging though. Normal and below were jokes.

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FM23
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 12:33:19 AM
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W3 was actually pretty difficult on the default setting with a low level character and the dlc was pretty challenging too. I had to put the difficult on easy to advance in a few sections.

I'm fine with Bloodborne being added to the hard Soul series, but we don't need anymore games like this from other publishers. Frustrating games are frustrating. But in doses the challenge is rewarding. Flooding the market with hard gamed makes gaming unattractive to me.

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Oxvial
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 12:51:41 AM
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Witcher 3 it's pretty hardcore when you do the error of challenge someone that it's too high level compared with Gerard.

Bloodborne was actually the less difficult of the FromSoftware Souls type of games which it's hilarious because has the hardest learning curve lol, but after the first boss you learned enough to beat it without problems.

MGSV had potential to be pretty hardcore kinda wish Kojima made more intelligent the enemies.

Last edited by Oxvial on 1/6/2016 1:00:57 AM

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FM23
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 11:22:10 AM

Lies lol some of those later bosses and the optional final boss are no joke. Then you have the dlc bosses. Easier because the gameplay mechanics are more forgiving with faster movement and quicker stamina regeneration, but still strategically challenging because of the perfect timing on offense and defense.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 11:28:18 AM

yeah if you aren't a completer who does 80% of the little missions before the hunts I do agree you are overmatched but part of that is the disastrous fighting mechanic.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 12:40:45 PM

Nah nothing desastrous about the fighting mechanic. And Bloodborne like other souls games is all about learning the boss. To me the mechanics are flawless because they can be mastered. They are different from other hack and slash yes... But in a good way.

Also try the cursed and defiled chalice XD it is hard because a single mistake means you die. First time it took me like 25-30 tries to finally learn Amygdala and defeat it lol When you use the mechanics flawlessly and you know the moveset of the boss you will own it all though. Just takes a little more dedication. If I had to word it differently I guess I am part of the people who look at that mountain and want to climb it. Feels exciting to find a way to do so and very rewarding when you overcome the obstacle :D

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 1/6/2016 12:42:31 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 1:01:53 PM

oh lol forgive me I just realised hunts were refering to witcher XD Been playing to much Bloodborne recently XD

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Oxvial
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 4:10:00 PM

@FM23 dunno I didn't have much of a problem with Bloodborne bosses,now the bosses of the DLC? I still don't buy it but I don't think we should take them into account.

But I made a mistake, I forgot that I didn't buy Dark Souls 2 (I have Demons Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne), so I'm probably wrong and Bloodborne it's more hard than DS2.

@World, There are people (like Ben) that say the combat works almost perfect, but yes I have that problem too I just can't get into the combat mechanics of Witcher 3.

Last edited by Oxvial on 1/6/2016 4:15:38 PM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 9:36:10 AM
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I see a relation over the decades between difficulty, length and technical opportunity to tell a story. Single player games today are more an experience than a challenge - and I am totally fine with that.

If I want a deadly challenge - and I sometimes do - I look for multiplayer games. That's where the "hardcore" takes place today.

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FM23
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 11:22:44 AM

Yep...I'm all for the experience.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 11:29:16 AM

Me too, some massive game in a huge world with a big story isn't really where you want to waste an extra 40 hours of your life on top of the game just dying and redoing things.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 12:51:03 PM

At the same time the *Souls* games are growing bigger at each step. I hope more casuals that were lured by easy story driven games continue to slowly realise games that don't give you everything on a silver platter are quite nice :D Because if *games* are going to become easier and only story driven... It becomes a chore to even play. Might aswell just watch a good movie. Why waste time pushing that joystick. My skills are not required. It's like a huge QTE with a little moving involved and aim assist lol

Also I do enjoy online competitive games. But they are much different from challenging RPG games like bloodborne. You can't replace the type of challenge you get from bloodborne with a shooter. I play both of them and the feeling is none the same. But I guess it helps that I had buddies at first that also attacked the game at the same time. It becomes a bit of a rivalry to see who's build is better and who will finish first :D

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 1/6/2016 12:58:34 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 5:47:41 PM

Like with movie type games, well they are better than movies today and your involvement increases the pleasure.

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Axe99
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 @ 4:34:11 PM
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Since when did "hardcore" mean "games that you die again and again and again in short space of time". That's not even a particularly broad definition of the term "challenging" let alone "hardcore" (a term so mis-used these days it virtually lacks any meaning at all.

I'd recommend defining the net a little clearer. I'd also argue, very strongly, that Rainbow Six: Siege is a fairly classic "hardcore" experience in the sense that's being looked at in this article, although there's also challenge to be had from many other AAA games released this year (you can get smashed by Tropico 5 on the higher difficulty settings, and it's the kind of game many 'button bashers' would struggle to cope with - does that make it more hardcore than Bloodborne? Clearly not, but it highlights the meaningless nature of the term these days).

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