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Fans of From Software's dark fantasy action-RPG have gotten a new tantalizing look at the company's next title yesterday, as a new component of Bloodborne was showcased during the PlayStation Experience keynote. We're talking about an enormous procedurally generated "Chalice Dungeon" that resides under the city of Yharnam, which a large part of the game takes place in.
The presentation starts at 1:05:20 and ends at the 01:14:25 mark. Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki provided commentary in Japanese and was translated by an interpreter on stage. During the presentation attendants and viewers were shown footage of two players exploring the aforementioned dungeon . Miyazaki directly compared the "Chalice Dungeon" to the dungeons a player would regularly explore in a roguelike title, though it's worth noting that the dungeon shown during the presentation had a very organic layout and really polished environmental art. The version showcased included a trap, a number of very different looking areas ranging from Blighttown-like marshes to underground crypts, and even a number of creatures whose placement nicely complemented the environments. For example, a huge creature with a burning scythe assaulted the player in a pool of oil and, predictably, the oil would burn every time the scythe touched the pool.
It's apparently possible to share a particular version of the dungeon with friends and the community at large, though Miyazaki didn't explain how exactly that would work. Activation points that will open shortcuts through the dungeon were also showcased. The presentation concluded with a boss fight against a large dog-like monster covered in flame. This was probably the most straightforward part of the video, as the boss looks like another iteration on some of the patterns and designs From Software has been using since the original Demon's Souls. What can be seen in the presentation looks promising, though it's worth stressing that it's just a vertical slice and doesn't really give any information on how different and well-designed the various iterations of the dungeon will feel.
Also worth noting, a few developers at From Software including Miyazaki hosted a panel later on, part of which was filmed by the folks at Eurogamer Portugal (spotted on NeoGAF). Miyazaki devotes most of the video's runtime to the explanation of the Chalice Dungeon, but also reveals that the game will contain about 10 areas in total (what the word "area" means in this context is unclear):
- Character customization will be about on level with Dark Souls II, but there will also be some unique features. As an action-RPG, it'll have everything "to be expected from an RPG."
- The team is working to keep the game running at the highest frame rate they can, and the final specifications will depend on what works best for the experience.
- There is PvP in the game.
- There might be something along the lines of the fight in Dark Souls II where you took on the role of a boss and fought against another player.
- The concept of dying and Hollowing from Demon's/Dark Souls will exist in some form in Bloodborne as well.