When it comes to conjuring up scares the cosmic horror genre is typically ignored due to its vast complexities and a greater focus on unseen terror. While there have been a few titles that attempted to explore this sub-genre, it wasn’t until From Software’s masterpiece Bloodborne that this style of storytelling reached its peak. Set in the city of Yharnam, the player assumes the role of a Hunter who has visited this fabled city to receive blood medication for an unknown illness. In exchange for this medicine, the player is roped into an event known only as The Hunt which sees numerous skilled warriors roam the streets in order to slay various warped monsters known as Beasts. Despite appearing normal at first, players learn in time that these events are all due to the Yharnamites attempting to contact cosmic beings known as The Old Ones.
However, as players continue on their hunt more of the world is revealed including various, complex relationships between a college, church, and fanatics who all seek to increase their knowledge of these otherworldly beings. While Bloodborne isn’t traditional in its horror design or gameplay, it always keeps a heavy emphasis on tension, dread, and helplessness. You’re playing a character who has very little chance to actually deal with these creatures and one of the main ideas running throughout is that the player is nothing more than a blip on a very large radar. You’re not a hero or the chosen one, just a very unlucky visitor who happened upon Yharnam right on the brink of chaos. This concept is enhanced beautifully by the gameplay and characters, each with interesting personalities that both help deepen the world and the player’s place within it.