Game of the Year: Bloodborne
Whittling this year’s Game of the Year contenders was a unique impossibility. The gaming riptide that was 2015 saw high caliber titles from almost every genre. Until Dawn elevated the rickety interactive drama equation by embracing its B-list attitude and scientifically engineering waves of fear. Rocket League blew PSN into pieces and then built it anew, and the world has magically embraced the joy of a multiplayer game that 90% of us still suck at. The limitations of an RPG were thrown out the window by The Witcher 3 and its commitment to greatness. Fallout 4 was birthed from the womb of pure hype.
Alongside these juggernauts stood Bloodborne, an unapologetically disturbed, decidedly grievous reverence to a scourge. Hidetaka Miyazaki creates a field of corruption and agony dedicated to killing you, but the game’s poignant themes stem from more than the harrowing screeches and increasingly disfigured creatures. Picking up the controller and choosing to resist Miyazaki’s unforgiving world, to feel the weight of failure with every movement through it, is the true confrontation with horror.
Driving players through this trial is an immersive atmosphere, a visceral combat system, and an intrigue in not only its carefully strewn lore, but its unnerving difficulty. A Lovecraftian and Sisyphean parade in design, Bloodborne’s madness doesn’t just surround players; it invites them to dance. Exacting and rewarding in jarring tandem, an abject horror experienced through our own resolve to challenge it, this, the never-ending waltz between madness and sanity.
Miyazaki’s Bloodborne gets a special spotlight this year. A crown not undeserved, though strongly challenged. We invite you to share your own game of the year, because thankfully, there’s plenty of unforgettable titles to go around.