Although March is two days old, we’re already looking ahead to the 24th, when Sony releases From Software’s newest creation, Bloodborne. The gorgeous PlayStation 4 exclusive shares similarities with its cousins, Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls adventures, except the developer put a greater emphasis on offense, whereas those aforementioned games force players to go on the defensive to avoid getting crushed. That said, don’t underestimate the horrifying enemies you’ll encounter.  Otherwise your traveler will wind up in the grave. 

With that in mind, we took a closer look at Bloodborne to find out how to approach different monsters, but first, it’s important to familiarize yourself with combat.

Unlike Dark Souls 2, for instance, your character wields a firearm in his left hand and a cutting weapon in his right. The idea is to stun a creature with the gun before it strikes and then quickly slice your foe with a blade like the Saw Cleaver; ranged weapons do minimal damage. 

Next up is the Regain System. If you played Dark Souls 2, you already know that absorbing damage usually results in a quick death. With Bloodborne, not necessarily. As soon as you take damage, you have the opportunity to counter-attack to reclaim health. Check the traveler’s health bar on the top left corner of the screen after taking a hit. The game temporarily displays lost HP (hit points) in orange, which lets you know the amount you stand to potentially reclaim if you counter within a set amount of time. 

Of course, you shouldn’t run into each situation mashing buttons. The strategy depends on the type of enemy you’re about to face. Case in point, the Hunter Mob, groups of infected citizens with torches, shields and rusty blades. Ideally you should hide, let them pass and then hit one of these creatures with a pebble that you pick up within the environment. Sometimes this will result in your target leaving the group, allowing you dispose of it without drawing attention. Conversely you can toss a molotov cocktail into the Hunter Mob and set them all on fire, though you’ll probably attract unwanted attention. 

In addition, you’ll square off against the Wheelchair Mob, old and twisted men in wheelchairs. Before assuming the advantage against these foes, keep in mind they carry guns, so perhaps it’s a better idea to attack from behind. 

No matter who or what you face (oversized rats, zombie-like crows), always be on guard because some monsters surprise attack. One in particular, a tall hat-wearing foe, smashed through some caskets as the traveler wandered past, while another jumped out when the player rounded a corner.  

Werewolves tend to charge forward, slash/bite and then retreat. When facing one, you should side step out of harms way, deliver two or three cuts and then drop back to wait for the monster to aproach. 

Then we have the Darkbeast, one of Bloodborne’s many bosses. This bony giant (pictured below) leaps around its lair and hits players with sweeping claw strikes. Throwing molotovs will chip away at its health, but you’ll want to hack its legs, which temporarily incapacitates the monster so you can score a few critical hits. Getting close enough without taking massive damage is the tricky part. 

Although Bloodborne may not be as tough as Dark Souls, based on what we’ve seen there’s plenty of strategy to keep in mind to make it out of Yharnam alive. We’ll post a complete Bloodborne walkthrough and tips articles when the game debuts later this month.

Now learn five critical tips to survive in Bloodborne.