One of Sony's biggest releases for the PlayStation 4 this year is Bloodborne, a thrilling adventure that takes place in the city of Yharnam, where you fend off a population infected with a strange illness using whatever weapons you have on hand. At first it seems like eradicating enemies can be easy. However, as you continue down this dark path, you discover even tougher foes.

This mounting challenge is just what we've come to expect from the team at From Software, which also put together the nightmarishly cool Demon's Souls and Dark Souls games. Like them, Bloodborne packs a stiff challenge with death around every turn.

Before the game's release this March for PlayStation 4, we have a few tips on how to survive against both large and small enemies that get in your way. You may think charging in and attacking is the key to survival, but there are deeper strategies that you can use to your advantage.

You Don't Always Have to Fight

With some scenarios, it's actually better to walk away from a fight. As you first explore the world of Yharnam, you'll discover enemies that you have no choice but to defeat in order to move forward, since they're standing in your way. However, as you explore further into the city, you'll discover different groups of foes.

Before rushing in, keep something in mind – you are not invincible. Furthermore, getting surrounded by enemies is probably the worst thing that can happen to you, as you can't prepare your defenses quickly enough to avoid being hit. If you see a large group, your best option is to find a way around. Usually, you're able to find one, even if it means taking the long way past a building.

This may seem like a coward's approach, but you'll keep your strength up for later encounters, particularly with enemies that give you no choice but to battle them. Be smart, and stay alive for the fights that matter.

Try Different Weapons

When you first begin the game, you'll have two weapon sets to choose from, including a pair of quick blades or a battle axe. Both are effective when it comes to hitting enemies, but you'll want to experiment with each to see which works best for you. As you might guess, they come with their own advantages, such as the axe's improved strength or being faster with the twin blades.

Don't be afraid to try out other weapons, though. There are plenty to choose from throughout the game, including the Saw Cleaver, a devastating two-handed weapon that can cut an enemy down, as well as the Hunter's Axe and Transforming Cane, two weapons that can increase not only strength in attacks, but also range.

Don't Waste Ammo

Although your character comes armed with a secondary sidearm, such as a pistol and/or a blunderbuss (if you're not holding the twin blades, that is), that doesn't mean you should firmly plant your finger on the trigger. In fact, quite the opposite, since both guns only come with a sparse amount of ammunition.

What you'll want to do is save these weapons for when you absolutely need them, like when you're surrounded and need to blast your way out, or if you want to deliver a blow from a distance on a larger enemy. Otherwise, you'll waste your shots and be left to use your melee attacks, which could be dangerous depending on the situation.

It Never Hurts to Lend Others a Hand

Over the course of your journey in Bloodborne, you'll come across other hunters in need of your assistance. Helping these NPCs may open up an opportunity to earn extra perks for your weapon set, and provide a necessary ally later on in the game.

Providing assistance to these characters could be beneficial down the road, as they would remember your kindness and, in turn, come help you when you need it the most.

It all depends on how the mood strikes you, of course, but it's nice to see From Software include a system where you're actually rewarded for your efforts, instead of just going off on useless fetch quests. Here, hunters help each other out, and that could make all the difference with later battles.

Stick and Move

Finally, as with the Souls games, the goal in general to survival in Bloodborne is to not get hit. With that, you'll want to adapt to your character's defensive techniques right away.

Taking too many hits – even in a full suit of armor – won't keep you alive forever. In fact, you could be dead in about two to three if you're too close to a foe. That said, your best bet is to strike, then regain your defensive ground by rolling away or using a block to fend off an incoming attack. Otherwise, you'll take the full force of the hit, and there goes some of your precious life bar.

This is even more crucial against larger enemies, as their hits can bring you down faster than standard opponents. By that point, you'll want to make sure you have the evade techniques figured out, so you can "stick and move," as it were, and stay alive.

Bloodborne releases on PlayStation 4 on March 24th.

 

Ready to play? We have you covered with free walkthroughs and tips! Check out our Bloodborne hub for more, including five critical tips to survive in Bloodborne, more about those tricky Chalice Dungeons, and how to farm Blood Echoes from werewolves.