In Bloodstain we play Miriam, who awoke after a mysterious 10 year coma. She is a shardbringer; a modified human who can absorb demon shards but run the risk of being corrupted by them. She and Gebel were the only ones that survived the experimentation. Gebel has turned to the side of darkness and it’s up to Miriam to stop him.

Some of the characters we meet in Bloodstain.

During our journey we meet Johannes, an alchemist and friend who has helped us in the past; Dominique, an exorcist from the church who asked for our assistance; Alfred, an alchemist long presumed dead and has an questionable agenda; Gebel, a fellow shardbinder that is causing chaos; and finally Zangetsu, a samurai demon slayer from the east. These are only a few of the characters we meet in the game.

A Familiar Soul, A Familiar Face.

If you were a fan of Castlevania Aria and Dawn of Sorrow or Order of Ecclesia, the shards function similarly to the soul mechanic. The grade goes up as you gain multiple of the same shard, and rank effects duration, distance or another effect. Shard can even be sold for quick cash but it lowers its grade.

Screenshot of gameplay

The game even brings back familiars. The Faerie Caraboose is actually my favorite as it acts like it did on Sympathy of the Night, helping you with potions and telling you of hidden sections of the map. There’s even a trophy related to it.

What is A Boss in Bloodstain?

The bosses can be quite punishing at times. The movement for some attacks can be subtle until you learn them; you may be dying quite a bit at first. Some enemies are quite similar in that fashion as well like the flying witch; Cyhyraeth for example is one you want to fight at a distance till you get its wave pattern down.

Screenshot of gameplay

Definitely a Pick Up But…

If I had any negative points would be some of the later bosses basically playing keep away making you have to use distant strikes and magic more often. Also, the drop rate of shard can sometimes be maddening until you get a higher luck stat. I also wish the hardest difficultly was unlocked from the start. If you are a fan of Metroidvania or Castlevania as a whole you have to pick Bloodstain up. Bloodstain is one of those that will keep you coming back for more.