Historically I’ve rocked heavy weapons, heavy shields, and light armor in Souls games. Demon’s Souls was the only one in which I invested heavily in magic use as well, though once I got the Dragon Bone Smasher, magic became an afterthought. So with Bloodborne, I deliberately set out to make a skill-based character, which meant starting off with the Threaded Cane. I have no complaints whatsoever, but last night I decided to dabble with some of the other options. I tried the Hunter Axe, Ludwig’s Holy Blade, Saw Spear, and Rifle Spear.
I know the Hunter Axe is a really popular weapon, and I can see why. It staggers enemies well if not outright smashing them to the ground. It can be used laterally for good AoE damage or swung vertically for a more focused attack. I just found it too slow for my liking.
Ludwigs Holy Blade I quite liked in its nimble form. Its heavy form however, was way too ponderous. The Saw Spear was okay when compact, but I found it extremely difficult to judge its range when extended. The Rifle Spear felt natural in use, but I was unimpressed with its moveset overall.
After experimenting with these other weapons, I went back to the Threaded Cane and immediately made some observations. The problem was not with those other weapons, but with me. I’m perfectly calibrated to the Threaded Cane. This was most evident in judging range when using it in whip form. I know exactly how far away I can hit an enemy when using R1, R2, or jumping R2 attacks. I’m synchronized with the timing of it and know when to switch to rigid mode for a high DPS flurry.
This is no revelation. It should come as no surprise that I’m most comfortable using the weapon I have the most experience with. The thing that struck me was just how fine the tuning was. Going back to the Threaded Cane it didn’t feel like I was judging distances in feet or inches, but in sixteenths (1.5-ish mm for my metric friends). Timing felt similarly precise. I’m not suggesting that I’m some kind of super precise player; I’m saying this strikes me as an incredible feat of game design.
I don’t know how to describe it except to say it feels as though the tolerances of combat are extremely tight and because of that, any deviation from what you’re accustomed to is incredibly awkward. That being said, I just finished Eileen the Crow’s questline and I’m really looking forward to trying out the Blades of Mercy.