I've beaten this on PC before, but decided to knock the PS4 version off the list considering I'd paid for it and all. I honestly forgot how long the game was, too long in my opinion as as good as the gameplay is, the length highlights the only real true flaw the game has: Enemy variety.
This was an impulse buy for me. I'd seen a preview or two a while back, but it never really was on my radar to buy. I was in GAME the day it came out though and I just couldn't resist giving what to be anime Souls a chance.
I'm so glad I did. This has kept me busy and heavily invested ever since I first fired it up. Right off the bat you're hit with a truly fantastic character customisation system. Usually I spend about 2 minutes max on these things, but due to the vast amount of options available here, I think I spent a good 20 getting mine just right. Oh and I could actually make an attractive one for once in a souls-type game ^^
I really enjoyed the story here, as well as the cast of characters you meet on your way through. The art and character design is right up my alley too. In addition to the main plot, the game also introduces "vestages". These items hold memories of the character they belong, or used to belong to and are essentially the games way of handling backstory and fleshing out the lore. It's a wonderful way of doing it, helped tremendously by the fact that most of them are very emotional and touching. You have to seek most of the vestiges out though so that helps encourage exploration.
Gameplay was obviously heavily influenced by the Souls games. Instead of Souls you have Haze, something you can use to level, buy stuff or invest in unlocking the many skills and gifts that accompany each of the blood codes in the game. While the level up system here doesn't allow you to choose what stats you want to invest in, the other aspects of the game compensate for this resulting in just as many options for different builds. While your choice of weapon and blood veil are a part of that, it's the blood code you choose to use that effects the way you play the most and there's quite a lot of them too. What really stands out though is just how easy it is for you to shift your build or play style on the fly, something that was always quite a big decision in the Souls games and not something you could afford to frequently do.
There is a new game plus and I'd like to come back to it sometime soon. I like the fact that you can actually choose if you want the difficulty to increase or not here when you decide to move on to new game plus. It was always forced on you in Souls and Bloodborne.
8.5/10 for me. An easy top 5 entry for this year so far for me.