Bloodborne — like its brethren Demon and Dark Souls — is a difficult game. However, it’s definitely more accessible to newbies than some of the other titles. Don’t mistake that to mean it’s easy, because it’s not. Seriously, it gets really, really frustrating at times.
Still, I powered through the game — huzzah — and along the way I came up with some of my own strategies to beat the various bosses and enemies you’ll encounter in Yahrnam. My goal is to take the things I learned and help you apply them during your own playthrough.
Where Do I Start?
Obviously, by booting up the game. When you first start playing you’ll need to explore the world of Yahrnam. You won’t meet your first boss for a good while, at least not during your initial playthrough.
You cannot use blood echoes to level up until you encounter the first big enemy — the Cleric Beast — or until you accrue insight. You can earn insight by discovering bosses and defeating them. You can also find a consumable called Madman’s Knowledge scattered about the world that will give you insight when used.
Before taking on the Cleric Beast, you’ll need to find it’s location to gain insight. Once accrued, on your next visit to the Hunter’s Dream the doll will be reanimated and you’ll be able to level up by spending blood echoes.
If you’re having trouble, spend a little time leveling your hunter before taking on the Cleric Beast. You can kill the enemies leading up to the Cleric Beast over and over to gain blood echoes.
I’m not going to spoil your adventure through Yahrnam, you’ll have to find out how to get to the boss on your own. After all, that’s part of the fun of these games.
Some of the things I’ll talk about next should help you survive longer or beat the bugger during your fight.
How Do I Beat the Cleric Beast?
There’s only one rule for this fight: stay as close to the Cleric Beast as possible. Use your dodge and strafe abilities to stay out of the beast’s attack zone. Truthfully, you can hover anywhere close to the beast until it pulls it’s arm back. That’s a tell — and your cue — to get the hell out of the way. Step to the side or behind it when it swings and throw in a few strikes of your own.
Be careful not to get too greedy with your attacks, because the Cleric Beast is quick to recover.
Once you chisel down the beast’s health a bit it will scream and launch a volley of sweep attacks that cover a wide area. You’ll want to keep your distance at this point, especially when it slams both hands down onto the floor during a shockwave attack.
Keep your distance until the tantrum subsides and then resume strafing and attacking whenever possible.
If you find there’s a big gap between your hunter and the beast during it’s usual tirade, you’ll want to watch out for a leap attack. The beast will launch into the air and come down just seconds later right where you’re standing. This attack is actually pretty easy to avoid, so long as you continue moving — for clarification that means do not stop. If you get stuck on a wall or object then roll out of the way as soon as possible.
Also, if you remain in front of the beast for too long it will snatch up your hunter and well… I probably don’t have to explain what happens next.
So long as you stick to the script you should be able to best the Cleric Beast.
Note: I don’t recommend this, but if you really can’t beat the Cleric Beast solo you can always summon a co-op partner to take it down with — just like you see in the screenshot above. You can summon help by using the Beckoning Bell, but you’ll need insight in order to do so. Also, when the game is searching for cooperative players you’ll be vulnerable to invasion which means someone looking to PVP can enter your world and hunt you down. There’s no notification that a hostile invader was summoned either, so you won’t know until they attack.
I Keep Dying, and I’m About to Quit
Don’t quit! Just because I figured out a way to beat the boss doesn’t mean I didn’t die a lot. This game kicked my ass. It’s frustrating, it takes time and you need to keep trying! Eventually, you’ll take down the boss and you’ll wonder why you had such a hard time in the first place.
That confidence will be short lived, but hey that’s the beauty of these games! Get out there and start slaying!