In an era when console exclusives are becoming increasingly rare, Bloodborne was one of the key weapons in Sony's PlayStation 4 arsenal. First announced at E3 2014, Bloodborne is a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls and Dark Souls, and it's just as punishingly difficult as its predecessors. But not all of the frustrations Bloodborne players are facing are intentional.
While Bloodborne has been well received by critics and players, one negative issue that has stood out is the game's load times. These occur both when resurrecting a character after death and in loading individual levels. The issue might not stand out as much in another game, but Bloodborne's challenging nature by design means even top-tier players are going to die a lot, and so those load times start to add up. Thankfully, some relief may be incoming.
The development team is currently exploring another patch for Bloodborne, seeking ways to improve load time duration, in addition to other performance optimisations and miscellaneous bug fixes. We will provide more information as soon as possible.
So just how bad is the problem? Digital Foundry reports load times of up to 45 seconds when attempting to resurrect a character, and says, "It's also a nuisance due to the game's hub-world structure, where each level loads from the Hunter's Dream area, which in itself takes 12 seconds to load." The image below shows some of the load times Digital Foundry encountered, as well as how much they were able to shave off by using an SSD instead of the PS4's stock HDD.
Even 12 seconds is a long time when you're just staring at the screen waiting -- just ask anybody who remembers Mass Effect's elevator rides. Three-quarters of a minute is bordering on an eternity, especially for a game as fast-paced as Bloodborne. GameSpot's review of the game also notes that the problem is compounded by the way Bloodborne's system of save points -- called "lamps" within the game -- work. As GameSpot points out, "You cannot directly teleport from one lamp to another, however: You must always travel to the Dream first, meaning that quick travel requires you to endure not one, but two 30-second loading screens."
It's good to see Sony and From Software working to fix the problem, but this seems like an issue that should have stood out during playtesting. Hopefully the patch will arrive soon and nip it in the bug. What about you, Ranters? Are you enjoying Bloodborne, or are the long load times cramping your style?
Bloodborne is now available for the PS4.