Bloodborne is finally on PC — in a manner of speaking. Fans of 2015’s FromSoftware roguelike have been fervently wishing for a PC port. At long last, their prayers have been answered on the gnarled finger of a monkey’s paw with a PSX “demake” available now for free.
Developer Lilith Walther has been working on the demake for 13 months and has drummed up considerable interest from fans of PS1-era games and Bloodborne enthusiasts alike. The game already has its own Twitch category with (as of right now) over 25,000 people tuned in to see the technical feat of de-yassifiying one of the best games of the PS4 era.
It’s unclear just how much of the original Bloodborne Walther has included, but it seems like only Yharnam, the game’s first zone, has been faithfully de-created. Though this demake doesn’t encompass the entire game, players can still get a well-rounded Bloodborne experience. You can fight both the Cleric Beast and Father Gascoigne — arguably one of the hardest bosses in the entire game — while also encountering one of the notoriously difficult Hunter NPC fights.
Bloodborne PSX is a lovely rendition of its source material. The opening cutscene lines up perfectly with its PS4 predecessor, and a lot of little details have been faithfully transported.
As I was playing, it was a delight to feel my Bloodborne muscle memory kicking in, remembering exactly where enemies should be and being rewarded by ganking them before they could gank me. But the game isn’t just Bloodborne with a retro-looking coat of graphical paint. Walther also took steps to capture what playing Bloodborne would have felt like were it released in 1997 instead of 2015. The game has controller support, but only the D-pad moves your character despite the analog sticks working in the menu. And there are settings you can enable that will intentionally slow down the game’s framerate during intense moments like boss fights and increase “loading times” in order to recreate the painfully slow chug-a-lug of the PSX. There’s even the old school “bwaam whaam” of the Sony Computer Entertainment start-up screen and a graphics setting that makes the game look like it’s being played on an old CRT TV.
In an interview with Kotaku, Walther said she was inspired by other fan-made demakes like the NES version of Breath of the Wild and that, to her, Bloodborne was made a couple of console generations too late.
“I always thought of the Soulsborne games as retro in their feel,” Walther told Kotaku. “And I mean that as a form of the highest praise.”