My Favourite Video Game is a guest feature from bands and artists where we set them a simple task… tell us about your favourite video game. In this feature, Michael of extreme metal band, xygrbryrx, accepts the challenge. You can read all about the choice below.
If my favourite game didn’t exist this would be a horrible nightmare of a question. I’ve been playing games my entire life, falling truly in love when I recieved a PlayStation for my 13th birthday (Cheers, ma!). Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid… These games shaped me (yes, that’s right, I am a philsophical, lockpicking master, with spiky hair) as much as films and music did.
Games have been a lifeline at times too, allowing escape when my mental illness took me prisoner. Whether that’s switching off and slaughtering monsters in Diablo or being drawn deep into a world with Bioshock, video games have filled time that otherwise would have been… well, dark and shit, you know?
I could talk for years about my love of games and highlight specific ones (I’m about to do that, using stealth skills the Big Boss taught me) like Shadow Hearts, Monster Hunter, Shin Megami Tensei, Warframe, Xenogears/saga/blade, Metroid, Dead Space, and Dark Souls, but I won’t. Instead I’ll explain why this question isn’t a nightmare for me: Bloodborne.
Metal, horror films, and video games coalesced and became the greatest game of all time. Fact! You punch a giant pig in the arse as it, very literally does a pig squeal. Proof!
In seriousness though, Bloodborne is something very, very special. In many ways it is a journey through the horrors of depression and anxiety. Everyone is screaming at me that it’s my fault, telling me I’m not smart enough, or just screaming at me (metal). There’s is no escape but forward. Face your fears and learn that YOU are the hunter, not the hunted. Failure is small, in the long run, and victory is huge. It lets you grab despair and anxiety by the throat and tear out it’s heart.
It’s also a game that really doesn’t care about you. The story (and myriad sub-stories) is there, and it happens whether you look at it or not. It was always there, right if front of you, if only you had the eyes to see it. You are at best a bystander, at worst bait, put on the hook by beings beyond your understanding. But if you lean in and pay attention you’ll see it’s all there, every last bit. Every item, every street, every character, every weapon, every building, monster, doorway and garment, it is all part of the whole, part of the world. Healing items actually make sense!
The icing is, of course, the combat. Viceral, aggressive, and relentless, this is a bloody and ruthless game that can destroy you or make you feel like a demon scything a path through the streets of Yharnam. Every weapon is a treat to wield, each transforming between 2 states and offering a specific approach to the mayhem. I can swagger through Yharnam with the Hunter’s Axe, but hand me the Threaded Cane and see a man cry. Give me the Burial Blade and watch me grin like a maniac, or give me the Blade of Mercy and watch a man crumble. Bloodborne has it all.
There is no competition for my all time favourite. Bloodborne is an exceptionally talented team capturing lightning in a bottle. It will always hold a special place in my heart, that union of metal, horror, and game. It is a perfect example of what video games are capable of: giving you a story that is yours alone, it is not told, it is not shown, it is experienced.