Despite the undeniable interest of fans, still eagerly awaiting a possible patch to run the original at 60 fps on PS5, neither Sony nor From Software have ever commented on the existence of a possible Bloodborne 2. A sequel that would undoubtedly monopolize the attention of the community, but which at the moment does not seem likely at all – even more so considering the difficulties in the development of the highly anticipated Elden Ring.
From a contest organized by the famous YouTuber VaatiVidya, a real authority on Soulslike, however, comes a suggestion for a possible Bloodborne 2 that just could not fail to report. A simply breathtaking concept, created with a vision and an expertise that is truly out of the ordinary: something so refined and inspired as to suggest a work coming from Hidetaka Miyazaki himself.
Nightmares in the sand
Thomas Chamberlain-Keen is a professional concept artist, currently an employee of Playground Games, or the English studio behind the Forza Horizon series (to learn more, here’s our review of Forza Horizon 4) currently busy on the next Fable. The creative, great fan of the Souls and passionate about VaatiVidya’s contents, has decided to participate in the initiative, studying in his spare time an idea for Bloodborne 2 to say the least sensational. Note that, by his own admission, Chamberlain-Keen never got to play Bloodborne firsthand, not owning a Playstation console. The concept artist, however, has deepened the lore of the title for dozens and dozens of hours, sifting through various subReddits, studying theories on YouTube and watching countless gameplay videos.
Attention to detail, professional deformation and boundless talent are the basis of his highly original vision for a sequel to Bloodborne that distances itself quite courageously from the Victorian gloom of the original. Everything in this hypothetical Bloodborne 2 revolves around a ‘frightening and surreal interpretation of the desert, with the principle of hiding the horror in plain sight, directly in the sunlight. Among dunes that hide illusions, daydreams and mirages as ominous omens. All mixed up, this time with an exceptional continuity with the original, with the blood theme, presented as an absolutely central element in both equipment and the monstrous design of tick-inspired enemies.
Chamberlain-Keen’s artworks are jaw-dropping both for their impressive quality and their astonishing narrative value. The illustrations, presented in chronological order, in fact, tell the story of the Bloodborne 2 imagined by the English artist through gameplay passages complete with hud on the screen, cutscenes and specific menus dedicated to objects and weapons.
The very first image shows a wounded female figure, lost in a blinding sunburnt desert. In the background, as in a mirage, the ruins of what could be a city, and in the distance a mysterious indefinite character dragging a kind of cart. The sky is blue but with ominous shades of a menacing blue, and on the ground the flora would seem to be an incomprehensible mixture of organic matter and bone, with patches of blood red here and there.
The second artwork, ideally a cutscene as indicated by the horizontal black bands, closely portrays the hooded character. Strange black tentacles emerge from the worn out robe of the figure, as well as from the pram the being carries with it. The detail of the purple scarf around the neck, embellished with a rather familiar brooch, should remind discerning fans of an old acquaintance.
It is the following image, that of the awakening in the new version of the Hunter’s Dream which should act as a hub, to unequivocally clarify everything. The woman is actually the Doll, portrayed in an alienating and bizarre context made up of hideous abyssal fish left to dry and structures that recall the works of the ancient Japanese Jomon period. Note that also in this case the sky is not that of the night, but of a sunrise or sunset illuminated by the light.
The illustration dedicated to Upper Loran is perhaps one of the most incredible of the whole lot. First of all, the name is not at all accidental, but takes up that of a place just glimpsed in the Labyrinths of the Bloodborne Chalice. In the lore of the game, Loran was in fact described as a land devoured by sand and infected by the Plague: a way to brilliantly reconnect this hypothetical sequel – in fact a prequel – to the masterpiece released by Sony in 2016. In the image you can see the sense of massive scale, the sunny color palette and an architectural style radically different from the Victorian triumph by Yharnam.
The one presented by the very skilled Thomas is one desolate scenery but with the obvious traces of a past splendor. A place of marvelous charm fueled by details such as the gigantic barrier in the background or the enigmatic machinery in the foreground, where the sand is taking over everything. A landscape destined to change face and colors with the progress to a frightening eclipse, as shown in the next steps.
Enemies, giant blood-swollen ticks, serve to illustrate a delightfully disturbing gameplay detail created by the concept artist. One of the mechanics of Bloodborne 2 would in fact be linked to a cannula with interchangeable blood bags perennially inserted into the protagonist’s flesh. During the course of the adventure, different cannulae would be unlocked, capable of ensuring different types of recovery of vital energy. For example, the instant but minor healing cannula could be great against bosses, while the one to slowly but progressively recover more energy could be needed during the exploration phases.
In addition to images depicting evocative transformable weapons, there is also room for two boss fights. The first, dedicated to clash with the queen of ticks Ixodida, is repulsive in its meticulous description of a hive teeming with creatures. Chamberlain-Keen even imagined the various stages of the boss fight, complete with a swollen body of being destined to pour hectoliters of blood everywhere once hit and a final foul explosion of thousands of tiny parasites.
The finale shows the head to head with a Great Ancient One initially encountered inside a sacrificial temple called the Altar of the Lost Ocean. In both artworks the sense of scale is stunning: if in the first it is the contrast between light and shadow that reverberates on the water that steals the show, in the second thepink light ring of a supernatural eclipse which thins Loran’s darkness.
The world building work of the Playground Games artist is formidable. Thomas Chamberlain-Keen has managed to come up with a deeply personal alternative Bloodborne, which knows how to be at the same time far from the one created by From Software and yet really consistent with the original reference. The real shame is that such a game isn’t actually in production, and that such a prequel is bound to remain as elusive and elusive as a desert mirage.