Bloodborne is a masterpiece. The title rose above the usual high bar set by FromSoftware to define a generation of gaming experiences. However, as much as I love this title, the fact that it’s been trapped at a stuttering 30fps on PS4 after all these years with no PS5 patch in sight is something that continues to upset me. It’s been years, and a solution to this problem is long overdue.
The biggest problem with playing through Bloodborne on either the PS5 or PS4 is that you’re stuck at an inconsistent 30fps regardless. Considering that this action game is incredibly fast-paced and stands as one of the more aggressive and combat-focused games in the Soulsborne series, this handicap has always felt incredibly limiting, even from day one.
Bloodborne was the reason that I went out and purchased a PS4 in the first place back in 2015. Despite my love for the combat, the setting, and the atmosphere of Yharnam, I couldn’t help but feel like the game was running in slow motion. Framerate drops into the low and mid-20s weren’t uncommon, especially in busier environments. It’s a big issue that makes returning to the game difficult, doing the seminal title a great disservice. What’s more, this problem could be fixed through either the release of a Bloodborne optimization patch for PS5 or - and this is incredible wishful thinking - finally bringing it to PC.
It wouldn’t be entirely out of left field for FromSoftware to give Bloodborne the remaster treatment. Back in 2018, Dark Souls Remastered debuted for PS4, PC, and Xbox One, with the game even coming to the Nintendo Switch for the first time, too. This version of the game runs at much higher framerates on the base PS4 and Xbox One but manages to stay consistent at 4K60 FPS on the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X (via Digital Foundry). It’s proof that a game with similar visual design, textures, and combat can be updated and modernized with the right amount of care and attention.
That’s not to say that modders haven’t made an attempt to optimize Bloodborne to run at a more playable 60fps. Back in 2020, modder and developer Lance McDonald released the Bloodborne 60fps Patch which runs on the PS4 Pro, and serves to double the game’s framerate. The mod showcase video looks absolutely incredible, further highlighting the aggressive enemies and the finesse of the Hunter in a rabid world out for blood. One look at this, and it’s even more difficult to go back to these boss encounters and locations, given the way the unmodded game plays for the rest of us.
Now, there are some major caveats to wanting to run Bloodborne at 60fps on the PS4 Pro using this mod. Firstly, you’ll need to run it in 720p, which makes for a serious downgrade of both resolution and textures. Secondly, the PS4 Pro needs to be in Boost Mode. With these two conditions met, the game will run at a locked 60fps according to Digital Foundry’s playtesting. It’s a compromise, but one that those willing to see what the game should feel like should strongly consider, however, this niche fix isn’t going to be the catch-all for many.
Wake me from the nightmare
While a Bloodborne PC port remains elusive, it’s possible that we could see a Bloodborne remaster for PS5, eventually. The tools are there. Much like with Demon’s Souls, it’s a game made exclusively for Sony hardware by FromSoftware, so it should be too off the table to get the game running properly. It’s one of the best PS4 games ever made, and could find a new audience being ported to the PS5 for more people to enjoy.
Given the strong art direction and the thrilling boss encounters with likes of The Shadows of Yharnam, Vicar Amelia, Amygdala, and The Blood Starved Beast, Bloodborne is a game that clearly deserves better than to be trapped on outdated hardware. Only time will tell if further work will happen to FromSoftware’s iconic title. Until then, however, we shall have to place our faith in mods, or simply take the hit and play the game in its current unoptimized state.