As our pals over at Waypoint noted last week, cult-favorite gamemaker From Software’s punishing, horror-ish 2015 game Bloodborne has been back on everyone’s lips in 2018 for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. I too dusted off a used copy this past weekend and slowly traversed the land of Yharnam killing and being gruesomely murdered by (more of the latter, if we’re being honest) blood-poisoned monsters. Or are they blood-eating monsters? The lore, as is typical of this sort of game, is a bit hard to parse, but I do know I plunged an oversized straight razor into both a giant hairy beast with a comparatively shriveled right arm and a man called Father Gascoigne who doesn’t seem to be a priest. He might be though. There’s like, art books and shit that I’m sure explain this better, but being baffled by this stuff contributes to its Jodorowskyan surreality so I’m content to just creep onward through the city, trying not to get killed by swarms of human-sized rats.
Anyway, it seems even minor celebrities are dipping back into the game as Grimes took to Twitch last night with her pal Megan James from Purity Ring and streamed for a while. She talked to fans in chat for a bit, expounding upon her love for Animal Collective and her fellow Canadians in Alvvays, all while trying not to get killed by, like, big wizard people that exude ghostly red skulls. Which, when you’re playing a game like Bloodborne—a spiritual sibling to From Software’s Dark Souls series—is no insignificant task. The whole point of these games is that danger lurks around every corner, that if you aren’t paying attention a man with a sword will jump out of the shadows and impale you in one swift thrust. Or a giant flaming boulder will pop out of a wall and pancake you. Or, as happened to me on Sunday morning, an amorphous cloud of energy will lift you into the air and murder you in moments. Basically the only thing people talk about with these games is how hard they are. They are built to be unfair. They are built so that you will die. So as an infrequent watcher of Twitch streams, I’m always impressed by people’s ability to play games that require such physical dexterity and more or less carry on conversations with the chat at the same time.
To me that’s testament enough to Claire Boucher’s #RealGamer prowess, but even from watching what clips remain of the stream over on her Twitch page it’s clear that she’s like, way, way better at this game than I’ll ever be. Tune in for immaculately executed dodge rolls, a deft understanding of invincibility frames, and the acquisition of a big-ass claymore that makes my character’s blade look like a safety razor. She’s talked before about how inspirational the world of Dark Souls III has been to her new songs, and indeed reiterated on the stream that she has a song that’s directly inspired by the game, so obviously she has a lot of experience in games like this. Stars: They’re better than you at mundane stuff, too!
I mean, I spent like 20 hours of Dark Souls III not knowing it was possible to lock onto enemies, and she gets within inches of taking down menacing beasts on her first boss run. I’m sure there are nerds somewhere taking her to task for not reading some spectral enemy’s animation frames correctly, or saying she doesn’t know how to parry right, or criticizing the way she spec’d her character because that’s just what video game men on the internet do, but none of that takes away from the very simple point that Grimes is going to be able to beat Bloodborne eventually and I am not sure that I will be. At least without using the Beckoning Bell.
Colin Joyce is a Noisey editor and MLG pro gamer. And on Twitter, always on Twitter.