Bloodless, a vampire, attacks in Bloodstained

While Producer Koji Igarashi is keeping plenty of secrets under his hat concerning his upcoming indie project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, he has no qualms with admitting that it is deeply inspired by a series near and dear to his heart, Castlevania. After speaking with Igarashi and going hands-on with the game at E3 2017, it's clear that the legendary series' DNA is pumping through the veins of Bloodstained.

A huge Kickstarter success, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is basically the spiritual successor to one of Igarashi's most beloved games, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Cut free of direct ties to the series, however, Igarashi (Better known as IGA to most) said that he and his team are getting to do things with Bloodstained that they've been planning for quite some time.

Our director had an idea for a boss fight that he wanted to do even back when we were making Castlevania games, so we're excited that it's finally being done in Bloodstained. Also, a lot of the enemies are intentionally designed to create nostalgia. When you see them for the first time, we want you to remember the other games where you saw something similar.

IGA would not say more about the boss encounter he had described, or whether the one presented in the E3 2017 demo was the creature he was referencing. In the demo, players take on a character known as Bloodless, a vampire mistress who is literally soaking in a pool of blood when the player encounters her. That fight can also be seen in the new E3 2017 trailer, with heroine Miriam leaping around the arena, dodging attacks and damaging rains of crimson. Bloodless' umbrellas fly around the room, too, either being used in an attack or even protecting the player from a bloody downpour.

According to Igarashi, all of the similarities to Castlevania were very intentional. He added that the team wants players to continuously experience a sense of nostalgia while playing the game; recognizing themes, areas and enemies as being similar to his previous work. Fans wanted him to make a new Castlevania game, after all, so that's what he's giving them in every regard, save the game's name.

We purposefully put those kinds of elements in the game, so we're looking forward to players seeing that for the first time. We've pulled little pieces of inspiration from many places, but Bloodstained is actually an idea we've had for a long time and are only just now getting to do. Some of the new things we put in the game, that we wanted to work with, are things like alchemy and the Industrial Revolution.

Igarashi said he was actually surprised by the reception Bloodstained got through crowdfunding, as he had no idea that many people were so passionate about his games. He said that's been a constant motivator while working on the new game.

To that end, he said players should not go in expecting the next big evolution in the Castlevania formula. Yes, the team aims to make small improvements here and there, but they want to remain true to the game's original vision; a throwback to much-loved games of the past.

When the player has finished the game, the first thing I want to hear is that they had a lot of fun. Another thing I want to hear is that, after they've played the full game, this kind of old-school, side-scrolling game is still fun.

Bloodstained is set to launch in 2018 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Vita, Switch, Windows and GOG

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