How many of you are actually going into these reviews relatively "blind?" Maybe you have broad ideas about what's in Bloodborne, or maybe all you know is that there's really scary stuff in it. I kind of wish I'd been able to play (or even watch it) with relatively limited knowledge, personally, because of just how severely things escalate.

You are a "Hunter," and all you really know at the start of the game is that you're supposed to be exterminating "beasts" in the city of Yharnam; people transformed into bestial, often canine monstrosities by that blood disease we mentioned. So basically, a werewolf hunter. It's a game about werewolves. Right? Yeah! Just werewolves! Just your SPOOKtacular doggerinos! A bit funkier than they usually are, though. Even the game's most basic "beast" people are these shaggy, lanky, long-taloned ghouls.

You'll also run into Scourge Beasts; they're a whole lot bigger, with full blown vulpine muzzles; the most "basically just a werewolf" in Bloodborne, but still, there's a sort of horribleness to them you don't get very often. They're JUST large enough to feel unreasonably large, and their arms are SO long.

Then there's the most basic beasty boss fight in the game, the Cleric Beast, and this seems a little it more than just some dog guy. Asymmetrical, diseased and mutated in appearance, with a lot of bony protrusions and a set of gnarled antlers!

Another early beast, and the first truly unavoidable boss fight, is Father Gascoigne. He starts out human, and his backstory is pretty grim; he was a hunter, like you, but went mad with the blood plague himself. His wife used to play a music box to calm him down and bring him home, but as you can imagine, that didn't stop his deterioration.

On a typical playthrough, your third or fourth boss fight may be the Blood Starved Beast, one of the most dreadful looking of the beast enemies. Vague evidence suggests that the creation of this beast was induced artificially by the Healing Church for ritualistic and/or experimental purposes, but we don't know much beyond that. It looks like it was skinned and eviscerated alive, but that hasn't killed it; it gets by with nothing but gore clinging to its bones and a flayed skin draped over it like a cloak!

By the time you encounter the variant Scourge Beasts, sometimes mid-way through the game, you'll have seen far weirder things going on, but these truly leave no doubt that "beasts" in Bloodborne are more than just your mom's Lycanthropes. Nothing about this creature is humanlike or wolf-like. It still has the basic shape of those long-limbed wolfies, but it's overall just a mangled mess of flesh and bone, dozens of rib-like teeth - or toothlike ribs? - dangling from under its alien skull, and oh yeah, its actual mouth seems to be in the rib cage.

How cool would it be, honestly, to start up this game thinking you're just a "beast hunter," only to notice things kind of getting...a little more out of hand than that? We'll look at plenty more beasts in the coming entries, but the entire category is hardly the tip of the iceberg. The tip of the tip even. And in-universe, it doesn't seem like everyone's aware of much more going on than that "blood plague," either.