Though it sat on my shelf for a while, but “Bloodborne” wound up being the first “Souls-like” game that I finished. While it can be a very engaging game to play, if you’re willing to commit what it asks of you, “Bloodborne” absolutely isn’t something that you play for its story. What narrative it has is made up of scraps from conversations, item descriptions, and the combat itself -- and there’s a lot of room to impose your own interpretation of things if you so desire. That’s what writer Ales Kot and artist Piotr Kowalski have to work with her, and they actually deliver something quite interesting.
Not for its story, though. The comics I’ve read from Kot tend to not follow a solid narrative and can diverge wildly from your initial expectations depending on what mood the writer finds himself in. That’s less of a problem when you’re writing a “Bloodborne” comic where the story provided by the source material is pretty abstract already. So when I say that “The Death of Sleep” involves a genderless Hunter escorting a child with the Paleblood to safety, this description is mainly a hanger on which the style is hung.
The style in question, however, is pretty astounding! Kot manages to incorporate characters, monsters, and even gameplay mechanics into the story in a way that feels natural to someone familiar with the source material. Yet it’s Piotr Kowalski’s stunning work that really captures the feel of the game. His beasts and characters look faithful to the game, but not in a manner so slavish that you’re distracted by it. The art looks as moody and haunting as the game itself, capturing the spirit of the source material in a way that few licensed titles really do. At least, for anyone who has played the game. The uninitiated are likely to find “The Death of Sleep” to be well-illustrated gibberish, at best. Fans of the game, however, are encouraged to pick this volume up as it ultimately pulls off the tricky task of being a valid realization of “Bloodborne” in another medium.