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Bloodborne will have shields, but they'll be awful

Bloodborne players will have access to shields, but they shouldn’t lean on them too hard when the game arrives exclusively on PlayStation 4 next month.

Confirmation of the personal armor's inclusion comes from an IGN interview with Masaaki Yamagiwa, a producer at Sony's Japan Studio.

"There are shields in the game," Yamagiwa said, but he clarified that death will come quickly to those who try to stand back and guard.

Bloodborne is in development at From Software, where it's being overseen by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director of Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. The game that debuted at E3 2014 is obviously inspired by the Souls series, although Bloodborne also departs from its forbearers in several ways.

Unlike the Souls games, in which players are typically equipped with a shield, Bloodborne gameplay footage consistently shows players wielding firearms where their defensive item would otherwise be. Video after video of shieldless or two-handed combat led to speculation that shields wouldn’t appear in the action-heavy title.

But just because shields will be available in Bloodborne doesn’t mean that players will be able to hide behind them — or even use them like they did in Souls games.

"We wanted to encourage players to not hide and wait, but instead be more aggressive and pro-active in battle," Yamagiwa said.

Bloodborne is headed to PS4 March 24, 2015. You can watch some shieldless combat in the video below, which ends with the game's original February release date.