I've been loving Bloodborne — that's hardly a state secret. It's easily been my favourite gaming experience of 2015 so far and it'll take a good goddamn miracle (or The Witcher 3 delivering) to lodge it from my Game of the Year list.
But on the weekend something weird happened: I finished Bloodborne by accident.
By goddamn accident.
Now that it's been firmly established that we're in spoiler territory I'll explain.
With Bloodborne I've been avoiding Google in a very big way. I've even been deliberately avoiding asking for advice, directions, any of that stuff. I haven't summoned once. I've been trying, as hard as it is in this day and age, to have a 'pure' Bloodborne experience — which makes zero sense since the game is designed around communication and sharing secrets, but that's another story. The idea of a 'pure' Bloodborne experience is complete bunk to begin with, but I digress...
It was misguided. I half-recognised that fact whilst playing, and had that fact bludgeon me over the head when I literally stumbled into Hunter's Dream and was informed by the level-up doll-lady that the wheelchair Granddad was waiting for me in the field. I wandered over, had a brief conversation with him, happily submitted to having him lop off my head...
And BAM! Game over. Finito!
I did not see that coming.
To be perfectly honest, I had no idea I was close to the end of Bloodborne. It took me around 50 hours to finish the original Dark Souls and around 45 to finish Dark Souls II. I checked my save game after the credits finished rolling: 29 hours dead. A little shorter than I expected. Truth be told, when I was informed what's-his-name in the Wheelchair was waiting for me, I assumed it was a moment not unlike the time you meet the Emerald Herald on the way to the castle — the real Dark Souls starts here. That's what I was sort of expecting.
At this point you have a conversation. You are asked to submit to death. I thought this would be the start of some cool, nightmarish endgame situation so I agreed. Turns out that was the end-game. Credits roll...
Here's a list of things I didn't get to do: I didn't get to explore the Nightmare Frontier — at all. I didn't get the chance to explore the Upper Cathedral Ward — at all. I was robbed of two extra boss battles by actually submitting to being killed by Wheelchair man instead of refusing death. I was robbed of that 'final boss' feeling.
I've gone straight into New Game +, and I'm considering starting a brand new build given that I know a bit more about how the stats work (at the very least I know what Bloodtinge is) so all is not lost — I most likely will get the chance to check out these areas in the long term, but I can't help but feel as though I've been robbed of an experience. That's a bit of a shame.
Live by the sword, die by the sword I guess. I was super stubborn in my decision to avoid googling for help and it bit me in the arse in the end. But I can't help but blame the game just a little. Some signposting wouldn't have gone amiss.