The problem with video games, especially the great ones, is that they have to end. I’ve always had a hard time letting go of a game once I’ve fallen in love with it, and for that reason, I often refuse to finish them. This, understandably, disturbs a lot of people. After all, how can I possibly pretend that Bloodborne is my favorite game if I’ve never seen the credits? It’s taken me a long time to reckon with my imposter syndrome, but if you’re like me, I want you to know: stopping before the end doesn’t make you a fake fan. I have no idea what happens at the end of Bloodborne, and I intend to keep it that way.
It’s not that I never finish games. My other favorite game, Prey 2017, is so high on my list precisely because of how powerful the ending is. It’s a fantastic immersive sim, but I think the ending is what makes it a masterpiece. Sometimes, it can go the other way. Fallout 3 is an incredible journey that goes to great lengths to make you feel like you have agency and power to meaningfully affect the story, but the ending totally railroads you into a binary choice that, until the Broken Steel DLC retconned it, just felt wrong.
It’s not that I’m afraid Bloodborne’s ending will disappoint me though. If Bloodborne totally shanked it right at the end, I would have heard about it by now. I’ve never played the Mass Effect Trilogy, but I imagine even the Amish are aware that Mass Effect 3’s ending is a disaster. I’m not worried about the quality of the ending, I’m worried about it ending at all.
I’m this way with a lot of things. I’ve never watched the final season of The Wire, I haven’t seen the last episode of The Witcher, and I’m never going to read the last book in The Dark Tower series. I’m sure I would enjoy all of these, but I don’t think it’s worth it. The world of Bloodborne is fully realized and so incredibly alive, I just can’t bear to see it end.
I’ve played a lot of Bloodborne. It’s the only Souls-like game I’ve played, and it’s one of my most played games on the PS4. I played through it with no clue of what was going to happen, then I played through it side-by-side with EpicNameBro’s (exceptional) lore playthrough on YouTube. I’m sure I’ve played through it two or three more times since then, but I always stop after I beat Mergo’s Wet Nurse. I’ve spent hours and hours in the Chalice Dungeons, and I’ve done all of the Old Hunters DLC. I even collect the Bloodborne comic book series in TPB. I think I’m definitely a Bloodborne fan, even though I’ve never beaten the game.
I can’t be the only one that never feels ready to let go. I guess it’s why I usually stick to Destiny 2 and World of Warcraft — in an MMO, I never have to say goodbye. If you’re like me, I just want you to know it’s ok to stop before the end. My favorite game is one I’ve never finished, and I probably never will.
- TheGamer Originals
Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.
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