Probably best known for being a difficult game, Bloodborne also packs its fair share of surprising moments, some of which will probably linger in the collective memory of gamers for some time to come.
It should go without saying that this article will be full of spoilers so, if you to want to play the game clean, you might want to just sit this one out. Fair warning.
Bloodborne is a pretty massive game. Your first playthrough can take upwards of 40 hours if you're going for full exploration, and that doesn't even include time spent in the challenging Chalice Dungeons, which are 100 percent optional. What's truly impressive is how, through all that time, you're mostly playing on one massive map. Built like a classic Castlevania castle, the city of Yharnam and its surrounding areas are connected like a big bowl of spaghetti, constantly winding in on itself and interlocking in ways that you might not expect. It's always a delight to open a gate, step out into an area and realize that you've just discovered a new shortcut back to a place you've already been.
Bloodborne is positively overflowing with these moments of discovery, with everything from the boss battles to the armor you wear and the items you use sporting “Ah-ha!” moments. In other words, Bloodborne is full of surprises.
There are entire sections of the game you can completely bypass, including eight bosses you may never face if you don't put in the time to explore. That's an extremely bold move on the part of From Software, as most developers cringe at the thought of putting in the time and effort to design parts of a game knowing full-well that many players may never experience it. And that's exactly what's happened, according to my Trophy list. Perusing some of the Trophies tied to optional boss encounters, the percentage of players who have taken part in these battles is frequently 30 percent and below.
Honestly, picking five favorite surprising moments from Bloodborne was about as hard as the game itself, because the game is full of so many of them. I'm sure folks will add some in the comments section that I've completely forgotten, but are just as valid. Cainhurst castle is one of my favorite omissions, for example, as it's an entire castle (with more than a few Castlevania homages peppered throughout) that you can completely skip if you don't pick up a very specific letter, read it, and do as it tells you.
But, without further ado, here's my five favorites.
A Resident EvilAs Bloodborne's Honest Trailer points out, the game has moments where it's more frightning than anything on the horror market these days. The developers are aware of that fact, as they demonstrate late in the game while exploring the Upper Cathedral Ward. This particular moment takes place in a dark hallway made of ancient wood in a location that's the closest to “survival horror” that Bloodborne becomes. You're walking down the seemingly empty hall when it abruptly comes to an end. You try a door on your left and, drat, it's locked. As you start to walk back down the hall, though, a particularly nasty werewolf comes crashing through a window behind you, reminding you that such events could happen at any moment in Bloodborne. On top of making me scream like a small child, I got a kick out of this not-so-subtle nod to the original Resident Evil.